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Cyber security is complex; there simply isn’t a single solution that can ensure that all of your data and systems are protected. Think of cyber security more as a puzzle, where a business owner fits together a variety of solutions based on the company's unique needs, risks, and potential costs.
"Risk" can be a slippery term to define. It's an easy mistake for business owners to make to think that in the event of a successful cyber attack it is only data and hardware that are at risk. The actual risk to a company reaches far beyond those two cost centers. Depending on the type of breach, there could be legal fines and defense fees that could stretch out for years, investigative and recovery costs, additional technology purchases, and even data ransoms. And then there are risks that may be less obvious at first glance, such as the loss of trade secrets, and employee downtime.
Have you asked yourself what will be the hourly cost to your business if a data breach brings your operations to a halt? How will your company be impacted if your contact data or shared files suddenly vanish? How much revenue is at risk if you are suddenly unable to respond to your customers? There are hidden costs and a complexity of cost of which business owners are seldom aware.
Cisco's "2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report" included the results of a targeted survey of nearly 3,000 IT security personnel. Approximately a third of all respondents reported revenue loss due to a successful cyber attack. Of those respondents, nearly 40% reported that their data breach cost upward of 20% of the company's operating revenue.
It is wise for a business owner to get an expert assessment from both the technology and legal perspectives in order to determine areas of high risk. Those high risks can translate to high costs in the event of a breach. Such an assessment will enable companies to better calculate their true risk exposure. With expert input, an owner or manager can estimate what legal fees might be accrued for lawsuits, investigations, and notification of customers. They can also better understand the impact on business due to downtime as previously mentioned. Additionally, they can factor in the technology costs associated with cleaning up infected systems, restoring business operations and preventing future occurrences of infection. It is critical to consider all the different potential areas of impact in the case of a successful cyber attack. All of this knowledge can serve as a cost model for developing a cyber-security budget.
Where should you start?
It’s free to watch and provides basic information both from a technological and legal standpoint so you can begin to understand your risk and make an informed decision.
Make the responsible choice and know your risks.
Process Director & Techadmin