Data breaches are something that affect more and more businesses every year. Though the immediate effects can be catastrophic, there are long-lasting effects that remain far after the initial threat has passed.
Data Breaches: A Major Threat to Trust and Reputation
Loss of trust in a brand is one of the most cited effects of a data breach. If a potential customer knows you’ve experienced a data breach, they could be less likely to share personal information. They will be more likely to pass over your business altogether. Your current clients are also less likely to trust you in the future. If it was their data that was breached, they may choose to leave your services. Business will almost certainly be affected.
The Real Threat of Business Email Compromise
Or, what if someone gains access to your accounts and messages contacts on your behalf? This type of data breach is known as BEC, Business Email Compromise, and can seriously endanger your trusted contacts.
They might be sent an official-looking email with the intent on compromising their data or getting them to click a malicious link. The effects could ripple out with dire repercussions.
Being a victim of such a ploy would absolutely erode the confidence and loyalty of the customers who receive fraudulent emails. They may feel deceived, violated, or exploited by the business they trusted.
A business could even receive complaints, or have lawsuits filed against it, depending on the severity of the event. Your business may not recover.
A business suffering a data breach could later be subject to other legal action, if it broke any data protection, privacy, or anti-fraud laws. The consequence could involve anything from fines, penalties, or sanctions.
Protect Against Data Breaches
Protect your business with trainings, secure passwords and password practice, and knowledge of how these data breaches are enacted.
The six most common methods behind data breaches are:
- Ransomware: data held at ransom. An attacker will steal or encrypt your data, then threaten to release it to the public if they aren’t paid.
- Phishing: involves a fake, staged website mimicking the website of a reliable source. Elaborate stages to trick a user into giving their personal information or login.
- Malware or viruses: sent with the intent to erase or corrupt someone’s data.
- Stolen Information: this can be a personalized attack or human error. There could be a goal of stealing customer information or prototypes of services.
- Password guessing: whether a threat actor gets a password physically or through guessing, this can be catastrophic. Someone may use a brute-force attack, when people submit password guesses repeatedly in the hopes of finding the right one, to get the password.
- Recording keystrokes: threat actors can attach malicious software called keyloggers to record what someone types into their computer. When done, everything types is recorded, regardless of if the text was visible on the screen or not.
Data breaches and business email compromises are serious threats that can have devastating and long-lasting impacts on a business’s credibility. The loss of trust from both potential and current customers, the potential for legal action, and the negative impact on business operations are just some of the outcomes from these threats.
However, businesses are not helpless in the face of these threats. By implementing robust security measures, including training, secure password practices, and understanding the common methods behind data breaches, businesses can significantly reduce their risk. Prevention is better than fixing a problem; protection before you’ve been affected is the best option.