How Can a Data Breach Impact My Business?

How Can a Data Breach Impact My Business?

Whether you’re a law office or a retailer, one technology issue that impacts all industries is cybersecurity.

Hackers work 24/7 to try to break into networks, cloud platforms, and mobile devices to steal data and plant ransomware, among other things.

Just one data breach can devastate a Sydney area business. The average cost of a breach in Australia is currently AU $3.5 million, which is a 9.8% increase from the year prior.

There are a number of ways that a data breach can happen, which is why having a strong IT security plan is important, no matter what size business you have.

Some of the ways that data breaches occur include:

  • Unpatched software vulnerability
  • Weakness in remote login protocols
  • Stolen/hacked login credentials
  • Brute force attack on a network
  • Mobile malware
  • Trojan, spyware, or other malware
  • Visiting a malicious website

Small Businesses Aren’t Immune to Data Breaches

While you may think, “My business is too small for a hacker to bother with,” there is no business too small to attack in a hacker’s eyes, as long as they can make some money. For example, a database of usernames & passwords can be sold on the Dark Web for a lucrative amount.

One email address with password can fetch as much as AU $3.23 on the Dark Web, and logins for things like PayPal and Microsoft 365 can go even higher.

Hackers also don’t have to even be hackers anymore. There are “hacking kits” that are also sold on the Dark Web that any novice criminal can use to launch phishing attacks intended to breach a network.

In fact, a majority of cyberattacks (60%) are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses because they tend to have less security than enterprises.

What Can Happen When Your Business is Breached?

There are several contributing factors to the overall costs of a data breach, and they all mean bad things for a company that is affected. This is why adopting best practices for cybersecurity should be a high priority for any business.

Here are some of the ways that a data breach can impact your business.

Expensive Business Disruption

Downtime can cost a business thousands of dollars each hour. There are downtime costs when a cyberattack first happens and lost productivity for several days afterwards as your office deals with the problem.

The average time it takes to resolve a cyberattack is 23 days, and 51 days if it was an insider attack (which are more difficult to find).

The business disruption can cost you customers, productivity, and forward motion as you’re spending time, money, and effort to resolve the breach.

Loss of Customers & Trust

Trust is a big factor in both gaining new customers and retaining current customers. 80% of Australians are “very concerned” about personal data breaches.

If your company suffers a data breach that exposes sensitive client information (names, phone numbers, payment details, etc.) you can instantly lose trust with customers causing them to leave you and go elsewhere.

New customers will also be wary about trusting your business with their data if you’ve had a breach in the past.

Data Privacy Compliance Penalties

Penalties for data breaches can be stiff when it comes to Australia’s Data Privacy Act. The fines may be getting higher, due to the government introducing new stiffer regulations.

It’s projected that the maximum penalty for serious or repeated breaches will increase from AU $2.1 million to AU $10 million, or 3x the value of any benefit obtained through misuse of information, or 10% of the breaching entity’s annual Australian turnover.

A breach can leave you with multiple costs, not the least of which may be the fine that you have to pay for data privacy violations.

Direct Monetary Losses

One of the popular types of malware hackers use in a breach is a banking trojan. This type of malicious code seeks out any login credentials to online banking or mobile wallet accounts that may be on a device.

A breach of this kind can allow a hacker to directly access your personal or company bank accounts to wire money out to themselves and leave you with high monetary losses.

Loss of Data

Once a hacker breaches your system or cloud account, not only can they steal your data, they can also delete it from your system once they’ve done that.

Data loss can cost an average of AU $205 per lost record. The resulting loss can lead to long-term downtime or loss of vital information that you have no way of retrieving if you don’t have a reliable backup. Unfortunately, many companies don’t properly back up their cloud account data.

Put a Solid Cybersecurity Plan in Place with GKM2

From network firewalls to device and web protection, we can help you ensure your Sydney business is protected from an expensive data breach.

Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.