Any company that has a presence online is open to attack from pretty much anywhere in the world. All a hacker needs is a computer and an internet connection.
In fact, crippling attacks can be purchased by anyone (with almost no technical know-how) for as little as $150 a week. The ease with which these attacks can be launched, and the havoc they can wreak, means they are a threat that needs to be seriously considered.
Harm from cyber attacks can come in many different forms:
- Your website and emails could go down for hours or days at a time.
- Your website could be completely removed from Google search results.
- Confidential information about your business and your customers (including billing information) could be stolen. The website owner is responsible for this data.
- Essential documents and data can be held to ransom.
- Fraudulent payments of large sums of money can be made out of business bank accounts.
The consequences of these attacks will naturally depend on your business, but they can be severe:
- The inconvenience of restricted access to communications, documents or your website.
- Loss of current or potential customers due your business being unable to fully function.
- Direct loss of cash due to fraud or the cost of finding technical solutions.
- Loss of reputation.
- Large fines; businesses are legally responsible for keeping customer information safe.
The knock on effect can be even worse.
According to government advice, a business being forced to close as the result of cyber crime is far from fiction. Fortunately the steps that can be taken to prevent this kind of damage are simple and effective. Just as locking your front door when you leave the house is common sense. With a few, basic, common sense, practices in place small businesses can carry on taking advantage of the huge power of digital, online technology.
The firm’s latest Global DDoS Threat Landscape Report found that the UK is the second-most targeted nation, being hit by 9.2 percent of all DDoS attacks in the first quarter of 2016, behind only the United States (50.3 percent).