ST. LOUIS - Missouriar -- ThrottleNet, named the #1 IT firm in St. Louis by Small Business Monthly, is issuing a warning to area businesses that a cybersecurity breach can have a damaging impact on their company that goes well beyond the financial related aspects associated with re-securing corporate data.

"Today a data breach is not uncommon. Though larger companies are flayed by the media when a cyberattack occurs, small and medium sized companies have also been impacted and remain at risk," said George Rosenthal, President.

According to Rosenthal, money paid to cyber pirates is only the beginning. Companies have other intangible and unexpected costs which can result in greater long term damages well beyond any monetary restitution. Five of these include…

1. Interruption of business. A company may be unable to operate due to a cyberattack. Revenue can be lost for days, weeks or longer until the breach is rectified and data recovered. Functions such as email and file sharing may be compromised. Customer transactions can come to a halt.

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2. Loss of customers. Depending on the type of business, some customers may seek out other suppliers or vendors to fulfill their immediate needs. Some clients may eventually return but many may not.

3. Negative impact on employees. The entire team may have to function in an environment that is anything but "business as usual". Salespeople may have to scramble to communicate with clients. Administrative staff may be unable to complete key documents necessary for standard company operations. The executive team can find their leadership skills tested trying to maintain stability within the organization.

4. Fines and penalties. Companies not seen in compliance can be fined by different organizations. For example, those doing business in California, or with customers in the state where personal data is collected, need to abide by The California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA). Fines can range from small amounts into the multi-million dollar range depending on the severity and frequency of the violations.

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5. Damage to reputation. A major data breach can become a public relations nightmare. Companies can face an onslaught of negative stories in the media. Staff can be overwhelmed by customers who worry their personal information may have been compromised. A legal team and communications experts may need to be retained to deal with any potential crisis.

Rosenthal adds, "Proper planning, including a thorough review of a Company's IT operating system by experienced cybersecurity professionals, is the best defense to protect a business from suffering large damages due to a data breach. The right team can assist with putting the right safeguards in place to thwart a data pirate and greatly reduce the chances of a cyberattack."


Source: ThrottleNet

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