It is impossible to avoid coming across a data breach in the news. From major healthcare providers to universities, enterprises, government offices, and cities, those who fall foul to this prevalent problem are diverse. While some data breaches are the result of an accident, in this article, we’ll look at events that occur due to cybercriminal intent. What happens when such incidents happen will vary case by case, but cybercriminal data breaches typically have both short and long-term impacts.

Data breaches globally cost an average of $4.35 million in 2022.

Immediate effects of a cybercrime data breach

When detected, the initial impact of a cybercriminal data breach is a disruption to normal business processes. The threat and risk to company systems and data must be analysed and, in most cases, networks, websites and devices must be taken offline to prevent further compromise. An investigation must be conducted to examine what type of data has been leaked, who it belongs to, and its sensitivity. The company must also assess when the breach took place and how long data has been vulnerable for. This work takes time and diverts employees from their daily roles, interrupting company workflow at a loss to productivity and profitability. For the duration that systems are shut down, a company may not be able to trade or provide services at further cost to its annual revenues.

Detailed reports must be made to data regulators, like the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) here in the UK, and any data subjects must be informed of the risk they have been put under. The company many need to compensate those impacted or at least provide free credit-monitoring services to protect them. If the firm is found to have taken insufficient measures to defend data against an attack that could have been prevented, they may face a weighty fine from regulators.

Longer-term damage from a data breach

Loss of customers is one of the most common long-term consequences of a cybercriminal data breach. If a firm’s customer base feels it cannot be trusted to protect its interests, it will vote with its feet in most cases. This damage to a business’s reputation can lead its loyal customers to sign up with competitors, resulting in a loss of commerce and profits.

High-profile breaches often make the headlines, which may not only lead customers to quit companies, but others involved too. Valued partners and employees whose information is exposed in a breach may also leave the sinking ship. A show of no confidence can lead to drastic drops in stock value and, in extreme cases, can even close companies down for good.

Taking necessary measures to protect against data breaches

Companies can avoid fines from regulators and leaked data harming their customers and employees when they use end-to-end encryption to secure their assets and communications. At Galaxkey, we provide cutting-edge encryption that adds three layers of protection to data files and emails, ensuring your sensitive content remains secure against a breach, whether it is at rest or on the move. Contact us today and get a quick demonstration to see how your organisation can benefit.