Last year saw an eye-watering 93% of UK enterprises targeted with coronavirus-related malware tactics, with 88% of cybersecurity professionals announcing a spike in phishing attacks. While once renowned for scams designed to take people’s money, today cybercriminals use phishing strategies to steal companies’ dedicated data stores loaded with private enterprise information and personal data on customers and staff.
Loaded with malicious links and devious downloads, phishing emails can be disruptive at best when dealt with correctly and can cause chaos and leaked information when mishandled.
The short- and long-term consequences of a data breach can be exceptionally damaging for firms. Below, we’ll look at some of risks companies will run if they don’t take phishing attacks seriously and safeguards against them.
After announcing a data leak, any firm’s reputation will suffer a serious blow. Regardless of how resourceful your public relations partner is, a headline stating you’ve been hacked can remain in people’s minds for years to come.
Following a data breach, firms will find consumers less likely to purchase from them or use available services, sometimes for many months. UK surveys show that around 40% of customers will never return to using a business following a leak leading to a significant financial loss.
Share prices can plummet after a data leak, with investors losing confidence and voting with their feet. In 2018, data breaches suffered by British Airways and Facebook resulted in major losses. The airline’s share price dropped by more than 4%, while the social media platform’s valuation fell by $36bn (£25.9bn).
From reporting risks to choking inboxes with spam, phishing emails can be disruptive, but when they result in malware being downloaded, they can be devastating. Ransomware, for example, can lock users out of their own systems, software, and files. This will not only cause a data breach but result in businesses being unable to operate or provide services to their customers. Forensic investigations into attacks are not only expensive but often involve substantial downtime for infrastructure while new protection measures are installed.
Here in the UK, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) ensures that companies obey strict data protection regulations. If a firm is found to have misused, mishandled private information or taken insufficient measures, the watchdog will dish out fines that can amount to millions, crippling companies.
Specialists in cybersecurity protocols
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