The proliferation of data breaches and cyber attacks in the previous years is a clear sign of how smart and sophisticated hackers are becoming day by day.
Cyber-attacksare a nightmare for businesses of all sizes. While media, business leaders, and the government are constantly emphasizing on the fact that cyber attacks are becoming more of a matter of ‘when’ instead of ‘if,’ the clamor may not be enough for minimizing the destructive effects of these threats.
The threat wasn’t only a matter of concern for small businesses,but industry giants like Yahoo, Google, eBay, Equifax, Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, and Adobe also made headlinesas victims of a cyberattack.
On the other hand, surveys revealed how small businesses are also in need of help as far as strengthening data security is concerned. This could difficult for small businesses due to lack of resources and training required to keep the IT and data security systems up to date. The shortage of revenue to afford an IT department let alone a dedicated team to protect the business against cybersecurity threatscan be quite challenging.
Unfortunately, most companies do not even know until they have been hacked and the damage is done. And with the presence of information security threat and system vulnerabilities, it is not possible to predict who will be affected by such an attack and when.
Minimizing Cyber Security Threats
Fortunately, not all of it is bad news. In fact, with the right approach, technology, and data security measures, 97% of the breaches can be prevented. Even small businesses can adopt these five surefire ways to minimize cybersecurity threats without incurring a huge cost.
1. Be Aware of Your Current Security System
The key is to find the loophole to know where to start from. To implement a reliable plan that perfectly protects your company from cyber attacks, you must have a proper understanding of the external and internal vulnerabilities within the security system.
You must be able to pinpoint areas that hackers can use to enter your system. This will be the points of weaknesses that you must work on. To do so, you must also be aware of the different cyber fraud threats and schemes, including system hacking, malware, and phishing.
A great way to keep all the departments accountable for the specific security requirements is to conduct regular security assessments. Make this a regular process to detect anything that could’ve changed due tothe presence of risk.
2. Data Encryption
From private customer data to employee security numbers and bank routing digits, everything can be protected once and for all with user data encryption. For organizations with sensitive data asset, it is important to encrypt data for maximum protection.
Use full-disk encryption tools that can be used with any major operating system. Turning on the system on all devices will only take a couple of minutes to encrypt every file on your drive without compromising on the operating system.
However, it is important to pay attention while using this feature. The encryption only works when the system has been logged out. Set your operating systems to log out automatically after every few minutes without use.
3. Hardware Security
While most cyber attacks these days happen online, not every attack has a computer system involved. A cyber attack could also result if your physical equipment is stolen or hardware is compromised.
To secure the hardware, all the systems with sensitive information and login should be physically locked down to prevent unauthorized access. The latest desktops and laptops may already feature Kensington lock ports for better hardware security. These loops can keep the device tethered down to the desk. While this may not completely prevent the risk of theft, but it requires much more time and effort to make an escape with a hardware device.
In most cases, this could be enough to deter the hackers and thieves from stealing entirely. And if you want to take this to the next level, consider cloud computing software that could help you track your devices and restore data, if they are stolen.
4. Authentication and Passwords
This one’s not new! You must have already gotten this warning many times. Yet, many organizations still fail tofollow the right procedures required for a strong system. In fact, this is one of the major reasons why most accounts get compromised because of easy access and simple passwords.
Change passwords regularly and never use the same password for multiple accounts. Also, be particular about giving access to the sensitive information to authorities. In fact, consider using a two-factor authentication policy to strengthen the security and authentication for sensitive business information.
Have a Backup and Restoration Plan
Hackers can install ransomware on your system and ask for money against the data they have locked out. Larger companies with sensitive data are the basic target for such attacks as they will pay more money to get their access back to their data.
Another way of losing data can be due to natural disasters like a flood or fire in your office. To save your organization against such a loss, it is important to have a strong backup plan for your important data.
Having a backup system in place allows easy restoration and ensure your ability to get back on track and serve your customers without any loss. It is also important to remember that having a cloud or any third-party hosted device does not mean your data is backed up.
Use your own backup methods to secure your data.
When you are running a business, the risks of cyber threat may not pop in your head until one day it attacks your data. If that happens without any backup or security measure, the results can be catastrophic.
Therefore, it’s crucial to have the basic security plan in place and use these five surefire ways to minimize cybersecurity threats and protect yourself from preventable troubles and headaches down the road.