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7 Dangers of Ignoring Your Online Security

Companies face difficult decisions when it comes to balancing cyber security with the needs of productivity. Too often, IT risk management and the dangers of data breaches, theft, and sabotage are ignored. Here are some of the many threats small and medium-sized businesses are facing with online security.

7 Dangers of Ignoring IT Risk Management

1. Data Breach

Data breaches are unfortunately a very common issue. This is when a threat actor gains access to sensitive business data. This information may pertain to customers, employees, or merchants. A data breach may even go further and become one of the other dangers on this list.

Even if nothing else happens, the exposure of sensitive data is a serious threat to a company’s reputation. The tech company LastPass suffered two major data breaches in late 2022. The first incident damaged their reputation, but nothing damaging appeared to happen to their data. Later, it turned out this first incident gave the threat actor information they needed for their second, more damaging, attack.

2. Viruses and Malware

Malware and viruses can lead to the loss of data or damage to software or systems. Sometimes, a company’s network is breached by a virus or malware through an employee’s computer or email. This is why IT experts have cybersecurity protocols like disallowing the download of unauthorized software.

A company can also become affected by a virus or malware through a data breach by a hacker. This is what happened in the second breach experienced by LastPass in late 2022. A threat actor breached their security, installed malware, and stole customer data.

3. Loss of IP

A company’s digital assets include patents, trade secrets, and other sensitive data that make a company unique and valuable. The more innovative a company is, the more online assets they tend to have. The loss of intellectual property has serious long-term dangers. It’s no surprise that 60% of small or medium-sized businesses fold in the six months following a cyberattack.

4. Stolen Money

A financial attack sounds the most straightforward but is often wildly complex. Threat actors may breach a business’s financial information and simply steal credit card numbers. Alternatively, it’s common for transfers to be made to multiple intuitions, repeatedly. The money is transferred so many times it becomes impossible to trace.

5. Extortion

Instead of directly stealing finances, some cyberattacks focus on extortion. In these instances, the hackers threaten to release or destroy sensitive data they’ve managed to gain access to. They demand a certain amount of money or sometimes a specific action in order to make them stop.

6. Sabotage

While unfortunate, a threat actor stealing money in a cyberattack makes sense. Sabotage is often more unexpected and shocking. In these instances, an attack happens simply to destroy data, software systems, or even hardware.

This kind of attack often results in the unrecoverable loss of data. The goal of these attacks is sometimes business interruption. Because sabotage can be so random, the goal and threat actors themselves are often never discovered.

7. Denial of Service Attacks

A denial of service attack makes a business inaccessible. When this happens to the public side of a website, it means the website appears to not be functional. This causes a loss of business until the attack is stopped. A denial of service attack can also happen internally to all online systems, stopping all functions.

A distributed denial of service attack is the most common. Thousands of computers may be part of the malicious cyberattack, making response all that much more difficult.

Preventing the Dangers of Cyberattacks

With strong IT solutions, a company shouldn’t have to sacrifice productivity for the sake of online security. The key is to have appropriate preparations made before an attack happens.


The threat of cyberattacks has made updates a required cost of doing business. This includes updating software licenses and using updated VPNs. It also includes regularly updating your employee training and procedures.

Security updates, choosing programs, and setting up protocols are all action items that businesses often refer to IT professionals for. Click here to learn more about one of the leading companies in IT solutions.

Security Assessments

To make sure you know where your security stands, have an IT professional perform regular assessments. This way, they can tell you where your risks lie and what action items are a true priority.


Have a recovery plan that includes the next steps your business will take if you ever face an attack. This will prevent the cyberattack from going on for too long without being properly addressed. Decide who will be contacted in the event of an attack. Also, decide how a cyberattack will be handled publicly for reputation management.

The easier a data breach is, the more tempting it is for a threat actor to take action. The dangers of IP loss, financial loss, and a hit to a company’s reputation are severe. The steps a business can take to prevent these dangers are an important part of mature operations in business today.

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