How Much Would A Cyberattack And Data Breach Cost Your Small Business? Can You Prevent One?

A cyberattack and data breach can have massive consequences for your small business, and you may not really understand its potential economic and non-economic costs for your company. 

What Are the Economic Costs of a Cyberattack on a Business?

An insurance survey indicates that there's a major disconnect between what many business owners think a cyberattack on their IT system will cost them and what it actually does. Fully 40% of small companies think they might lose $1,000 as a result of a cyberattack, but the real figure runs between $15,000 and $25,000.

A lot of this cost comes from the physical expenses caused by the disruption to your business, including the need to allocate human resources to handle the attack, efforts to prevent or minimize actual data breaches, and the expense of restoring or replacing parts of your company's computer system, including security software. You may also have to shell out quite a bit of money to reassure your customers and clients that their data is safe.

What Are the Non-Economic Costs of a Cyberattack on a Company?

If a cyberattack is successful and the culprits are able to access sensitive data about your operations, your employees, or your customers, the reputational damage your company suffers can be immense. Consumers increasingly expect companies to go above and beyond with their cybersecurity. Any lapses can expose you to public scrutiny and loss of trust — and that translates into lost revenue.

What Can You Do to Limit Cyberattacks and Data Breaches for Your Company?

There are numerous steps you can take to protect your company's data from intrusions and thefts. Often, good IT security starts with employee education. You want to teach your employees to recognize the signs of trouble, like phishing attacks and malware attachments. You also want to:

  • Use Monitoring and Detection Systems: Software exists that is designed to identify and respond to attempts by intruders to access your IT system in real-time. That can prevent major damage.
  • Update Your Software Regularly: Cyber thieves come up with new methods all the time. Your company needs to constantly have its software and systems up-to-date.
  • Employ Data Encryption Services: If your company's sensitive data is encrypted when it is stored, that can greatly minimize the impact of an actual security breach. Whatever the cyber thieves gain, they won't be able to use without the right keys.
  • Back Up Your Data: If your IT system goes down under a cyberattack, the faster you can restore normal operations, the more consumer confidence you may keep.

Contact an IT support services provider to learn more.