Thousands of businesses fall victim to cyber-attacks every year, and these cost business owners millions of dollars in damage and litigation costs. Cyber-attacks are an ongoing threat, and one that affects businesses of all sizes, from large multinationals to small fledgling startups. One cyber-attack could mean the end of a business, even if it does everything else right. This is why it’s important that you do everything in your power to reduce the chance of them occurring. Here are a few ways that you can reduce cyber-attacks in your business.
Get a Formation
A lot of small businesses don’t have the means to hire a full time IT professional, and in many cases, it makes no sense for them to do so. Another option is to work with a cyber security firm, which is always good but won’t allow you to cover all bases all the time.
So, the next best thing would be to get a formation yourself. Getting a masters of cyber security online would allow you to get a formation while you’re still running your business. This could be one of the most valuable formations you’ve ever gotten and protect you against cyber attacks in the future, which is a great investment. You’ll be able to spot risks immediately and plug leaks before they become catastrophic. This is the only way to really reduce the chance of attacks and teach other workers in your organization how to reduce risks themselves.
Make Sure Your Hardware is Secure
People often spend too much time finding the best security software solutions and forget that everything starts with the hardware. If the hardware isn’t secure, everything else fails.
This is why you have to start with the basics. Make sure that you teach your employees what a secure password is. Make sure that each device you use has a distinct password and that only the user knows it. Also, ensure it is memorable, so they won’t have to write or save it somewhere.
Never underestimate how important securing hardware to desks can be. Theft happens all the time, so this will make the job harder for anyone trying to leave with a device. Also, make sure you have “find my device” applications installed to make it easier to retriever any device that was lost or stolen.
Identify at Risk Employees and Conditions
There are times when trouble may be brewing in a company, and this is often a time when business owners are the most vulnerable to cyber attacks. Some employees may have heard about upcoming restructuration, in which case disgruntled employees may try to cause damage before they leave.
Make sure you have boots on the ground and a few people to report to you in these moments. Also try to spot any changes in behavior, especially in workers in charge of important files. The same goes if you have had a dispute with an employee. Try to see if their behavior changes, and check for any unusual requests for access in your network. You should also monitor if someone has either downloaded or attempted to download files they shouldn’t have access to.
Backup and Encrypt Data
Backing up data regularly might not necessarily protect you against attacks, but it will help you recover much faster. Make sure that you have a backup procedure, and also install data that will allow you to make constant and regular backups. And, don’t forget your website either. If someone either compromises your site or erases large portions of it, you’ll be able to get right back on track if you backed it up properly.
On the other hand, proper encryption is probably the single most powerful tool against cyber-attacks. Even if attackers get a hold of a physical drive or access to your network, all of this will be for nothing if they can’t manage to decrypt the information.
Make sure that your most sensitive data is properly encrypted, such as customer information, payment info, business data, and information regarding your employees. At the base level, all operating systems have a full disk encryption application that you can use, but there are plenty of additional encryption solutions on the market. Or, you could work with a team to encrypt that data for you.
Make sure that the software is active and up to date on every device that is used in your business. Also, make sure that devices lock when they remain idle for too long. This could allow time for a hacker to act as an authorized user and get access to sensitive data while the actual user isn’t using the device.
Look into Cyber Security Insurance
If you can’t stop attacks, you need to be able to bounce back and deal with the repercussions. Even the best companies in the world fall victim to attacks, and it has been estimated that the average breach costs US business more than 3 million dollars.
And, even with all that, a minuscule number of businesses are insured to this day. In the US, only 15% of all businesses are insured. So, if you aren’t one of them, we strongly suggest that you speak with an expert today and start looking at coverage for your company.
Create a Cyber Secure Culture in Your Company
Cyber security has to start at the ground level. Most of the time, devices aren’t at cause for cyber-attacks – humans are. And, more hackers today try to take advantage of this vulnerability by focusing on attacks that take advantage of this.
So, make sure that your employees understand what risky behaviors to avoid, like opening email or submitting crucial information through email without verifying internally who they’re sending it to. Making sure that everyone has access to a clear policyon these issues is the first step in creating a cyber security conscious workplace.
Cyber-attacks should not be taken lightly, as they could cost you your business. So, make sure that you follow our simple tips and start safeguarding your business from attacks today.