Many Businesses Are Forced To Close After A CyberAttack

June 19, 2024  |  Mark Hillary

Every year IBM updates their cost of a data breach report. The latest version of the report was published in 2023 and features information from over 550 organizations that suffered a data breach.

The bottom line is that a data breach is expensive. The IBM data suggests that the average cost of the recovery operation is $4.45 million. This is just an average across hundreds of examples — some companies have suffered far more damage and expense.

One of the issues is that there is damage to a company in multiple ways. First, they need to create an emergency response to deal with the situation — possibly a malicious cyberattack. They need to recover their systems and data. They need to deal with regulators if working in a regulated industry and they also need to manage the damage to their reputation.

Just imagine if the personal details of all your customers were leaked and the media reported on the story. How would you handle these customers and how would you attract new customers when you clearly can’t protect their personal data?

Around sixty percent of small companies close down within six months of a data breach. This is the real story here. You must protect your data or you may no longer have a company.

A good example of how a data breach can affect a business is taking place in May 2024 in the USA. Ascension healthcare is one of the largest healthcare groups in the country and operates 140 hospitals in around half of all the US states.

Ascension was targeted in a ransomware attack. This is where the hackers seize data or prevent a system functioning, then they demand a ransom in return for the safe return of the data. It’s modern piracy and many companies are forced to pay because they cannot continue operating without their data.

Naturally, Ascension has not revealed how they are negotiating with the criminals, but one thing has been very clear to all employees and customers (who are usually patients inside a hospital). Over the past few weeks the entire healthcare group has been forced to operate without an IT system. Nothing is connected. Medical employees have been reduced to using pen and paper in 2024 making the flow of patient information extremely difficult. Fax has made a comeback as the only way to send information remotely.

This is just one example and it is ongoing, so the final outcome is unknown at present, but it is an important demonstration of how serious data protection really is. your business may not be able to function without access to the essential data and systems that you normally use.

IBA Group offers a service called Red Teaming, which simulates a cyberattack. In fact, this is not really a simulation. Experts will attempt to hack into your system in the same way that criminals attempt to. The difference is that these are ethical hackers — they will not damage the company that has been hacked, they will report how they gained access, so the company can tighten security.

Penetration and vulnerability testing is critical in any modern business that relies on data. It is unimaginable for most companies today to operate without email, messaging, and access to the internet – everyone is connected and data needs to flow and be processed.

For more information on IT security services provided by IBA Group, including the Red Teaming service, please click here. Follow IBA Group on LinkedIn for regular updates and comment. 

    Access full story Leave your corporate email to get a file.

      Subscribe A bank transforms the way they work and reach