When in the process of setting up your business, the probability that you will be depending on various information technologies is high. You may be handling employee information, customer data, and probably detailed product designs. Meanwhile, these are presumebly of interest to cybercriminals, irrespective of the size of your business.
An awareness and fundamental comprehension of cyber security risks, as well as the preventive measures to be taken against the risks posed in the cyber world, will aid in protecting your intellectual property, your digital belongings, and ultimately your business.
Contrary to the misconception that hackers rarely target small businesses because of the small size and seeming lack of valuable data, it is important to note that any information kept on your systems is capable of interesting cybercriminals. Having said that, written in this article are 5 biggest risks of cyber security for your business.
5 Biggest Cyber Security Risks For Your Business
Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that tries to encrypt your data, and thereafter extort a ransom in order to release a code for unlocking. A high percentage of ransomware gets delivered through malicious types of emails. To have an edge over ransomware attacks on your business, the following are protective measures you can take for your business:
- Your staff should be cautious of unwelcome/unsolicited emails, especially those that request a hasty reply.
- Ensure the installment and maintenance of effective anti-virus and malware protection software.
- Make sure your applications are always kept up to date, that is, frequently update your software.
- Have data backups, as a stream of well-managed backups of data will enable you to regain a decrypted file. However, ensure you frequently test your backups.
This is an attempt to acquire classified/confidential information, while falsely impersonating as a reliable contact. There is a term called spear phishing, and it is an extremely targeted trial to acquire information from a single person.
Emails can as well be used to acquire sensitive information from a person, all they do is send an email that would entirely appear approving, many times with true logos and flawless choice of words.
The following steps can be observed to protect your business against phishing:
- Bear in mind that companies do not request certain sensitive information.
- Install and maintain the usage of anti-malware software.
- Ensure you have spam filters turned on. And inspect them frequently, to be sure they haven’t by chance, caught up an honest email.
- Be wary of unusual emails.
Leakage of Data
While cyber security in your business may seem difficult, it is important to understand that security widens well further away than your location or place of work. The widespread and inexpensive nature, characteristic of mobile storage devices, make them a helpful instrument for the conveyance of data, as well as backup.
However, those characteristics indicate that they also allow being targeted for data theft. Here are some measures to prevent the leakage of data from your business:
- Make sure all your portable devices have password locks.
- Make use of encryption software when using mobile storage devices.
- Frequently watch your mobile devices and perhaps, paperwork, at all times. A high percentage of crime takes advantage of situations. Therefore, losing watch over your smart devices can lead to serious data loss.
- In case of loss, you should leave the tracking by GPS on your device turned on and the option to be able to remotely wipe the device.
- Protect your digital belongings with the kind of vigilance you exercise by locking the door to your apartment whenever you are going out or going to bed.
This involves acquiring access to information technology systems from outside your business or organization and attempting to acquire access to your bank account details, or credit card databases. This is usually possible through several means such as the use of social engineering, deceiving staff into divulging usernames and passcodes.
The principal procedures to guard yourself and your business against hacking include data access security, methods of granting and removal of access, user knowledge, and training, as well as network firewalls.
Information Sharing Through Your Staff
If you employ staff or workers and they work full time (which means they have the full knowledge of even the deepest secrets/the most confidential pieces of information in your business), there is a possibility of data leakage through your staff, either maliciously or by mistake.
An example of accidental information sharing is when your staff intends to send you a confidential message on business matters but he or she mistakenly sends it to the wrong email address (which turns out to be a hacker’s address).
The damage from this careless leak of information through your staff can not be underestimated. Therefore, you can carry out these precautionary measures to prevent the unfortunate incidence:
- Properly educate and train your team and staff to be alert at all times, especially when it comes to sensitive information. This will minimize careless mistakes as much as possible.
- To a considerable extent, limit the rate at which your staff has access to your business data. Just provide your staff with the minimum access they require to carry out their duties, that is, the rule of “least privilege access” should apply to all information technology (IT) systems.
- Consider the usage of applications in some situations, to monitor your staff behavior.
- When any of your staff exits your business, ensure you take away their access and change anything you need to, in order to prevent them from getting back at you through leakage/hacking.
What Can Be Done When You Have Been Hacked?
Should in case the worst happens and you realize you have been hacked, certain things are to be done to report the incident immediately, so as to prevent too much damage.
These steps include placing a call through to your credit card and bank companies, communicating to everyone involved in your business, both internal and external, as well as involving a third party expert to assess the extent of the breach and how to overcome it.