Negative Effects of Hacking

by William McCoy

While some hackers may not worry about the consequences of their actions, little debate exists as to the fact that hacking has several negative effects. Businesses and governments spend an untold amount to prevent damage from hacking. Large-scale hacking attacks cause extensive website damage, financial damage and inconvenience.

Sales Losses

When the website of a business is hacked, it may become nonoperational for an extended period of time. During this time, the business can lose customers and money because its website is not operational. If the company sells items through its website, it is apt to lose even more income. If a business' website infects visitors, they may choose to no longer visit that website, even when it is once again safe. Citigroup said it lost $2.7 million when its website was hacked in June 2011.

Additional Costs

Businesses and governments must also spend considerable funds to pay technicians to restore hacked websites. When hackers attacked Sony's PlayStation 3 network in April 2011, the company spent $170 million to fix the damage, according to PCWorld. Website owners must also pay for security and protection measures to prevent potential hacking attacks.

Data Loss

When hackers infiltrate a website, they commonly change and destroy data. While some of this data may be recoverable after the attack, some may be lost forever. Data lost from a business or government website can have innumerable damages and negative repercussions. If a hacker destroyed a company's accounting files, for example, the company would no longer know who owed it money. The most impressive numbers come from last year. RSA Security sufferd when 40 million employee records that it handles were stolen as a result of hacking in March 2011.

Negative Reputation

If a company or government agency's website is the repeated target of a hacker, it may end up being down significantly often. As a result, the organization behind the website may begin to gain a negative reputation. Some consumers may think that the company designs its site poorly, uses amateur protection or even has done something to draw the ire of a hacker. Adobe Systems Inc. suffered reputation damage when hackers made off with a list of its customers' account user names and passwords in October 2013.

About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.

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