Because of their small size — typically 100 or fewer employees — small businesses often assume they won’t be targeted by a cyber attack. Statistics show, however, that roughly half of all cyber attacks involve small businesses. In fact, hackers often target them because of their insufficient or nonexistent cybersecurity measures. If this occurs to your small business, you may experience the following problems during the aftermath.

Recovery Costs

Your small business will likely incur recovery costs associated with the cyber attack. According to Insurance Journal, small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) spend an average of $400,000 to recover from a cyber attack. You’ll have to invest in professional solutions to identify and fix the vulnerability that led to the attack — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg regarding recovery costs.

Damaged Reputation

In addition to recovery costs, your small business’s reputation will be damaged during a cyber attack. A cyber attack projects your small business as being unsecured, so customers and the general public alike will think less favorably of your business. Over time, a cyber attack can have devastating effects on your small business’s reputation.

Loss of Customers or Contracts

You may notice long-time customers leaving your small business in favor of a competitor in the aftermath of a cyber attack. As news spreads about the attack, otherwise loyal customers may think twice before choosing your business’s products or services in the future.

Loss of Data

A cyber attack can cause your small business to lose essential data. If a hacker deletes your small business’s essential data — and you don’t have a backup copy stored elsewhere — you’ll have to recreate or rebuild that data all over again. Depending on the type of data you lose, this may or may not be possible.

Legal Issues

Another way in which a cyber attack can affect your small business involves legal issues. Granted, it’s not illegal for your small business to be the victim of a cyber attack. But there are data and privacy laws that affected parties could use as the basis of a lawsuit against your small business. If you failed to use appropriate and meaningful cybersecurity measures, for example, an affected customer could sue your small business for damages.

These are just a few ways that a cyber attack can affect your small business. You may notice other effects like increased network downtime, slow-running computers and more. Regardless, you can avoid these problems by developing an iron-clad cybersecurity strategy for your small business.