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No matter how small or big your organization is, the chances that you have been or will be the victim of a cybersecurity attack are extremely high. The advances and innovations that are happening in technology have also caused hackers to adopt sophisticated tools to attack organizational networks at their Achilles heel.

Any attack today is not just a big blow on the security posture of  enterprise; it also tends to have extremely far-reaching financial repercussions – much to the surprise of most organizations. Read on to learn about the financial impact of the lack of network security and the steps you can take to protect yourself.


The rise in network security incidents

Network security has been of great concern to most organizations. But the sudden and widespread trend of work-from-home has made enterprise networks a common vector for threat actors. Right from weak spots to credential compromise, attackers today are wasting no time in planting enterprise network attacks. Here’s why network security is a cause for concern:

  • The increase in corporate attacks surface due to a large number of employees using home broadband connections for professional use.
  • The rise in brute-force attacks is a result of the potential impact of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) in bringing down corporate networks.
  • The surge in SNMP reflection attacks via IP address spoofing to trick printers, switches, firewalls, routers, and broadband networks.
  • The growth of malware and ransomware attacks that bypass familiar detection controls and infiltrate critical systems using approved tools that already exist within corporate networks.
  • The constant influx of phishing emails that are targeted at vulnerable and oblivious remote workers

The financial impact

The surge in network security-related incidents tends to have a great financial impact on the day-to-day functioning of modern businesses.

According to a recent study, the average cost of a data breach was as high as $3.86 million in 2020.

Listed below is the price organizations end up paying for lack of network security:

  • Ransom payment: One of the biggest financial repercussions of lack of network security lies in the payment of ransom to the tune of millions of dollars. Since any attack can disrupt day-to-day operations, most attackers demand a heavy ransom via cryptocurrency payment in return for a digital key that unlocks access to infected systems and restores operations as quickly as possible.
  • Bad reputation: When a network security incident occurs, there is a high chance for the organization to lose its reputation in the market – that can have a rippling effect on its functioning. Not only does bad reputation impact sales; it can also negatively influence employee behavior and even cause retention problems. Organizations also end up paying for extra PR to repair damage caused to the brand.
  • Lost customer trust: When a major network security incident occurs, it has the potential to lead to lost customer trust. Losing trust is not just about the business not being able to attract new customers; it also compels those who’ve had a long relationship with the brand to end their association. In the end, all this leads to lost business – which can cause the business to plummet or shut its doors forever.
  • Compliance fees: Lack of network security also damages credit ratings while requiring affected organizations to pay large sums in compliance fees – that includes attorney’s fees, prosecution fees as well as penalties. Insurance premiums also tend to skyrocket and also the cost of redeeming Intellectual Property.
  • Downtime: Network security-related incidents tend to result in massive downtime which can affect the day-to-day functioning of the business while rendering it ineffective or unproductive. With the average time to identify a breach being as high as 207 days, organizations end up with huge financial costs of downtime.
  • Poor employee morale: Network security exploits also have a colossal impact on employee morale. Low morale can not only kill productivity and performance; it can cause employees to feel uninspired and disengaged, making it difficult to meet project deadlines and organizational goals.
  • Professional expertise: Organizations who are at the receiving end of a network attack need to also spend heavily on seeking professional expertise. Although a qualified security provider can take quick and effective steps to minimize impact, it can include workaround costs, costs of new IT infrastructure, costs of new staff, and also costs of training users on best practices.
  • Compensation: Every network security attack also amasses costs related to timely investigation and response. It requires organizations to spend money on notifying appropriate regulatory organizations, identifying (and compensating) victims, issuing public statements, as well as on internal and external communication campaigns.

Key steps to avoid network security issues

As bad actors get increasingly modern and sophisticated in their approaches, organizations need to have the right policies, processes, and practices in place to prevent, detect, and monitor network security-related incidents. Make sure to

  • Identify potential weak spots and have a deep understanding of existing and emerging threats.
  • Invest in modern security tools to monitor access, misuse, modification, or denial of network-accessible resources.
  • Set up robust identity and access management to ensure authorized access to enterprise networks.
  • Educate and train users on the importance of network security and advice on best practices to identify and thwart potential attacks.
  • Engage with network security specialists who can help understand the threat landscape and implement the latest firewalls, appliances, and threat management systems.

Network security incidents are always going to be a cause for concern for organizations – irrespective of their size, industry, or market. It pays to always be vigilant to defend yourself against threats, deploy the right security tools, and ensure they are working as intended.

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