As we wrap up our weekly series of 12 Ways To Protect Your Business From A Cyber Security Attack, here’s a quick review of what we covered. Hackers tend to consistently target small businesses because they have more assets than individuals and are also less protected compared to big corporations. According to the US House Committee on small businesses, 71% of all attacks are targeted at companies with less than 100 employees. So, it’s important for small business owners to continually protect their business’s assets. Below we’ve provided a summary of the 12 ways you can protect your business from cyber attacks.
1) Routine Security Assessment
One way to know the state of your business’s security is by conducting a regular security assessment of all your business assets. Threats could stay hidden and undetected indefinitely if you do not assess your business’s network’s security. It bolsters the security of your organization and the information you learn from the assessment can be used to develop preventative measures against a future attack thus increasing your awareness and those of your employees.
2) Email Filtering Protection
Email is at the heart of many business communications and operations. Unfortunately, a significant amount of emails received turn out to be spam or worse a phishing email used for stealing credentials. Valuable time is often wasted opening and deleting spam messages and some attackers do package malicious code that can hijack a system as email. Installing an advanced email filtering program can help in cutting down time wasted treating junk mail and prevent your organization’s system from being hacked.
3) Give Your Users Powerful Passwords
Businesses use passwords to restrict access to confidential data and resources but the purpose of a password can be defeated if there is no consistent powerful password policy across business operations. You can improve your business security by improving the password creation and resetting process. Your business should create policies that ensure periodic password change and enforces the creation of difficult to hack passwords. If attackers crack any of your business’ network passwords, they can inflict maximum damage, you can prevent such from happening by disallowing the creation of weak passwords.
4) Cybersecurity Awareness Training
To keep your business safe from attacks, awareness training is a must because employees are the weakest link to business security. Even if you have installed state-of-the-art security systems, attackers can still gain access to your networks if your employees don’t know about cybersecurity or they don’t follow the laid down rules due to ignorance. You need to organize or enroll your employees in awareness training so they are conversant with latest security threats and the best way to handle such threats.
5) Advanced Endpoint Protection(AEP)
Due to a large number of attacks being directed at businesses, simple security systems may not protect your business. You should install an AEP which is an advanced system that can block malicious files and programs from being executed on your systems. With its container technology, it is able to analyze and run suspicious files in a virtual container thus keeping your systems safe from infection. Its cost-effectiveness and its ability to reduce the incidents of data breaches make AEP an important arsenal in the defense of your business.
6) Enable Two-Factor Authentication
Hackers can get a hold of you or your employees’ passwords and operate like legitimate users undetected. Two-Factor Authentication(2FA) was developed to make such attacks less successful by making passwords useless without an additional verification method which is usually harder to get. 2FA makes your business more secure by requiring two separate means of confirming a user’s identity.
7) Updating Your OS
You need to update your OS to stay ahead of evolving threats. New viruses are being released every day and PC’s do slow down with time due to the accumulation of bugs and software errors. This is why OS vendors release regular updates to fix OS problems and protect your PC from latest attacks.
8) Dark Web Research
It is unusual to be able to use the tool of cybercriminals against them. But researching on the Dark Web can help your business stay secure. Monitoring the dark web can help you spot the latest attack methods and also discover if your business is on the radar of attackers or has been compromised. Due to the safety of the dark web, cybercriminals have set up their illegal business trading in stolen data and malicious software, your business can benefit from getting timely information to help you prevent attacks or manage them.
9) Business Class Firewall or Security Appliance
Most businesses have some form of firewall to prevent unauthorized access to their network. However, basic firewall can’t withstand sustained and sophisticated attacks, this is where Security Appliance comes in. Security Appliances or Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliances provide a consolidated and manageable interface for software security bundles. UTM combines the functions of firewalls, IDS, and network vulnerability scanners into one package thus making it more effective than single software solutions.
10) Encrypt Files and Portable Devices
Portable devices are popular and convenient to use but they come with the risk of getting lost and falling into the wrong hands. A smart security policy is to do full device encryption to protect your business data in case of data loss or theft. Many encryption software and hardware are available from which you can choose based on your business needs.
11) Update Your Backup Process
Because your systems can crash, get its data corrupted or lost, you should always backup important data on a regular basis. The frequency of backup should be as short as possible, important applications should be backed at shorter interval periods while a system-wide backup should be scheduled during off-peak hours. To be effective, the backup process should not only cover important applications and data but other less used ones and backups should be stored on both on-site and off-site servers whenever possible.
12) How Cyber Insurance Can Help
All the security methods discussed above cannot guarantee a perfect protection against all attacks. There is the possibility that some slip-ups may aid attackers in gaining access to your business networks. Should that happen, a cyber-insurance can help mitigate the impact of such a breach by helping to offset the costs associated with the hack and also shortening business recovery period. You definitely need cyber insurance for a complete system protection.
All in all, small businesses are at a major risk of being hacked, the methods we discussed above can help deter attackers from targeting your business and looking elsewhere for softer targets to test their exploits on. It’s important to conduct a system-wide assessment to determine the current state of your business’s security so as to know the next steps to take. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the above processes, or just don’t have the extra time to implement them into your security plan, please give us a call at 866-957-3835, or you can contact us online by clicking here. We can help get you on the right path to protecting your business from becoming a target of a cyber attack.