How To Protect Your Business Against Cyber Crime
Cybercrime makes up a significant problem in small businesses today – one that no one wants to speak about because of the potential for embarrassment to the company. Inc notes that 60% of companies fail because they fall prey to cybercrime. It’s a frustrating statistic to stomach, since building a secure small business network isn’t impossible, it just takes a bit of time, effort and investment, like all other things. However, even though the world has forged forward into the twenty-first century, many business owners still see the online store as an afterthought, not their primary business front, and don’t put that much effort into protecting it. The result is that they fall prey to small-time hackers looking for an easy score and finding it in small companies that can’t be bothered about their cybersecurity. How is a company to deal with protecting itself against these twenty-first-century bandits?
Institute Cyber Security Training
Harvard Business Review notes that the majority of threats to data security don’t come from outside of the company as most would think, but rather from inside the company’s network. Some (if not most) of these issues stem from employees or contractors being unaware of the security measures in place to deal with potential data breaches. Informing users of the network (which includes third-party contractors if they are part of your employee workforce) goes a long way towards helping mitigate the risks associated with internal security breaches. Having employees aware of potential phishing scams and how they work (as well as other types of social engineering that may be employed to obtain password information) can help to reduce the incidence of security breaches from within the company.
Ensure that Devices are Up to Date
The Telegraph reports that the WannaCry ransomware attack that struck the NHS was due to many of their systems running outdated software. While many users think that security updates are time-consuming and a headache, the risk of not installing them is even worse. Information stored on a PC that is compromised could be lost or locked behind a paywall (in the case of ransomware). Customer data stored on servers could be spirited away by a skilled attacker and only made known after customer accounts were being charged. To avoid these issues, having the latest updates for devices should be instituted as a company policy. The methodology of tasking this rollout of updates to the IT department as well as making them responsible for alerting the company to new updates gives the company a bit more depth in their device security protocols.
Don’t Leave Business Wi-Fi Unsecured
Twenty-first-century businesses tend to offer free, open Wi-Fi for their clientele to ease the pain of having to wait at a particular location. However, having an insecure Wi-Fi connection introduces a plethora of risks to the other customers on the network as well as the business itself. There are a few ways that companies can deal with the potential threat to their systems while still offering open access to the internet for customers. The easiest method would be to implement two different Wi-Fi networks for the company and the customers. Alternatively, different subnets can be used to secure internal and external company networks. With the introduction of IoT devices, these need to be secured as they present a straightforward method of gaining entry into a system. Older IoT devices are notorious for having low security, so firmware updates for older machines are necessary to ensure they keep on top of the current standards for these devices.
Invest in Cyber Insurance
Cyber Insurance is a failsafe in case all other efforts to prevent cyber-attacks fail. Cyber insurance policies are designed to ensure that even if a company falls prey to a malicious online attack, the company itself isn’t liable to pay out of pocket for the damages. However, if a company is intending to adopt a cyber insurance policy, it is a necessity that their networks conform to the basics of cybersecurity to reduce their risks. The more of those countermeasures are in place, the lower the cost of the premium to the company, usually. Additionally, having regular checks with a security expert to verify the integrity of the network and any potential risks can help to make for a more secure business environment.
Cyber Crime is No Joke
Forbes states that 58% of all cybercrime in 2018 had small businesses as their victims. The sobering statistic makes it all the more relevant to have measures in place to ensure that your company doesn’t fall prey to the ravages of these criminals. Unlike a lot of other ways businesses could fail, falling victim to cybercrime is one of the most preventable because of the ease with which companies can adopt ways to prevent intrusion. The average hacker that targets small businesses isn’t going to enter a system that is rife with deterrents because there are so many of them that are easier to exploit. The question that you should answer is whether your business is one of the easy ones or one of the hard ones to gain access to.