Consequences of poor cybersecurity management and how to avoid becoming a statistic

Consequences of poor cybersecurity management and how to avoid becoming a statistic

With about 350,000 new malware threats released daily and nearly one cyberattack occurring every 39 seconds, safeguarding data has been thrust upon business owners and executives as a top business priority. Undergoing a comprehensive technology assessment is recommended as the best place to start because it exposes weaknesses in current IT infrastructure and identifies areas for remediation before malicious actors exploit vulnerabilities.

Another necessary step in data security is improving cybersecurity management — the sum of processes, policies, and solutions that an organization implements to protect data from phishing scams, malware attacks, and other threats. The hurdles to improving overall cybersecurity management include changing old, established habits such as recycling or sharing passwords, setting too-broad access permissions, and not encrypting data.

Poor cybersecurity management practices can lead to any or all of the consequences listed below:

1. Data loss

Inadequate end-user security, employee negligence, and poor password management are just some of the reasons hackers succeed in infiltrating systems. Once cybercriminals breach an organization’s network, data can be stolen or corrupted. Loss of data integrity is disastrous if a business does not have a backup and disaster recovery plan. Without the customer, application, or network data needed to run a business, operations grind to a halt, which has resulted in demise for certain organizations.

2. Productivity loss due to downtime

Downtime caused by cyberattacks leads to productivity loss. When systems become infected with malware, for instance, team members cannot perform routine tasks while the issue is remediated and systems are restored. Unplanned downtime negatively impacts the corporate supply chain, which causes production bottlenecks and missed deadlines.

3. Noncompliance fines

Governing bodies and regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) set the standards for data protection.

Should a company be found to have violated government regulations because of poor cybersecurity management, it is likely to pay fines and penalties according to the severity of violation and level of culpability.

4. Ransomware extortion

Poor cybersecurity management can allow systems to be infected by ransomware, a type of malware that encrypts files and prevents the original owner from accessing data. Perpetrators usually threaten to delete important data, publish sensitive information, or block access unless a ransom is paid.

Experts highly discourage paying ransomware fees because there is no certainty that hackers will restore access to data even after the ransom is paid. However, the number of ransomware attacks continue to escalate since some companies with inadequate backup and disaster recovery plans have determined that paying a hefty ransom and hoping to recover data was the best option given the circumstances.

5. Reputational damage

If an organization falls prey to cyberattack, it can suffer reputational damage in the public eye. A company experiencing a damaged reputation may suffer multiple financial pain vectors in the form of declining customer patronage and falling stock price, since trust wavers in a company that is unable to protect consumer data.

6. Lawsuits

Class-action lawsuits are becoming more common in relation to cyberattacks. Victims may demand compensation for the inconvenience a company allowed through inadequate data security practices. In such cases, businesses incur attorney fees, settlement amounts, court costs, and other charges.

How can cybersecurity management be improved?

Implementing advanced cybersecurity management tools is necessary in order to make security management more effective. One effective tool is Abacode’s MCCP Core™, a unified solution that helps businesses predict and prevent cyberthreats while staying compliant with regulatory mandates. By combining a suite of cybersecurity and compliance services into one managed service, companies gain organizational efficiency and substantial cost savings.

Training employees, including phishing simulations, is also vital to keeping data safe. A workforce that understands its role in protecting data will improve cybersecurity habits. And if staff can identify, manage, and report threats, the company better safeguards systems against attacks that rely on social engineering to succeed, like business email compromise.

Roebuck Technologies provides comprehensive IT support and managed services that help achieve business objectives. Learn more about how our tech solutions can improve efficiency, productivity, and savings. Contact us today.

Doug Coleman

Doug Coleman

Chief Operating Officer

Doug possesses over 20 years of expertise in corporate finance, information systems, logistics, supply chain management and competitive strategies. He has served in executive management not only for The Roebuck Group, but also Commercial Carrier Corporation, a nationwide transportation and logistics provider. Additionally, he served in senior management at Vology, a global value-added reseller of technology solutions. Doug earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Florida as well as a Juris Doctorate degree from Stetson University College of Law.