How cyber attacks can affect your business

If you’re like many Canadian business owners, you might think your business is too small to be the victim of a cyber attack. Or maybe you don’t think your data has enough value to make you a target. But in the eyes of a cyber criminal, no business is too small. That’s why every business should make cyber security a priority to protect both their information and their customers.

The damage from a cyber attack can be devastating, and it can spread in ways you might not have considered. If you don’t take steps to keep your business secure, the resulting attack could impact you in many ways.

Customer trust

When customers interact with your business, they have certain expectations. Quality service is an obvious one, but customers also expect all private data they provide to be protected. If your business isn’t cyber secure, you may be more vulnerable to cyber threats like phishing or malware. This could lead to your customers’ personal information being stolen by cyber criminals.

Losing your customers’ financial data or personal information could lead to unexpected charges on your customers’ credit cards or even identity theft. It’s your responsibility as a business and as the data owner to protect your customers’ private data and prevent these things from happening.

Training your employees on best cyber security practices, such as avoiding phishing scams and installing anti-virus software will help keep your customers’ data safe. When businesses don’t protect their customers’ data, it results in a loss of trust and could lead loyal customers to do business elsewhere. Poor cyber security can damage your business’ public reputation, giving your competition an advantage.

Internal operations

Your business’ reputation isn’t the only thing you risk by not making cyber security a top priority. If a cyber attack reaches your business’ systems or network, it can have devastating consequences. A cyber attack takes valuable time and resources away from other areas of your business, bringing your operation to a standstill. There’s also the risk of having important information stolen and having proprietary information or intellectual property leaked to your competitors.

Malware can access your systems through a simple error, like clicking the wrong link. Once it infects one device, it can easily spread throughout your systems and network. Adopting procedures to combat cyber attacks can prevent this. As always, train your employees to watch out for suspicious emails and URLs. Take the extra time to confirm a request is legitimate or your business may end up spending more time trying to fix the damage from a cyber attack.

Partner and supplier relations

Cyber criminals often try to steal your information without you knowing. If your business is compromised, you don’t always know what information is being stolen by cyber criminals. This could include information about your partners or suppliers, which could then be used in a spear-phishing scam against them.

Malware inside your systems can also spread to your suppliers or partners’ systems. Imagine having to explain to another business that their systems were compromised because your business was impacted by a cyber attack. The result could be suppliers cutting off ties with your business — and you may have trouble finding other partners when they hear about your data breach.

You should make sure that your partners and suppliers prioritize cyber security too. If any of them are victims of a cyber attack or data breach, your business could also be affected.

By making sure your business stays cyber safe, you’re strengthening its reputation and keeping relationships with your partners and suppliers strong.


You might think that your business is too small to be targeted by cyber criminals. But cyber criminals will target any business, no matter the size. If it happens to you, your relationship with customers, internal operations and reputation with your partners and suppliers could be at risk. Stay cyber safe to ensure that your business is protected and successful.
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