If you were to browse through the cybersecurity section on any news site, you’ll no doubt be inundated with stories on data breaches and cyberattacks. The Internet is our friend, sure, but it can also be our enemy if we’re not careful. For some idea of how prevalent online threats really are, it was discovered that one in every five small businesses are targets of cybercriminals, and that there were 638 million ransomware attacks in 2016. Therefore, don’t think it’s only the bigger companies who get targeted – it’s the little guys too.
Every business should be prepared for digital attacks, and while we understand that these preventions can appear costly and time-consuming, the alternative is much, much worse. Here is how you can protect your business from cyber threats.
Educate your employees
Not passing on helpful cybercrime information to your employees can be hugely detrimental. You’ll find that people can be exploited via social engineering: if left unaware of these tactics, your employees could be tricked into letting strangers into the building, giving details to scammers over the phone, or even clicking on email attachments containing malware and viruses. The more your employees know, the better they will be able to prevent falling into the trap of social engineering scams, helping to transform your business for the better.
Hire an expert
Strange as it seems, there are companies who will actually simulate as many cyberattacks as they can, and might even use social engineering themselves to see how your employees react. This service is designed to test your existing security measures, show you any weak links in the chain, and to inform you of better prevention tactics. SafeBreach is worth a look, as they can provide incredibly useful info on the state of your firewall, antivirus software, and how your employees handle phishing scams.
Update your software
Ransomware attacks like Petya and Wannacry made it clear that many businesses were unknowledgeable when it comes to such cyberattacks, but it also showed that IT departments were slightly behind the times regarding the latest software updates. Hackers will take any opportunity they can to breach your system, but when you metaphorically leave the front door open, then it’s on you. Some helpful tips regarding your software include:
- Don’t ignore those pop-ups that appear on your system and tell you to update your software. When it becomes available, go ahead and update it.
- Ensure all third party software is up to date.
- Have a clear line of dialogue between IT and other departments. You’re on the same side!
- Companies like Norton have some great anti-virus software and firewalls, but there are also businesses like Cybereason, that create some of the most sophisticated anti-hacking software available today.
It might not be a step you want to take, but even if you’ve completed all the above steps, you might still want that extra bit of security. Think about getting insurance specifically for data theft and cybercrimes, in case you do fall victim to hacking. Don’t live in fear, but simply stay aware of threats, keep your employees up to date, and make sure your software is the latest version.