You’ve worked hard to grow your business and keep it profitable, but something is missing. That something is cybersecurity. Having the proper cybersecurity training, processes, and procedures in place before your business goes off the rails is vital to ensure everything you spent the last several years building up doesn’t crumble before your eyes.
Understand these common cybersecurity threats and what you can do to be proactive with the process.
If your data has not been backed up, hackers can demand money for digital keys to unlock the data. If the data is essential to day-to-day operations, victims have little choice but to make the payment.
Phishing occurs when a cybercriminal poses as a trustworthy source in an email, text, or other digital communication to obtain usernames, passwords, and financial and personal identification information. Some businesses, such as real estate, are often targets.
Malware can be undetected for months. But, unfortunately, these are often the ones that do the most damage, and much like phishing, they are presented in an email, PDF, or software update.
Cybersecurity attacks will thrive if organizations and their employees fail to take even the most basic steps to protect themselves and their data.
How to Address These Threats
First: Start with a Business Audit
It’s essential to take a holistic approach to avoid cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Map out every business process and look for weaknesses, especially where sensitive data can be exposed if it falls into the wrong hands.
This audit requires the following:
- Document when each activity starts and ends
- What are the outcomes are and
- When and who makes the decisions.
Ideally, this process will identify areas where things are either paper or process intensive. However, before you automate or streamline anything, you have to define the cybersecurity risks.
Second: Inventory BYODs
Employees are putting increasing pressure on their employers to use their own devices when accessing company applications and data. In areas where the CIO or department hasn’t approved BYODs, it may be happening despite mandates that state otherwise.
Third: Implement a Good Cybersecurity Strategy
According to Hiscox, a cybersecurity insurance company, roughly 47% of U.S. small businesses had at least one cyberattack last year, and 44% had two to four attacks.
To prevent one from happening to your organization, do the following:
- Make sure all software, antivirus software, and firewalls are up to date. Outdated software, including and especially Windows 7, will leave the door wide open for data vulnerabilities.
- Establish a password policy. Strong passwords are at least ten characters long with upper and lower case, special characters and numbers, and the best.
- Train employees about phishing scams. Don’t do this once – it has to be an ongoing process.
- Remember, cybersecurity isn’t one and done.
Business processes and cybersecurity go hand-in-hand. Understand your processes first, and use policies, procedures, and training to ensure your data is secure.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. For more tips about ways to thrawt hackers, please visit their website.