How To Prepare Your Business for Cyber Attacks
Not only are cyber-attacks becoming more frequent, but those attacks are also becoming more complex and more dangerous. The key to protecting your business from cybercrime is to take proactive measures so that you’re prepared if and when an attack comes. There are more than a few ways to do this.
Train Your Employees
A lot of vulnerabilities are the result of human error. People get sloppy, or they simply don’t understand the danger presented by cyberattacks, and they take actions that leave your system open to attack. This is why phishing attacks are so popular. It’s easier to trick a person than a secured system.
Ensure that your employees know what to look for and what steps to take to keep your systems secure. It’s not just about preventing attacks, it’s also about not inadvertently helping the attackers by letting them in. Employees need to be vigilant, but they also need to know what exactly they’re watching out for, and that happens through effective training. (CoxBlue)
Establish a Cybersecurity Policy
This goes hand in hand with training your employees. It’s important to implement a cybersecurity policy so that your employees know what’s allowed and, more importantly, what’s not allowed when they access the Internet at work, transfer work-related data, handle company devices, and perform other practices that could potentially put data at risk.
Another thing to consider is how passwords are handled. It’s pretty common nowadays for passwords to require special characters, as well as capitalized letters, and it’s a good idea to establish a similar rule for employee passwords.
It’s also in your best interest to establish a policy regarding social media use. People often overshare without even realizing the information that they’re exposing. They need to know what information can be shared and with whom.
Finally, make sure employees install any new updates in a timely manner, as updates are often pushed through to fix security exploits. (IT Pro Portal)
Understand and Secure Your Data
If you don’t fully understand the amount and the nature of your company’s data, you can’t possibly protect it effectively. For starters, you won’t know exactly what’s at risk and how big that risk is. Obviously, certain types of data are more important to hackers than others. If your company deals in valuable data, your level of security needs to match the value of that data.
Keep in mind that some data might not seem particularly desirable, but it all depends on what the attackers mean to do with it. Don’t assume that certain types of data aren’t sensitive just because you can’t see the immediate value.
Speaking of data, make sure everything is backed up at all times. If the hacker’s aim is simply to expose and release your data, a backup isn’t going to help in that case. However, if they plan to steal your data and sell it back to you, which happens often, having all of your data backed up will render them powerless. (Travelers)
Regularly Audit Your System
Implementing a strict and powerful security system is vital, but it needs to be maintained. It’s a good idea to regularly assess your system to make sure everything is working as it should. If you want to go the extra mile, which is recommended, you can test the effectiveness of your security by staging a cyber attack yourself. Depending on the nature of your business, you might have employees that can handle this, or you could choose to hire an outside service. This brings us to our next bit of advice. (Acronis)
Hire Outside Experts
For most companies, this is the most practical solution. Even if you have your own IT department, cyber security experts deal exclusively with cyber security, while IT professionals have to spread their focus over a variety of areas. Hiring an outside firm to handle cyber attacks might be the best money you can spend. (Chubb)