How Can Your Company Guard Against Cyber Security Risks?
Nearly one-third of all data breaches in 2020 affected small businesses, according to a Verizon report. Most breaches resulted from hacking, malware, or social attacks. About 43% of them were related to web applications.
Many small business owners mistakenly believe that cybercriminals only target big companies. After all, everyone has heard about the First American data breach and other events that made headlines. But small businesses are just as vulnerable to cybercrime and may never recover after an attack.
As hackers become more sophisticated, business leaders are facing increased cybersecurity risks. You never know when someone could access your system and steal customer data, passwords, or sensitive records.
Cybersecurity is everyone's responsibility. As a small business owner, it's crucial that you take the steps needed to protect your company and safeguard customer data.
Below you'll find some of the most effective ways to deter cyber criminals, so read on!
Assess Your Cybersecurity Risks
Even a minor vulnerability in your company's infrastructure can compromise sensitive data. Most breaches go undetected for months. In the worst-case scenario, you may end up going out of business and paying millions in damages.
Cyber attacks cost companies about $200,000 on average. That's a lot to pay when you're a small business.
Malware, phishing, web-based attacks, ransomware, and malicious code are all potential cybersecurity risks. It takes just one mistake, such as clicking a malicious link, to compromise your company's data.
The first step to mitigating these risks is to define what you need to protect.
A business that sells products online, for example, may want to safeguard cardholder data over everything else. A dental practice, on the other hand, should take the steps needed to secure patient data and ensure HIIPA compliance.
Next, reach out to a cybersecurity expert and discuss your needs. He will assess the risks your company is exposed to and recommend the best course of action.
Some organizations, including Bulletproof IT, offer security as a service and managed IT services. These advanced solutions can further increase business security.
Train Your Employees on Cybersecurity
As a manager or business owner, it's your responsibility to educate your staff about cybersecurity risks. Make sure they know how to identify a phishing attempt, how to work safely from home, and when not use WiFi.
Your employees are your most valuable asset, and you must invest in them continually. Cybersecurity training is the best way to help them recognize and deter potential threats.
Take email security, for instance. About 94% of malware infections are delivered by email. If someone in your team opens a malicious email, hackers can enter the system and steal sensitive data within minutes.
With the growing number of people working from home, now is more important than ever before to train your employees. From setting strong passwords to knowing what procedures to follow in the event of a breach, every detail matters.
Provide real-life examples of cyber attacks to help your staff identify potential threats. At the very least, they should know what a falsified email looks like and how to avoid downloading malware. Being able to recognize social engineering attacks is just as important in this digital era.
Focus on Password Security
Fewer than 30% of American employees use multifactor authentication. Only half of companies have Single Sign-On solutions. The remaining 50% require employees to remember their passwords.
The average advertising professional uses approximately 97 passwords. Hackers may use any of them to access your network and steal financial data or customer information. About 80% of hacking-related data breaches are due to weak passwords.
Most employees change their passwords once every few months or use the same password on multiple platforms. These common mistakes can put your business at risk, leading to hefty fines and lawsuits.
Stay on the safe side and switch to multifactor authentication. Invest in a reliable password management system and train your staff on how to use it.
Ask your employees to regularly their passwords and use a different one for each platform. Consider using a password generator and aim for a combination of letters, numbers, and special symbols.
Switch to the Cloud
The cloud isn't immune to cybercrime, but it's still safer than physical storage devices.
This technology enables users to store and process their files in virtual data centers operated by a third party. Therefore, it reduces or eliminates the need for USB drives and external hard drives. Your employees can save and access their data in the cloud instead of storing it on their laptops or USB sticks.
Cloud computing may also reduce the risk of internal theft. As a manager, you can set up different permission levels for different teams and departments to prevent data breaches.
Additionally, cloud providers invest millions in cybersecurity and adhere to industry best practices. They implement preventive and detective controls, ensure automatic backups, and keep your files confidential.
By storing your data in the cloud, you'll have more control over it and minimize security risks.