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How cybercrime threatens a company's reputation

Claudia Bracher Wolfensberger, Partner

You think cybercrime doesn't concern us? That is already the first mistake. A quarter of all Swiss SMEs have already been the victim of a cyber attack. And the trend is rising. That's according to a study conducted by the gfs research institute with over 500 CEOs. And the attacks are becoming increasingly professional, the extortions more sophisticated. These range from threats to publish confidential business or customer data to disrupt or sabotage vital business processes. The question is not whether your company is large or small, economically exposed or "everyday," but how vulnerable and prepared they are. One-third of those attacked suffered major financial damage, the study found. One in ten SMEs also struggled with the loss of customer data and/or significant reputational damage.

What to do about it?

Take the issue as seriously as your liquidity planning. Having an emergency plan and raising awareness among your employees are indispensable. Cybersecurity is not just technology. The biggest risk is always people. Poor or missing passwords, forgotten security updates or an opened phishing email are common risk factors. One wrong click can cause great damage. The majority of cyberattacks occur via email. Create policies for the secure handling of data carriers, passwords and data. Appoint contact persons for IT security and sensitize your employees to the central IT security topics at least once a year.

In addition to technical measures, the National Center for Cybersecurity recommends, among other things: "Incident handling must be prepared in advance with clear procedures, responsibilities and communication strategies (developed with Corporate Communications). Internal and external communications must be regulated (supported by corporate communications). Inform your technical team as openly as possible to respond to incidents in a timely and effective manner. In addition, avoid unwanted collateral damage."

Better be prepared. Our name says it all: The specialists at int/ext are always happy to support you in your internal and external communications. This is especially true in crisis and reputation emergencies.

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