A Cyber Attack on an Online Shop: A Real Story

Mirela Dimofte

February 8, 2024

This is the real story of a cyber attack on a small business: an online shop.

It can be the next-door store that opened six months ago. Or your friends` start-up, where they invested their life savings. Why not your own business?

You might think it will never happen to you. So did this business owner.

Cyber Attack – not the First Concern for an Online Shop

Picture a local business growing steadily day by day. 

Our story hero was exactly like that, a small online shop that started only a year ago. They had so much on their mind: attracting new customers, keeping the costs low, employing good people. 

A good friend told them to consider cyber insurance. They did not buy it immediately, as every cost had to be carefully considered. It took them a few months to decide. They had many other priorities.

Then, without warning, disaster struck — a cyber attack, sophisticated and merciless, targeting the very heart of the online shop: customer data and financial records. 

Overnight, the hard work, the dreams, and the future of this small business hangs by a thread.

The Attack: A Digital Storm

Cyber attacks on small and medium businesses are not just hypothetical scenarios; they’re real, frequent, and increasingly sophisticated. 46% of all cyber breaches impact businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees. 

For this online shop, the cyber attack was a wake-up call. It wasn’t a major security event against a multinational corporation. It was one of the thousands of incidents that happen to a small business. 

Most business owners think, “It won’t happen to me.” But in the digital world, every business – no matter its size – is a target.

The attack affected the financial stability of the company. The customers whose data was stolen had to be informed immediately. Imagine the impact of such an event on the business`s reputation.

After a cyber attack, many small businesses never recover their reputation or trust of their customers. 

How does Insurance help after a Cyber Attack?

After the attack, our small online shop found its lifeline in something previously considered just another line item on the budget: cyber insurance. 

Many small business owners view cyber insurance as an optional, if not unnecessary, expense. For our online shop, the insurance policy would become their saving grace.

Cyber insurance proved to be much more than a financial safety net. It was a complex recovery program. 

Most small businesses do not have an in-house IT department. They cannot afford lawyers or communications specialists on a full-time basis. However, having experts around in times of crisis is priceless.

We work with established service providers, and the moment an attack happens, the whole machinery starts moving. 

We have experts that help with data recovery. A business like a shop must be back online as soon as possible after a cyber attack. Every minute spent offline means losing money. 

We have lawyers who deal with the regulations. We have public relations experts. They help small businesses restore their reputation after a cyber attack.

The Resilience: Bouncing Back Stronger

The story of our small online shop doesn’t end with the cyber attack. 

Post-attack, the business didn’t just survive; it developed much faster. All of a sudden, security was not only a necessary evil. Did you know that 47% of businesses with less than 50 employees don’t allocate any funds for cybersecurity?

They discussed with their customers openly. They explained how the cyber attack had changed their mindset. It was that transparent communication that gained their customers` trust.

The Reflection: A Strategic Asset for a Small Business

Could your business withstand such a storm? Do you know what you need to do in case a cyber attack were to happen to you?

It is time to consider cyber insurance as a strategic asset rather than a safety net for when things go wrong.

Cyber insurance goes beyond financial compensation. It provides access to resources and expertise that many small businesses might not otherwise have. 

In an era where cyber threats are evolving with alarming speed and sophistication, you need a partner who can offer immediate support and guidance.

Armed and Ready

This story serves as both a warning and an inspiration. The digital landscape is sometimes dangerous to navigate, but it is also ripe with opportunity. 

For small businesses, the question is no longer if they will face a cyber attack but when. Preparation, resilience, and investing in protections like cyber insurance are no longer optional; they are imperative.

So, over to you: Is your business prepared to face the digital storms on the horizon? Have you recognized the strategic value of cyber insurance in protecting your business in the face of cyber threats?

Let’s take this conversation forward. Share your thoughts, concerns, or stories of resilience. Together, we can navigate the challenges of the digital age.

Mirela Dimofte is the COO of Cyberion

Jonas Von Oldenskiold and other experts contribute to our newsletter

Jonas Von Oldenskiold and other experts contribute to our newsletter

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