5 devastating things that can happen to your business if you don’t prepare for a cyber attack

The days of cyber attacks being something that happens to other people’s businesses are gone, but Gloucestershire has cyber security experts who can help you avoid the very worst outcomes.

The spike in cybercrime during the pandemic will have made every Gloucestershire business owner shudder.

A security breach can devastate even the most resilient company, with experts using phrases like ‘extinction event’ to describe the very worst outcomes.

With a general consensus that all businesses and organisations will fall victim to a cyber attack sooner or later, the obligation to act has never been greater.

SoGlos takes a look at five devastating things that can happen to your business if you don’t prepare for a cyber attack and offers three simple solutions for protecting your business.

About the sponsor – CDS Defence & Security

CDS Defence & Security is a Gloucestershire-based consultancy with a deep understanding of engineering, cyber security and information assurance within the defence and security sector.

The business uses its knowledge to improve an organisation’s operational effectiveness, maximise people performance and reduce risk. Its team has significant experience serving on UK military operations, and an ability to integrate seamlessly into a business to identify and overcome challenges.

For more information, visit CDS Defence & Security.

1. The economic and financial cost of cyber attack

Financial loss – it is the first thing most businesses face when they are a victim of a cyber attack. And it is often considerable.

Think theft of money, disruption to trading, theft of corporate and financial information (bank details and payment card details) and a loss of business contracts as a result.

And then there is the cost of repairing affected systems, devices and networks.

2. Reputational damage

The trust businesses work so hard to build is worth its weight in gold and essential to good customer relationships.

A cyber attack can take it away in a flash. The result – a loss of sales, customers and profits. The impact can also damage relationships with suppliers, partners, investors and others who rely on your business.

3. Legal consequences

Data protection laws make it your responsibility to manage the security of the personal data you hold.

While a cyber attack is now an inevitability, the steps you have taken to keep your systems secure, the procedures you have in place for before, during and after an attack, and how you learn from it will help protect you financially and reputationally – but legally too.

4. Loss of productivity

Your business may simply not be able to operate – from taking payment to producing goods. Productivity will be affected and in a worst case, lost altogether.

Before you can turn everything back on again, you will need your IT cleaned, checked, the root cause identified, vulnerability fixed, security reinforced and a list of lessons to learn.

It’s one heck of a list, but it will give you, your staff, your customers, your investors, the ICO, confidence in your business.

5. Business continuity

In a worst-case scenario, the impact of a cyber attack is so severe it threatens business continuity.

If your business depends almost entirely on being able to operate online, then just one cyber attack could be enough to put you out of business.

The advice is simple – make cyber security part of your business continuity strategy.

So… what can you do?

A breach of your digital security can devastate even the most resilient business. From now on in it is about managing risk – and much of that also means what you do in response.

1. Be responsible

All incidents must be reported within 72 hours to the Information Commissioner’s Office. And while it can fine you, the ICO will be happy to know you are taking all possible precautions, sharing the information to protect others and being responsible.

Being responsible also means cleaning up the affected systems in your business and being able to get your business back up and running as quickly as possible.

2. Get expert advice

Gloucestershire is blessed with incredible talent in the area of cyber security risk management. Look for a firm that understands what your business needs are, that can grow with you.

And remember, it is not just the cyber side of your business you need to consider. Do not ignore the human element – so often the weakest link. Invest in training, education, build a culture of awareness that is ongoing.

3. Undertake a cyber essentials assessment

And finally, all businesses should take advantage of a cyber essentials or cyber essentials plus assessment – with any organisation that handles data needing to at least be cyber essentials certified.

A National Cyber Security Centre initiative, the former is a quick assessment businesses can undertake to check they’ve got the right processes in place to mitigate against 80 per cent of cyber attacks, with the plus version a more indepth version of this.

It is a fairly simple solution and a service offered by CDS Defence & Security.

For more information, visit CDS Defence & Security.

By Andrew Merrell

Follow SoGlos on LinkedIn and sign-up to the weekly SoGlos business newsletter for the very latest Gloucestershire business news stories.

© SoGlos
Wednesday 28 July 2021

More hot lists you might like...

Business is booming in Gloucestershire, with SoGlos handpicking 10 unique growth businesses to keep an eye on.

10 more unique growth businesses in Gloucestershire to watch

Discover 10 more Gloucestershire businesses showing impressive growth, exciting innovation and creating new employment opportunities,...

SoGlos readers across Gloucestershire have been nominating their #GlosHeroes and we’re proud to be celebrating our final 10, this September 2021.

10 #GlosHeroes to celebrate this September

In the final instalment of the campaign, SoGlos is celebrating our last 10 #GlosHeroes this September 2021, with support from...

From silver bangles to leather satchels, New Brewery Arts in Cirencester has a packed programme of craft workshops to try this autumn – with SoGlos sharing 10 in this hot list.

10 crafty weekend workshops to try this autumn at New Brewery Arts

If you’ve always wanted to give crafting a go, there’s never been a better time, with 10 weekend workshops to try this autumn...

Green energy supplier, Ecotricity, shares seven simple ways Gloucestershire businesses can operate more sustainably.

7 simple ways to make your Gloucestershire business more sustainable

From encouraging staff to cycle to work to reducing your carbon footprint, Stroud-based Ecotricity shares seven simple tips...

SoGlos has handpicked seven of our favourite shows from the Everyman Theatre autumn 2021 line-up.

7 unmissable shows at the Everyman Theatre this autumn

From West End comedies to bold musical shows, the Everyman Theatre’s autumn 2021 season is coming to the stage – with SoGlos...

Don’t miss

Unmissable highlights