Cybersecurity has become a top priority across every sector and industry: government, healthcare, business, trade, manufacturing and more…the scale of attacks/breaches/incidents has grown and cyber incidents now cost hundreds of billions of dollars—and is expected to soon cross into the trillions.
Even just a single incident, such as the Sony Pictures hack (the disaster that was “The Interview”) can cost upwards of $100 million. For a brand the size of Sony, and just one part of its entertainment arm which, even alone, might be worth $20 billion, that $100 million represented a recoverable hit.
Scaled down that’s like if you had about twenty grand worth of assets in an account and something took a $100 hit. You could recover from that.
For private and consumer attacks, adjusting for scale and considering the collective impact, you have a much bigger problem than a giant like Sony Pictures.
Impact of an Attack
The predicted impact of an attack can differ as dramatically as individuals differ. When considering the cost, though, it’s important to look at potential associated expenses and hidden variables:
- Identity theft, which a consumer may potentially not have to bear the cost of, can still cost many hours to resolve.
- Botnet attacks, while not necessarily debilitating a business, can slow production or turn away potential internet buyers with slow-downs. Employees or consumers may spend additional hours, as tasks take an undue period of time.
- Word-of-mouth still drives most businesses, so any slowed or delayed transaction, any casual mentions of a “cyber incident” may lead to decreased word-of-mouth resources.
Putting out a fire also can cost much more than just preventing it in the first place.
Beyond just the cost to you as an individual or to your small business, taken as a whole, private small businesses account for a significant portion of the global economy. In the United States, small businesses generate an estimated 64% of new jobs and paid 44% of the total private payroll. In the UK, small businesses account for 60% of all private sector employment.
The continued smooth operations of small businesses are necessary for the health of the economy in likely every nation. And since all businesses are made up of individuals, attacks on consumers spill over into every sector of the global economy.
Fight Back Like a Pro
Large businesses have access to cyber security resources, but so can you. Big industries have systems in place, standard operating procedures across their sector, to prepare for all kinds of events, but so can you.
As the saying goes, a good defense is the best offense. Every private individual should start with password protection and phishing-scheme-avoidance education. If every person who understood these two basic defense mechanisms shared them with three people who do not, we would soon have a very different success rate on cyber attacks.
Phishing attacks and brute force password hacking account for a huge portion of cyber insecurity.
After you secure your own mask, and that of those next to you, take security defense preparation to the next level with threat intelligence feeds that predict and defend. The best on the market go beyond “big name” attack monitoring, through countless variables adapted for the needs and devices in your day-to-day operations.
Consumers interact with thousands of electronic devices, internet-connected devices, and internet-based sales and activities. How those areas of potential cyber insecurity intersect has limitless variables, and so, then, should your ability to customize such to the needs of your operations.
Private and consumer cyber attacks may be more debilitating than large-scale attacks, but you don’t need to become a statistic.