Cybersecurity is a critical concern for businesses of all sizes, and the risks are even greater for those that operate internationally. With the increasing reliance on technology and the internet in today’s global economy, it is more important than ever to protect against cyber threats that can compromise sensitive information and disrupt operations. With financial and economic risks abounding, it is vital that companies do not expose themselves to additional risks from data breaches. By defining your organisations risk appetite and key risk indicators, you can set the tone and expectations for cybersecurity within your organisation.
One of the main international risks for business is the potential for data breaches. When companies operate in multiple countries, they may have to store and process sensitive data in different locations, increasing the risk of a data breach. Hackers and cybercriminals often target businesses with international operations because they know that these companies may have more valuable data, such as customer information, trade secrets, and financial data. According to a report by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach for a small to medium enterprise in 2020 was $3.86 million. This is an increase of nearly 12 percent from the previous year. The report also found that the cost per record compromised in a data breach was $150 in 2020, which is an increase of nearly three percent from the previous year. These costs can include expenses related to notification and credit monitoring for affected individuals, legal fees, and the cost of repairing or replacing systems and data that were compromised. In addition, there can be significant indirect costs associated with a data breach, including damage to a company’s reputation and lost business as a result of customer churn.
Cyberespionage and insider risk
Another international risk for businesses is the potential for cyber espionage. This can occur when hackers or other malicious actors gain unauthorized access to a company’s systems in order to steal sensitive information, such as business plans, intellectual property, or financial data. Cyber espionage can be particularly damaging for businesses that rely on intellectual property or have a competitive advantage based on their proprietary information.
Cyber espionage refers to the unauthorized access of a company’s systems and data by hackers or other malicious actors with the intent of stealing sensitive information. This can include trade secrets, intellectual property, financial data, and other valuable information that can give a competitor an advantage or be used for other nefarious purposes. Cyber espionage can be particularly damaging for businesses that rely on their proprietary information for a competitive advantage.
Insider threats, on the other hand, refer to the risk of harm to a company’s systems or data from within the organization. This can include employees, contractors, or other insiders who have access to sensitive information and systems. Insider threats can be particularly difficult to detect and prevent because these individuals often have legitimate access to the company’s systems and data. To protect against cyber espionage and insider threats, businesses must implement strong security measures and continuously monitor their systems and data. This can include implementing robust passwords and other security protocols, regularly updating and patching systems to address vulnerabilities, and training employees on how to identify and prevent potential threats. In addition to these technical measures, it is also important for businesses to have policies and procedures in place to detect and prevent insider threats. This can include conducting background checks on employees and contractors, implementing access controls to limit access to sensitive information and systems, and monitoring for unusual or suspicious activity.
Cyber risks and data breaches
In addition to data breaches and cyber espionage, businesses also face the risk of ransomware attacks that can originate anywhere internationally. These attacks occur when hackers gain access to a company’s systems and then hold the data hostage until the company pays a ransom. Ransomware attacks can be particularly disruptive for businesses that rely on their computer systems to operate, and they can lead to significant financial losses. The average cost of a cyber-security breach for a small to medium-sized business is approximately $3.9 million and for larger businesses, the cost of a cyber-security breach is about $8.2 million.
To protect against these and other cybersecurity risks, it is important for businesses to implement robust security and risk management measures. This can include training employees on how to identify and prevent cyber threats, implementing strong passwords and other security measures, and regularly updating and patching systems to address vulnerabilities. It is also important for businesses to have a plan in place to respond to a cyber incident, including procedures for containing the damage and restoring systems. This can help to minimize the impact of a cyber-attack and ensure that the business can continue to operate effectively.
Overall, the international risks of cybersecurity are significant for businesses, and by implementing strong security measures and having a plan in place to respond to cyber incidents, companies can protect themselves and their customers from the potential consequences of a cyber-attack. By turning risk into opportunity, your company can strengthen data management and internal processes and minimise the risk of data breaches and cyber crime.