Are you confident in your cyberattack preparedness?

A cyberattack can go one of three ways for your business. You don’t want to live through the third. Learn about cyberattack preparedness.

minute read

Last Updated October 30, 2023

Category Cybersecurity

Are you confident in your cyberattack preparedness?


If you feel as though all you’ve read about lately is cybersecurity, there’s a reason for that. The threat of a cyberattack is constant, and the cost of recovering from one can be devastating. So, how do you feel about your own cyberattack preparedness?

First, you need to understand the level of risk to your business. The numbers are scary. Cyberattacks are constant in a way that’s difficult to comprehend, occurring at a pace of more than 11 attacks per minute from March to May 2023. And the pace of attacks is increasing.

Falling victim to an attack is expensive. The median ransom payment for recovery of stolen information was more than $190,000 in Q2 2023, up 20% from Q1. That includes companies of all sizes, even the smallest businesses.

In fact, small businesses are increasingly falling into the crosshairs of cyberattackers. About 30% of ransomware attacks target businesses with 1-100 employees. Even those companies that haven’t been hit by ransomware yet are still paying for it. With attacks on the rise, cyber insurance premiums rose by 20% in 2022.

The outcomes for your business depend on cyberattack preparedness

It’s easy to see why cybersecurity makes so much news. Businesses of all types and sizes are at risk, especially those that deal heavily with financial information and other such data coveted by would-be thieves.

Cyberattacks on your business are constant. Most come via email, although cybercriminals are increasingly using other vectors. What happens when an attacker targets your business? How will your cyberattack preparedness impact your operation? There are three basic scenarios.

1. You don’t fall for the cyberattack.

Did an email look a little too suspicious? Good thing you didn’t click on the link inside. That link would install malware that would steal your data. The same goes for a text from an unfamiliar number. It’s best to leave it alone.

In almost every case, if no one takes action that results in malware being installed on your network, the cyberattack will fail and your business will be safe. One way to ensure safety is to train your employees to recognize and avoid cyberattacks. Human error is part of the vast majority of successful cyberattacks. Teach your employees to avoid human error, and you’ll avoid damage from cyberattacks, too.

2. You do fall for an attack! But your security service has your back with cyberattack preparedness.

With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), sloppy cyberattack emails are becoming a thing of the past. Even cyberattackers who failed English class can create messages that look credible. Avoiding malware will be much more difficult as AI becomes more powerful.

So, you or someone in your organization clicks on a malicious link. What now? You don’t even know what’s happened. Nothing changes—yet. But in the background, malware is trying to harvest your data. The good news is that if you’re running applications and storing data in the cloud with a trusted partner, your cloud provider starts protecting your data immediately.

Your hosting provider stops the malware from installing on your cloud-based network before it starts. The provider’s expert-delivered security service protects your devices and continues to back up your data. Essentially, your trusted partner averts disaster for you. You don’t have to do anything. You probably won’t even know what’s happening.

All you need to do is keep doing your job. This could happen again—although security training should teach your employees better cyberattack preparedness. With training, they’ll watch where they click, and this scenario won’t repeat itself.

3. Your cyberattack preparedness isn’t where it should be.

And then there’s this scenario—the nightmare nobody wants to experience. Someone clicks a malicious link. Nothing kicks in except malware installation. There’s no security service to back you. Your cyberattack preparedness is lacking. There’s no cloud provider to protect your data and applications. From here, it gets worse. Are you ready for this?

The malicious application installs on your computer and invades your network. With malware now installed, a cybercriminal can capture every keystroke in your company. Usernames, passwords, financial information—all sensitive data—are now in the attacker’s hands.

With critical access to your most important information, the attacker can now begin encrypting your data and locking down your devices, preventing you from using them. The hacker then issues an ultimatum: Pay a ransom or permanently lose access to your systems—and your clients’ critical data.

Unable to work, you and your team stop all operations. With systems frozen and data stolen, you don’t have much of a choice but to pay the attacker the ransom. You might or might not regain access to your data. All paying the ransom guarantees is that the thieves get paid. They still have control over your data.

Even after—or if—you get system access back, the attacker has already sold your clients’ information on the dark web. Your data is exposed. Now, you’ve lost the ransom money, and you have to notify the people who do business with you of the breach.

You draft an email to notify your clients that you suffered an attack and that their data was leaked. Recovery, if it’s even possible, takes time and costs money. Losing your clients’ trust hurts your bottom line. You now have to rebuild your reputation, starting with a new security strategy.

Proven benefits of cyberattack preparedness

Decisions as simple and cost-effective as moving applications and data to the cloud, and adopting managed security, enables you to avoid the third scenario. And there is evidence that solid security strategies are working.

Even though the median ransom payment increased in Q2 2023, the percentage of attack victims that paid a ransom dropped to a record low. Ultimately, 34% of victims paid a ransom—still an uncomfortably large percentage. But many businesses have found that investing in security has paid off.

Of course, most businesses never even knew when cyberattacks happened and never paid anything extra to resolve them. That’s because those businesses had previously focused on cyberattack preparedness and had trusted security partners protecting them in the cloud. Running your business in the cloud is, in fact, the best way to be prepared for a cyberattack.

Prepare your business for a cyberattack. Move to the cloud today.

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