The internet is now the main place for businesses to operate. Almost every business relies on the internet in some form, and it brings a whole host of opportunities and benefits, particularly for smaller businesses.
For many, the ability to store data and email safely and work remotely is solely internet-based and in order to operate a business, the internet is crucial to business digitalization, everyday operations, success, and opportunity for growth.
But businesses are attacked by ransomware every 11 seconds on average, with cyber-attacks increasing by 32% for UK businesses. Every day, cybercriminals are looking to steal information,
It’s absolutely vital that your business is protected from the dangers of cyber-attacks, so with that in mind let’s take a look at how to protect your business from cyber-attacks.
1. Educate Staff On Cyber Security
Every business is vulnerable to cyber-attacks, but what can you do to stay protected? Start with your staff. Unfortunately, a lot of cyber-attacks are physical, involving someone clicking on a link they shouldn’t, or plugging in a compromised device such as a USB, meaning that people are often the weakest link when it comes to your cyber security. Provide regular training and updates on cyber security training and tighten up your tech, upgrading any old devices or software.
If your business deals with particularly sensitive information or stores client data, then this is recommended. There are many online training courses that you can take and ensure that all employees and personnel are well-equipped with modern security practices and are able to spot phishing attacks or malware indications.
2. Conduct Regular Audits
Although you can’t eliminate the risks of cyber-attacks altogether, you can put measures into place to regularly assess and review the cyber protection you have in place. Carrying out regular audits ensures that the system you have in place is enough for your business, identifies any weaknesses, and increases your defenses, all whilst minimising the risk of a major business catastrophe.
Cyber security services may suggest that you restrict third-party access to IT equipment that can be taken out of the building, as well as ensure that access to information and systems is to the minimum that is required to use functionally. They may also suggest that you keep an inventory of all IT equipment and software used, whilst identifying and initialising a secure standard for all existing and future equipment you may use.
A regular audit also helps to reduce maintenance costs, as you’ll be more aware of what services are working for your business security and which aren’t. You’ll also have more peace of mind knowing that your customers’ data is protected. Security audits help to identify any potential gaps in your cyber security, recommend changes to make and, overall, help to make your business more secure.
3. Secure Sensitive Data
The detection of business cyber-attacks has increased by around 500% since 2018, costing businesses more than £75 billion per year – that works out at around £6000 per hour! If you store sensitive data online for your business and you’re worried about these files being hacked or becoming corrupted, then ensuring that this online data is secure is vital.
Even if you already have robust systems in place if your business is targeted by ransomware which manages to attack and cause damage to your systems, they could even attack the security or backup software which is in place as a way of damaging your business further. Be sure that you encrypt any sensitive data, including employee information, customer details, and business data, as remember this is the information that hackers and criminals will actively be searching out, as they can then sell it on.
4. Don’t Rely On Cyber Security Insurance
Sadly, there isn’t a day that goes by when a business isn’t vulnerable to a cyber-attack. They happen multiple times per day and are becoming more and more sophisticated. Technology advances, digital innovations, and increased levels of sophisticated criminal activity, this has exposed businesses to be vulnerable to more intelligent cyber attacks. Cyber-attacks have long evolved from simple viruses and instead use cyber weapons and tools. Even with this, just 9% of businesses on average have the right type of cyber insurance.
In the same way that health insurance in the US can prevent access to medication or medical procedures, cyber insurers may be able to deny your claim should your business fall victim to a cyber-attack. One of the biggest reasons why a lot of businesses find that, when they do come to make a claim, they aren’t protected is down to the terms outlined in the T&Cs.
When choosing cyber security insurance, be sure to read through all the terms and conditions outlined in the contract, as this ensures that you know what to expect in the instance that an attack does happen and can choose the right cover for your business.
- Blogger and Educator by Passion | Senior Online Media & PR Strategist at ClickDo Ltd. | Contributor to many Education, Business & Lifestyle Blogs in the United Kingdom & Germany | Summer Course Student at the London School of Journalism and Course Instructor at the SeekaHost University.