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How to Protect Your Business From a Cyber Attack

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Cybercrime is everywhere. And it’s expected to cost companies an estimated $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. 

Businesses need to understand that cyber risk is a business risk. And now that COVID-19 has forced many operations to go online, businesses are more vulnerable than ever. Anything connected to the internet can potentially be hacked. 

Luckily, there are several things you can do to protect your business against cyber attacks. Here’s how to get started:

1. Make cybersecurity a priority 

Businesses have limited time and resources. So you need to prioritize how to spend them. While it could be tempting to put off cybersecurity, this could be a fatal mistake for your company down the road. 

One cyber attack could put your entire business under. So the first step to protecting your business is making cybersecurity a priority. 

2. Understand what sensitive data is

A lot of cyberattack victims fail to recognize which of their data are at risk. 

Obviously, hackers tend to target credit card and bank information, but they usually get it in roundabout ways. 

For example, in 2013, hackers gained access to the credit card information of 40 million Target shoppers by hacking one of the retail giant’s third-party refrigerator contractors first.

So, you need to understand exactly how vulnerable different information is. To learn more about vulnerable data, you can take advantage of free resources, including ones by the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) 

3. Protect sensitive information

Once you know what information to protect, you need to do all you can to keep it safe. That means using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication (MFA) or two-factor authentication (2FA). 

You should also encrypt sensitive information when sending it over the internet. That means using communication software that encodes messages so only the receiver with the encryption key can read it. You’ll want to secure all wireless access points and networks this way.

4. Protect software

Next, you should protect all the software your business uses.

Use software firewalls like web application firewalls (WAFs) to filter information that comes in and out. Set up email and website blockers for your employees. You don’t want them to visit questionable websites or click on suspicious links that could compromise your programs. 

Make sure to update your operating systems and other software regularly as well. This will help ensure they stay up to date with the latest versions and fixes. 

5. Protect hardware

You can’t safeguard your software and data without protecting your hardware, too. 

Set up hardware firewalls that filter out incoming traffic before it gets to servers. Install surge protectors and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) that make sure your computers keep running and data gets saved even if the power goes out. 

Do all you can to protect computers, servers, drives, phones, and other electronics from getting stolen and dispose of them safely when you’re done with them. 

6. Train employees

None of the above will do you any good if you don’t train your employees in cybersecurity as well. 

Human error is the number one cause for data breaches, especially in our current age of remote work. In one survey of 200 managers and executives, 20% said they faced a security breach as a result of a remote worker

So, teach workers best security practices. Teach them to be wary of suspicious activity and alert a manager whenever they see it. For many cyberattacks, employees are your first line of defense.

7. Limit employee access

At the same time, you should also limit employee access. Only make data available to those who need it. By doing this, you lower the chances of human error causing a security vulnerability.  

Also, be sure to remove all access for employees who leave your company. Disgruntled ex-employees could be a threat to your business if they decide to take their anger out on you.

8. Get cyber insurance

No matter what you do, you can never totally eliminate the risk of a cyberattack. However, you can eliminate the financial burden if one does happen with cyber insurance. 

Cyber insurance helps you recover your financial losses in the event of an attack. Just make sure to find a trusted provider and review exactly what they cover to make sure it fits your needs.

9. Hire professional IT security

Lastly, consider hiring a professional IT service to manage your security needs. That way, you can let an expert make sure you have all your bases covered.  

The right IT service will protect your business from cyber threats and save you money with their cybersecurity infrastructure and resources. 

Final Thoughts 

Cyberattacks are more prevalent than ever in our new era of remote work. If you want to protect your company, you need to implement best security practices now. 

Start following the tips above and you’ll feel more confident about your business security going forward.