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Impact of Network Attacks on Operations of an Organization

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  • Last Updated : 21 Feb, 2022
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A network attack is an unauthorized activity on the digital assets of an organizational network. It is performed with the intent to destroy or steal personal data. Malicious parties attempt to gain access to the internal systems.

A couple of examples of network attacks include DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), SQL injection, Man in the Middle, etc.

An organization as big as handling 1000 requests per minute might be infiltrated with 10,000 or more requests per minute and, gets their major resources eaten up, thus, slowing down the servers and database performance. Categorizing the loss that an organization could bear under such circumstances, there are the following sections that would face significant impact:

  • Data corruption
  • Financial Loss for the organization
  • Data stealing
  • Operational Disruption
  • Reputation Loss

Data corruption: A large number of requests or unauthorized requests can corrupt the data important to both the organization as well as the customer. The state of orders and workflows could change, customers’ payments might get hanging. Ledgers and corruption of financial data can lead to bigger problems for the organization during audits. It is very important for organizations to have a data backup.

Financial Loss for the organization: In order to gain the trust of their customers and stakeholders, an organization might have to offer compensation and incentives to them. If the attack is worst, they might also have to connect with the third-party organizations that would handle and mitigate the attack for them. It is also possible that resources are charged on the number of requests which will only make things worse for the organization. If an attack happens in the season or during sales, the loss of potential orders is another financial loss. Repairing the lost assets is another cost.

Data stealing: One of the favorite assets for attackers is the personal data of the customers. Their address/location, phone numbers, emails, or even payment information can further be misused in the form of social engineering or other ways. In fact, the organizations that access cameras, contacts, can create even bigger problems for their users.

Operational Disruption: In order to recover from the attack, the organization might decide to halt the operations and activities until it gets back in its healthy state leading to a significant delay in the operations’ workflows.

Reputation Loss: Reputation damage can be catastrophic for the organization. Loss of customers, an opportunity for the competitors, increased liquidity risk, impact on market and shares will only make it harder for the organization to recover.

It is important for the organization to build fundamental security practices, educate staff, install firewalls, enable upright authentication and access control, manage passwords, have data backups.

Preventive measures in an organization from cyber attacks are as follows:

  • Develop cyber security policies.
  • Implement security awareness training in the organization.
  • Install spam filter and anti-malware software.
  • Perform network vulnerability scans.
  • Conduct penetration testing.
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