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When your business is hacked, it affects not only information related to the business, but also information of your clients. For a business owner, situations like these can end up in gravely negative consequences. The hacker could gain full access to all of your business’s bookkeeping, which could be disastrous.

There may be a small business owner thinking, “I run a small business, who would hack me?!” Regrettably, you’re mistaken. Smaller businesses are actually more prone to hackers and security threat than larger businesses are. 

Marketing is another area that can deeply hurt your business if your website is hacked. If you receive malicious codes on your website, it will intensely influence your search rankings. Search engines like Google bring your website up, not just for links and content, but also if that particular website is secure for users. If your website is compromised, you will find a deflation of your domain until you get it cleaned up.

The Major Consequences for a Business that has been Hacked

 

Loss in Sales

Bad news travels faster than the speed of light. If your business website is hacked and information has been compromised, it is most likely that the public will stay away from your business, no matter what.

Reputation can be Damaged

Once your business website is hacked, it can be a challenge to get your good reputation back. It is extremely hard to win consumer trust in the first place. Rebuilding their trust is even harder. The best you can do is spend hours and hours on public relations, marketing, and reputation management.

Costs from Compensation

Once you know your business website has been compromised, you need to win back your clients and consumers. You may need to give compensation to your clients through offering identity theft insurance and/or free credit monitoring. It may be free for your clients, but for you, it is a lot more than free.

Legal Action

Unfortunately, lawsuits are routine nowadays. Irrespective of if you win or lose, legal action expenditures can be quite huge. If the breach happened because your company made mistakes, it’s probably safe to assume that the law will not stand on your side.

Fines

Here’s some good news for you. If an individual’s credit card is used fraudulently, they are not required to foot the bill. The bank will do the refunding. And, now, the bad news. You will be passed on those charges by the bank as a fine.

Audits by the Government

Irrespective of the country you are doing business in, if it is large enough, there is a big possibility that the country’s government organization (in our case, the Federal Trade Commission of the United States of America) will come knocking at your door to perform an audit. There may even be a chance that they decide to impose a fine on your company if they find non-compliance to guidelines like PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

Costs for Remediation

Don’t think that the consequences end here. You will also be required to fulfill internal remediation costs. What are remediation costs, you say? Well these costs comprise of the following:

  1. Costs to inspect what happened
  2. Costs to improve your security position
  3. Costs of firing and hiring employees
  4. Costs of whatever it will take to re-mediate your inner information security environment

Conclusion

With such dire consequences like these, you can see how easily the costs mount up when a business is hacked. Most businesses find it extremely difficult to recover from not complying with the PCI DSS Standards.  The best you can do is ensure that you are following the rules and regulations of your area and initiate security standards into your company.


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