The last few decades have seen technology become an integral part of each and every aspect of a business. Whether it be an email correspondence, online financial transactions, networking between departments/ people, shared work documents – businesses are dependent on technology to stay connected at all times. And when these crucial communication channels are compromised it can have a disastrous effect on businesses.
“Nearly 43% of all UK businesses have reported cybersecurity breaches in the 2018” –Cyber Security Breaches Survey, which translates to the alarming fact that it’s not just big businesses that need to safeguard themselves against network threat protection.
Cybersecurity threats include activities such as lost files, software and system corruption, loss of property both intellectual and assets, scammers impersonating business representatives on behalf of a company, sending fraudulent emails, containing a virus or malware.
Impact of Cyber Crime on Businesses
A security breach leads to long term impact on businesses- it not only affects your business reputation but it also leads to lack of customer trust. The overall impact can be categorized in three ways:
- Financial loss: When businesses suffer a financial cyber breach which could be theft of corporate information, financial information, money and loss of future business, businesses incur a massive cost to repair security systems, the network and all online devices.
- Business Reputation: Customers trust is the most important factor in the success of any business. A security breach leads to erosion of customer’s trust which eventually leads to loss of customers,= and their business.
- Legal consequences: Privacy and data protection laws have made personal data protection mandatory for all businesses. In case personal data of employees or business clients are compromised fines and regulatory sanctions are levied on the business.
The world of cybercrime has evolved as an organized industry mainly comprised of criminal consortiums and organized hacker’s crews. Knowing how to prevent cybercrime, nullifying the security threat and enabling network threat protection is a herculean task for most businesses since hackers keep evolving their tactics and rapidly update their technology.
Hence it’s important to understand the overall implications of cyber threat and culminate the best technology practices and procedures to design a solution that takes care of your business.
Cyber Security Tips to Protect your Business
#1. Follow Government and industry Security Guidelines
Since all organizations and businesses have their own unique needs their risk tolerance, vulnerabilities and capabilities vary. Therefore it’s impossible to design a solution that suits all the requirements. Keeping this aspect in the forefront Government and other regulatory bodies have established a few frameworks and security recommendations that reduce the extent and impact of cyber-attack to large extent. For instance- GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation formulated and released in 2018 is designed to protect the privacy and data of all European citizens even if their domicile is not a European country. Other such regulatory bodies are NIST-USA and HIPPA in the United States.
If all businesses follow the guidelines and regulatory recommendations designed by these bodies, they will definitely be in a better place to protect their data, employees and clients.
#2. Use a good Antivirus and Anti-malware Software
Investing in a good anti-malware and antivirus software is a proven way of adding a solid protection layer to your servers and systems. These will enable you to safeguard your business against Trojans, ransomware, worms and other types of security threats. A good antivirus will detect a malicious file, stop it from affecting the system and remove it before it causes any damage.
#3. Implement effective Email Security solutions against Phishing
Our mailbox has become one of the most vulnerable areas for a cyber threat. Email attachments and embedded links contain numerous malware; even though anti-spam filters are embedded with email by the service provider, they are often not effective in identifying and dissolving the threat.
Install a good third party email solutions that automatically identifies and isolates dangerous emails along with this anti-phishing platforms also identify and isolate dangerous emails before the receiver engages with them. Other than these solutions it’s also important to conduct periodic checks and phishing simulations to engage employees so that they remain alert.
#4. Regular Software Updates and Checks
Whenever there is a flaw in the operating software or system, it renders itself vulnerable to cyber threats and attacks. To address these very important issue software developers regularly release system updates to make their business applications foolproof against any impending cyber threat.
For business, it’s important to regularly update their systems and software as any delay leaves an open opportunity for attack. It security experts run several checks to test the systems few such checks are-
- Vulnerability Assessment- to check and address any system vulnerability,
- Risk Assessment-a process of evaluating potential risks based on specific events and tasks,
- Penetration Test- done to check if the system’s security will hold against a cyber-attack.
To sum up!
When businesses establish a defined policy against cyber threats and educate their employees to identify the signs of an impending threat they strengthen themselves against potential breaches. It is important to select a multi-layered approach to combat cyber risks.