With massive attacks reported almost daily, cybercrime is becoming a growing problem. And with almost all businesses now relying on online connections to do business, criminals are increasingly turning their activities online.
However, while most of the recent headline breaches have been against large corporations and government organizations – such as Anthem, Talk Talk and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management – the majority of attacks are actually directed against small businesses.
With potentially lower defense budgets, less security, and a lack of dedicated personnel, small businesses are particularly at risk.
So how can you ensure your business is protected?
Here are 5 tips we’ve found to be the most effective:
1. Understand the risks
It is important to learn about the different types of attacks you are vulnerable to and how they work.
Learn about your phishing and identity theft scams: typical routes, where your weaknesses lie, and the likely motivations for an attack (e.g., ransom, data theft, etc.).
2. Develop a security policy
Make sure you have a security strategy at the heart of your company’s standard operating procedures.
Educate your employees about potential risks and ensure that they follow some basic guidelines, such as using secure and regularly updated passwords, double-checking requests, and keeping sensitive data in dedicated secure files and only on your company’s devices.
3. Keep your software up to date
Make sure your operating system, applications and security software are up to date. This is very important, for example, without the latest updates, your security software cannot identify the latest viruses and malware.
4. Consider purchasing data breach insurance.
Until a few years ago, it was unheard of to purchase insurance against a potential data breach. Not only is it possible, but it is probably a very wise investment.
If you become the unlucky victim of a successful attack, having insurance in place will mitigate the potentially huge financial costs and could also help you deal with the resulting legal challenges.
5. Putting extra security in place
While it goes without saying that you should have all your systems installed and checked regularly by a security expert, as well as fully up-to-date security software, it is unfortunately not enough.
Employee monitoring software can be a valuable second line of defense. This type of software can be installed remotely on any device where it can monitor all applications and Internet usage and messages. The software can also alert managers when sensitive files are accessed.
What do you say?
Do you have security measures in place to prevent data breaches? Or maybe we’ve left an essential item on the list.
We’d like to know, so let us know in the comments section below.