When your business is hacked, it affects not only information related to the business but also your clients’ information. 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 more prone to hackers and security threats 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 it is 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 by offering identity theft insurance and free credit monitoring. It may be free for your clients, but it is a lot more than free for you.
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.
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 refund. 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:
- Costs to inspect what happened
- Costs to improve your security position
- Costs of firing and hiring employees
- Costs of whatever it will take to remediate your inner information security environment
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 follow the rules and regulations of your area and initiate security standards into your company.
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