It takes less time to pull off a data breach than it does to brew a pot of coffee. Over 90% of breaches happen in a minute or less, but more than 80% of businesses take days—or even weeks—to realize the effects. Data breaches have numerous consequences, and we will look at some of the most serious below.
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Revenue losses are a common result of security breaches. Research shows that almost 30% of businesses that deal with data breaches lose revenue. Of that number, many companies lost 20% or more. A crashed website, for instance, may lead potential buyers to look elsewhere. However, any downtime can disrupt a workflow. With our Corporate IT Services, however, it’s possible to minimize downtime and the revenue losses that come with it.
Security breaches affect more than short-term revenue; they can have lasting reputational effects as well. For example, executives may not want their emails leaked. Customers’ privacy is important, too, and data breaches typically involve payment information. Potential buyers may be reluctant to trust businesses with a reputation for a history of poor data security.
Intellectual Property Loss
Reputation damage and lost revenue can be devastating. In some cases, though, hackers also target strategies, plans, and designs. Companies in the construction and manufacturing industries are more susceptible to these threats, which can affect competitiveness and give rivals privileged information.
The costs we’ve discussed so far are only the beginning. There are numerous hidden expenses associated with data breaches, too. Legal fees often come into play, and companies may end up spending more on investigations and public relations and increased insurance premiums. Fines and penalties are often overlooked. For instance, the FCC once fined AT&T $25 million for a data breach that led to the disclosure of thousands of customers’ payment and account information.
Some hackers see themselves as little more than merry pranksters. In these situations, security breaches may only lead to minor site changes. While these attacks seem relatively harmless, they can cause significant damage, as slight changes are more difficult to notice. For instance, hackers may change a company’s phone number by one or two digits, or they may add explicit content to a webpage.
Protecting Companies from Security Breaches
Data breaches are becoming increasingly common, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down. 2021 was a record-breaking year for breaches, with 20% more than in the previous year.
While security breaches affect companies of all sizes, and there’s no way to prevent them completely, there are a few common-sense data protection tips business owners can use. First, be sure important software is updated frequently to mitigate security vulnerabilities. Second, consider encrypting customers’ data, and third, don’t open risky emails. Ultimately, your risk of all this would be drastically reduced with IT services focused on security.
Though these tips will help reduce the risk of security breaches and data loss, more help may be needed. Investing in managed IT services will help business owners detect threats and head them off before they cause lasting and widespread damage. For additional information on our IT solutions, call or click today.