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What Can Happen If My Network Is Breached?

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Man sitting on couch with glasses in his hand and fingers pressed to his temples

This is probably the single biggest question that people wonder about as they consider enhancing their cybersecurity.  After all, the argument goes, “I’m just a small business. I don’t have anything of real value. What could possibly happen if my network was breached?”

There are many possible consequences that could result from a breach of your network or data. What the actual consequences are depends on a number of factors, including just what was breached and how the breach happened. But in general, here is a partial list of some of the consequences —

Loss of Customer Confidence

None of us want to try to explain to a customer why their personal information that they had entrusted to our enterprise was lost to hackers. It’s bad enough to try to explain if we’ve done all we reasonably could to try to protect customer data. It’s far worse if that breach happened because we hadn’t been vigilant in building network security.

Theft of Finances

Yes, the bad guys do at time take actual money. Whether the breach happened at your bank or because a key logger on your smart phone captured your bank credentials, the result is the same – you could lose real money in a very short time. And unfortunately, there are many scenarios in which you will be unable to recover any of that cash.

Cost To Recover

A growing number of states and other entities are enacting legislation requiring action of any business that loses customer personally identifiable information (PII). While the exact details vary by locale, the result is the same – a significant hit to your bottom line. If you want to learn more about the cost to you if your customer’s information is stolen, just search for “Cost to business for data loss” in any search engine.

Identity Theft

So you discover that whoever breached your network stole identity information for your business? The theft of that identity can have serious consequences for you. At the most basic level, you may find that someone has used your business credit card to order expensive cigars from oversees. At a more serious level, you may find that your credit rating has been trashed as expensive loans have been taken in your name.

Inconvenience

Data loss is inconvenient. But as serious as actual data loss can be the loss of services.

Loss Of Business Resources

While data loss itself is bad enough, hackers can do much more than simply take information.  Remember the hack of the Sand Francisco metro system over Thanksgiving 2016?  That ransomware attack resulted in the San Francisco system being unable to collect fares for some time.  They lost that revenue and can never recover it.

But don’t think that you’re too small to lose resources.  How about if someone hacked that internet enabled thermostat and refused to let you heat your facilities until you paid a bitcoin ransom?  Or what if your internet connected car was compromised, and you couldn’t back out of the driveway until you paid a bitcoin ransom?  Attacks that keep you from using a resource a termed ‘Denial of Service’ attacks.  As more and more of our lives are connected to the internet, we become increasingly susceptible to loss of resources.

Business Going Bankrupt

Lawsuits From Others Affected By Your Breach

Possible Loss of Life

This is the area that scares me the most. What if a housebound individual is found dead after a power outage caused by a network breach? Or how about if a control system is compromised, and it shows a high voltage line as dead when it’s really energized? What if a lineman contacted that line and died from the shock? Or a car that has had it’s software hacked and is steered into coming traffic by the attacker? There are a growing number of scenarios that could see loss of life from a network breach.

Conclusion

Free Cybersecurity Assessment

Are you wanting to see how secure your company credentials are? Let us do a Free Company Cybersecurity Assessment! 

This no-cost service will give you the chance to learn some ways your network can be hardened against the bad guys.  Request an assessment online or give us a call to setup your scan today!

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