How To Protect Your Business From Cybercrime
If your business handles confidential data, you should be worried about cybercrime. With increasing eCommerce options for companies providing pretty much any product or service, the chances are you’ve got people’s credit card info, name, surname, and email address on your hands. Any business can face lawsuits for allowing clients’ classified information to be compromised in a data breach incident. Companies can lose millions of dollars to lawsuits and settlements caused by cyberattacks. This is especially si/gnificant for small businesses, as 43% of cybercrimes target them, and 60% go out of business within the first couple of months of being hacked.
Even if you’re running an enterprise and can handle the court settlements, there’s still the issue of lost confidence, and damaged reputation. Given this information, you might be tempted to pay up when faced with ransomware attacks or cooperate with attackers. After all, the price you’d have to pay is likely less than what you’d have to pay in lawsuits and settlement cases. Keep in mind, though, that the saying “once a victim, always a victim” is especially applicable to cyberattacks. If you pay up once, you’re on the list of cybercriminals’ paying clients, and will never be rid of them.
So, let’s check out the best ways to avoid falling victim to cyberattacks and losing money, and possibly your entire business. As you’ll see, it’s probably not as high-tech and nasty as it seems.
Create a System Security Plan
If you thought that a simple antivirus system would protect you from cybercrime, you are sorely mistaken. In fact, in a recent, charmingly comical cyberattack incident, a casino in North America was hacked into via a connected IoT fish tank. With people relying on technology to handle an increasing number of their daily tasks, most of us might soon feel as if we need a firewall for our toasters.
Smart homes, smart banks, and yes, smart casinos are all at an increased risk of a cyberattack due to the increasing number of connected devices. Most IoT devices are not only unprotected from cyberattacks but also unaccounted for. So before you implement a cybersecurity system for your business, make sure you have included all of your devices connected to the cloud or other connected devices.
A quality SSP (system security plan) will identify all potential liabilities for you. This might include software, hardware, employee training, or security measures. Procedures are also introduced to help your employees to respond to cybersecurity-related incidents in the same, prescribed manner. If you’ve got a particularly gifted IT team on your hands, there might be no need to outsource this task. The chances are that you don’t, and hiring an SSP company does pay off in the long run.
After all, only 3% of hacking attacks reach targets through technical issues. As many as and 97% of hacking crimes are done via social engineering, so with the right employee education, a crisis can be avoided. Humans are the weakest link when it comes to active cyberattacks.
An untrained individual will find it difficult to differentiate between a phishing email with a virus link, and a regular email from a colleague. Telling the difference is ridiculously easy – the grammar is usually wrong, the data and subject are vague and unlike anything you’d seen before. People often click away on autopilot and fail to pay attention, which makes them easy targets. Not because the cyberattack was sophisticated – but because they don’t know what to look out for.
Employee training meant to avoid social engineering attacks such as phishing, baiting, and pretexting is relatively simple. Still, as years go by and employees are trained against certain types of SE cyberattacks, the cybercriminals keep up. This is why it’s essential to hold employee training sessions every couple of months and update them on the most recent trends.
Introduce Multi-Step and Multi-factor Authentication
Making sure the right people can access the correct data and minimize the risks of a breach or misuse is more complicated than just thinking of a hermetic password. First of all, there’s always the tension between simple and easy user design of, for example, an eCommerce app, and security. Your clients want it all – top-notch convenience and security, with most if not all of the protection-related stuff going on behind the scenes. Here’s how you can try and make everyone happy.
For one thing, authentication can be split into three categories that make users look unique – something they know, something they have, and something they are. A multi-step authentication process might involve a complex password, followed by security questions, if lost (something you know).
A multi-factor system, on the other hand, might include a password and a thumbprint, or an iris scan. The latter is usually applied to the company employees, and small to mid-sized businesses might not be able to afford it. One thing you can do is lock your users’ accounts after up to 3-4 shots at entering their password.
Yes, You Need to Update Your Software
Most of us disregard the annoying and ever-returning warnings that we need to update our software simply because we don’t see the point. It’s time-consuming, it keeps you from accessing your work/entertainment content, and is expected to sort itself out, somehow. Still, keep in mind that outdated software leaves you more vulnerable to cybersecurity risks. Hackers are likely to be the first to update! They will research the latest changes in the system, to target the companies who forgot to update.
Invest In Insurance
Cybercrime can be financially devastating for many businesses. This is why it’s essential to be prepared for the worst and create a cyber risk management system. The right cyber insurance policy will enable the company to transfer the financial burden of a cybercrime and data breaches to the insurer. A good policy will offer both first-party and third-party coverage.
First-party coverage will protect you from losses caused by the interruption of business due to the attack. It will also cover computer forensics, improvements to your cybersecurity systems post-attack, the cost of notifying the victims, credit monitoring, and PR. The third-party coverage will protect from liability lawsuits from those who suffered damages in the attack.
If you introduce a quality SSP, educate your employees promptly, remember to always update your software on time, and create a good risk management strategy, you should be in the clear, for the most part. Remember, cybercriminals are no longer kids operating from their parents’ basements.
Today, we’re taking on a well-funded and well-connected type of organized cybercrime. Smart business owners will need to invest in cybersecurity and create contingency plans for dealing with cybercriminals.
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