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The True Cost of a Breach: What Contractors Need to Know About Ransomware and Other Cyberattacks

Billy Hollister
July 28, 2021

Compliance posture matters for more than just control adherence, internal audits, and Government contract standings. It significantly impacts your business in the real world — particularly as cyberattacks like ransomware continue to grow in cost and frequency.

With poor compliance posture, your stakeholders may be hesitant to invest. Perhaps because your organization "hasn't faced a breach" (yet) or has a few basic safeguards in place. Moreover, ransomware or a similar cyberattack doesn't just hurt productivity for a day or incur a one-time fee; it has far-reaching and long-lasting effects across your business.

The Cost of a Ransomware Attack

  • The ransom payment itself, which emboldens criminals, does not guarantee recovery, and can cost upwards of $300,000 per attack. Some ransoms have been millions.
  • Lost revenue while you're locked out of your system and unable to operate.
  • Network rebuild from a backup or from scratch to help prevent future attacks.
  • Staff retraining to ensure they know how to spot and avoid modern phishing attempts.
  • Reputation damage that you may not regain, even if you take the steps above. If given an option, why would anyone want to do business with a company that has been breached?

You may be tempted to write off these costs, especially since your business would have to be attacked to incur them in the first place. However, rolling the dice with your cybersecurity operations to save money in the short term can be disastrous.

Suppose you get ransomware with no protection. You'll likely end up laying off part of your staff and spending months rebuilding your network, which means you'll miss out on applying for that next big Defense contract and leave a gaping hole in your future revenue streams.

The Cost of Proactive Protection

Conversely, if you strengthen your cybersecurity before an attack, you can invest in improvements and security innovations rather than firefighting as each incident occurs. At a high level, you'll invest in:

By prioritizing proactive defenses, you'll reduce your chances of being breached, and open your business up to new Defense contract opportunities without running the risk of non-compliance or a detrimental breach.

Why it Pays to Get Ahead

At Peerless, we're deeply familiar with the ever-evolving state of cybersecurity and compliance. And the writing on the wall tells us overpreparation is prudent as our adversaries aren't resting — they are getting more aggressive.

The right Managed Security Services Partner (MSSP) can walk you through every step in your compliance journey, with trusted guidance and expert recommendations to keep your network secure and help you support DoD and Federal contracts.

Click here to download the MSSP Checklist

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