What are the consequences of a computer attack?

The impact of corporate hacking

Companies are increasingly dependent on IT. That’s why cyber-attacks are becoming more and more frequent. When these attacks succeed, they can have serious consequences for the victims.

A financial loss

Following a computer attack, a company can suffer financial losses. These will be all the more important in the face of ransomware. With this type of attack, companies are tempted to pay the ransom demanded by the hacker. This isn’t a good idea, as it will enable the ransomware to be reused and an even higher ransom to be demanded.

In other types of attack, the financial loss may be due to the forced shutdown of business activities caused by the intrusion. Important data relating to an ongoing project, for example, would be lost. The project will then be temporarily suspended. The longer this suspension lasts, the more losses accumulate.

The attack may also have caused the company’s hardware to become unavailable. Remote communications, for example, may have been deactivated. A business that relies solely on IT will then have to wait for repairs before it can provide its services again.

What’s more, repairing a computer system in the event of an attack will be very expensive. This type of repair doesn’t just concern a single workstation, but the entire corporate IT network. On average, the cost of restoration after a stroke is up to €97,000 .

A loss of customer confidence

After being attacked, a company risks losing the trust of its customers. Once the latter have entrusted the company with information concerning them, the company becomes responsible for it. For this reason, its customers won’t appreciate the fact that their data has been stolen by hackers.

Customers will then turn to other companies they consider safer. People who have heard about the incident will be reluctant to entrust their data to the company.

In many cases, people who have lost their data will even file a complaint against the company. This will result in substantial legal costs. To offset these costs, it’s essential to take out cyber insurance.

A company’s image can be tarnished if it falls victim to an attack. It should also be noted that it’s not just large companies that are affected. To limit the consequences of a computer attack, you need to inform the authorities as soon as possible. Next, a communication plan must be put in place to maintain the company’s reputation.

What about individuals ?

Computer attacks can also have serious consequences for private individuals. A loss of data will be serious if it concerns information that the individual needs for his or her work. In the event of data theft, individuals suffer significant financial losses.

The hacker can use credit card numbers to make purchases. The victim will then find his or her bank account emptied or blocked. Using the stolen data, the hacker can also impersonate the victim. This will serve his dishonest purposes.

He may, for example, extort money from his victim’s relatives, or use her identity to damage the company she works for. An effective way for a hacker to extract money from a company is to impersonate its CEO or other high-ranking person. The hacker may simply seek to damage his victim’s reputation.

Damage control solutions

There are a number of ways to reduce the risk of a successful attack. However, no 100%  reliable solution exists. This means that, even with the right security measures in place, a company is still vulnerable. This means not just blocking attacks, but also establishing a strategy to be applied in the event of a problem.

In the event of a ransomware attack, the last thing you want to do is give in to the hacker’s demands by paying the ransom. It’s important to turn to professionals who will do their utmost to solve the problem. Even if the intervention of an expert proves costly, it will be less so in proportion to the consequences of a cyber-attack not mastered in time.

To protect yourself from computer attacks, you need to take action on several levels : data backup, secure messaging and awareness-raising. These three points are fundamental, and it’s essential to train your staff to be more cautious in the face of the traps set by pirates.

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