Do you run a small business? You’re probably well aware of the dangers a data breach poses to your company.

Never underestimate the impact of data breaches on businesses. Then, you can stay vigilant and protect yourself. Keep reading to learn the growing danger of these attacks, the damage you can expect if you experience one, and how to protect yourself.

The Prevalence of Data Breaches

Data breaches are among the fastest-growing business data security risks. Statista.com reported over 3,000 data breaches in 2023, compared to 1,800 attacks in 2022. 

In some years, we see a marginal decrease in breaches. However, most years see an increase in both frequency and complexity.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance reports that 70% of all cyberattacks target small and medium businesses. Most can’t recover from the attacks, and some small businesses shut down.

Never assume cyber attackers will ignore you or that you could recover. One of the smartest investments you can make is in cybersecurity.

The Devastating Effects of Data Breaches

The impact of data breaches on businesses can be devastating. But what are the consequences of corporate data breaches? When a hacker obtains the sensitive information of your customers or employees, you’ll experience the following challenges.

Fines and Fees

The most immediate impact of data breaches on businesses is the fines and fees they will pay. These fines are imposed by regulatory organizations and government institutions created to protect consumers.

 After a data breach, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council can impose a fine on your business. Depending on your industry, other regulatory industries may fine you as well. From the PCI SSC, the fine can include a $90 charge for each affected credit card and up to $500,000 in additional penalties.

The authorities will require you to conduct a forensic investigation. The investigation aims to determine the attack’s cause and the weakness in your security. You’ll pay at least $10,000 for this investigation.

After a data breach, you may become responsible for monitoring the credit of affected customers.

Loss of Reputation

A long-lasting cybersecurity impact on companies is the loss of customer reputation. One PwC report indicates that 85% of consumers won’t shop at a business if they’re worried about its cybersecurity practices. Another study from Verizon shows that nearly 70% of people actively avoid businesses that have experienced a data breach.

Lost Intellectual Property

One important reason for investing in cybersecurity is safeguarding business information. This includes designs, strategies, and new products you require to grow your business. Losing your intellectual property can stop your business growth for the foreseeable future.

Protect Your Business With Cybersecurity Practices

Now that you know the impact of data breaches on businesses, you can implement proper prevention measures. You can implement several methods to avoid losing business continuity after a data breach and to prevent the breach from ever occurring.

Make sure your employees create strong passwords and can identify phishing scams. Enable two-factor authentication on all devices and applications. Invest in cyber monitoring and strong antivirus software.