Picking up the pieces of a cyber attack

Picking up the pieces of a cyber attack

The figures
To say that a cyber attack can cost hundreds of millions is no exaggeration. The examples below are of high-profile corporations with sizeable annual revenues, but the cost implications are all relative. The more you have, the more you have to lose.

Hannaford Bros
During a security breach that spanned four months, grocery retailer Hannaford Bros saw 4.2million credit and debit card numbers exposed. The episode is reported to have cost the company $252m.

After the data of 77million Sony Playstation network users fell into the wrong hands, Sony is still paying for one of the biggest and most high profile hacks in recent years. The costs are yet to be summarised, but experts estimate they could be between $1 – $2bn.

Massachusetts-based retailing company TJX were stung to the sum of over $250m when a cyber crime gang used 45million stolen credit and debit card numbers for an exorbitant spending spree in Wal-Mart.

The damage
If the financial impact were not enough to make any company rethink their cyber security strategy, a cyber attack can come with far more issues than a price tag.

A good reputation is priceless, so if this reputation is tarnished, the costs can be insurmountable/immeasurable. The publicity around Sony Entertainment hacking saga created a PR fallout of mammoth proportions, one which the company is still recovering from.

Heartland Payment systems agreed to pay $41.4 million to MasterCard issuers to settle claims after a criminal gang stole over 100 million individual card numbers. The cost of the episode overall was around $140million.

Physical damage
In 1982, the US caused an explosion in a Siberian gas pipeline by inserting a portion of code into its managing computer system. In less dramatic circumstances, malicious software can cause damage to IT systems which takes time to repair before it can be deemed fully operational again.

Are you prepared for the costs?
There will be many more examples of lesser known small and medium sized enterprises that have not made the headlines, but have suffered just as greatly as Sony, TJX and Hannaford Bros. Whilst they’re not on quite such a public and global stage, these attacks are no less damaging to business.

Cyber Liability Insurance offers any business that uses IT systems, especially those who hold customer or client data, the best opportunity to fund any recuperation following a cyber attack of whatever scale.

For expert advice on safeguarding your business, contact Stuart Daulby, Cyber Team at Daulby Read Insurance on 01244 311033. Alternatively email stuart.daulby@daulbyread.co.uk.