The focus for many cyber criminals, even as recently as a few years ago, used to be deploying malware to attack and gain access to a target company’s systems. The victims were usually large national or multi-national companies, as they were seen as having potential for big payouts for attackers. While those types of attacks still happen, there has been a shift in attackers’ methods in recent years.
Today, small- and mid-sized companies that may have thought they were under attackers’ radar are being targeted more frequently. The attacks themselves have changed too, often comprised of ransomware attacks designed to hit healthcare companies and other non-traditional targets who are seen as more vulnerable to penetration, rather than malware incidents.
Fastest Growing Crime in the U.S.
As the number of attacks has increased in recent years, so too has the sophistication and the cost of those attacks. In fact, the potential impact and the scope of cyber incidents today are significant.
It’s estimated that cybercrime cost the global economy more than $450 billion in 2016, with more than 2 billion people’s records compromised. That cost could rise to $6 trillion/year by 2021. In the U.S., cyber theft is now the fastest-growing crime.
No Business is Immune
Regardless of what industry your business operates in or where you physically operate, you are a potential target for the criminal element. According to Verizon’s “2016 Data Breach Investigations Report”, “no locale, no industry, or organization is bullet proof when it comes to the compromise of data.”
And, the size of your business doesn’t seem to matter either. A full one-half of small and medium-sized businesses reported experiencing at least one cyber attack in the last year, according to a recent report. Because smaller businesses have fewer resources at their disposal, they are often seen as easy targets.
Big Business for Criminals with Disastrous Results for Businesses
Unfortunately, cybercrime can be very profitable for attackers. Entire markets have sprung up on the “dark web” providing criminals the tools and resources they need to carry out ransomware and other attacks.
For a business that is targeted by such an attack, the average cost is staggering. According to a recent Accenture study, the average attack costs $11.7 million. While a breach in any industry can have catastrophic results, breaches for financial services and health care businesses can be significantly more expensive because of the regulatory framework those businesses must operate within. Of course, reputational damage after an attack can take a toll too.
Even for a business that can shoulder the out-of-pocket burden that comes with a cyber attack, downtime can mean lost business and opportunities. Evidence indicates that 80 percent of small businesses whose systems are down for 3-5 days after an attack will not survive the next year.
Is Your Business Prepared to Weather a Cyber Attack?
Having cyber security measures and tailored, tested incident response procedures in place is critically important for every business today. Your systems and processes should be designed to thwart would-be attackers who want to employ malware, ransomware or other means to breach your systems. Of course, your plan should also provide for rapid recovery in the event your safeguards are compromised.
Norwell Technology Group and Infrascale can help you with every element of your plan, from identifying risks, brainstorming strategies, training your workforce, and implementing smart, cost-effective recovery methodologies designed to have your company back on track quickly after an attack. To learn more, call Norwell today at 877-277-9648, or contact us online.