The Effects of Computer Hacking on an Organization

By Scott Cornell

Computer hackers cost businesses billions of dollars in damages each year.
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It's common for businesses to install security systems to keep their properties safe and to purchase insurance in the event of a disaster or robbery. Arguably, though, a security system feature that is of equal importance is one that business owners can implement to protect company computers from hackers and viruses. Hacking on the whole costs businesses billions of dollars each year. But there's more than just money at stake if your business were ever to encounter a computer hacker.

Identity Theft

Businesses likely have information such as credit cards and confidential accounts, not to mention personal financial information of their customers on file in a computer database. In addition to this, there's also likely other personal employee information like social security numbers, home addresses and health care information on file. A computer hacker can access this sensitive information, which in turn could lead to identity theft. This may not only be harmful to your employees and current customers, but also to your business' reputation.

Website Security

Websites are crucial to a business, both in terms of attracting new customers through online searches and offering an Internet resource for your existing customers. However, computer hackers can damage websites, typically with a virus. Such viruses are able to destroy website data and compromise website security from consumer transactions. What's more is that some viruses can be so malicious that the data they destroy can't be recovered, meaning that you have to start your site over from scratch.


Computer hard drives and company websites aren't the only means by which hackers can access sensitive and confidential information -- there's also email hacking. By accessing the email accounts of employees, hackers can obtain confidential documents, personal information and other time-sensitive data that can be used against a person or business via malicious means. There's also the threat of compromising the email system.


Hacking can spur a snowball effect on your business and its reputation, which can be very damaging to operations. For instance, if your customers have fallen victim to identity theft either from a transaction over your website or a hacker gaining access to their personal data on your computer hardware, they're likely never to do business with you again and may seek to reclaim damages from you. Worse: the hacking may leak to local news outlets, which can put you and your business in the negative spotlight.