It doesn’t take long to see the consequences of a business failing to protect sensitive data. Target, Adobe, and Equifax were all affected by significant data breaches that caused a huge blow to their reputations.
Businesses of all sizes face fraud and data breaches. More than 25% of businesses are at risk with fraud losses of an average of $38,000This is enough to force many small businesses into insolvency.
Types of security risks businesses face
Every day, businesses face increasing threats. Research has shown that ransomware and phishing are the most common methods of data leakage. Businesses are facing security problems such as hacking and other insider threats.
The majority of security breaches are caused by hackers. Hackers use malware and phishing scams in order to steal sensitive data from businesses. It can cost a lot to fix a data breach. Companies that are faced with serious data breaches have spent millions on specialists to help them get back in compliance. IBM Security estimates that the average data breach cost in the United States was $150 for each record.
This article explains some of the threats that businesses face.
Email phishing scams
Phishing refers to the sending of an email by a bad actor that appears to be an official communication from an established company. To prevent anything serious, this email might ask you to log into an account or to share your credit information. The bad actor will have access to this information, not the legitimate company. It is best to ignore any email that appears legitimate.
Check the email address to determine if an email was sent maliciously or legitimately. Although it’s easy not to do this when you get emails about email, it can help protect your business. If you are unsure whether an email was legitimate, just call the company apparently behind the email. They will know.
Computer and device hardware theft
Every year, nearly 650,000 laptops get lost or stolen – and this is just at airports. The number of laptops that are lost or stolen at airports and in other settings is staggering. A stolen laptop can give anyone with access to your data full access if it is not password-protected. This security threat can be avoided by simply keeping your password-protected computer visible and on your person.
Unauthorized network users
By password-protecting your Wi-Fi network you can prevent hackers from stealing information. Computer-savvy, unauthorized network users can view any information that you transmit over your Wi-Fi network. These include credit card numbers that you use to pay online and passwords you use to log in to your accounts.
How to protect your company from cyber-attacks
These security tips will help you lower your risk while keeping sensitive information safe.
1. Save only what is absolutely necessary.
Protecting your employees and customers is more important than ever. Companies save too much information, and customers suffer the consequences if there is a data breach.
Limit the number of information hackers can steal to limit their potential damage. Only save what you really need for your business. Do not collect any additional information. If you only have a temporary need for the information, you should get rid of it once you have used it.
2. Keep inventory information.
Although smartphones, flash drives, tablets, and laptops offer many convenient ways to store or transfer information, this also results in more chances for data to be lost.
You should keep track of the information you have, where it is stored, and who has access. This information inventory should include both electronic files as well as physical documents containing sensitive information.
3. Keep up-to-date with cybersecurity.
There is many top cybersecurity software that can protect any business from malware and other threats. You should look for a paid program to protect your network and all devices on it. It is worth the money because a breach could result in much higher costs. Install all updates as soon as you have a cybersecurity program in place.
Utilizing a United Threat Management (UTM) system is an important preventative measure for averting potential malicious intrusion. Combining this with multi-factor authentication (MFA), which provides an additional protective adjustment depending on the requirements of your organization, is a practical approach when strengthening cybersecurity. Through this strategy, the risks associated with attacks and unauthorized access to data are minimized. If you are thinking of implementing these security practices and you’ve already moved a step forward using Sophos UTM, then enabling Sophos MFA is the next step in your plan which can give you extra assurance that your information won’t be compromised.
4. Securely store physical documents
While cyberattacks are more prevalent, lost or stolen documents can also be an issue. It is important to protect sensitive information contained in documents from prying eyes.
Keep documents safe in a locked cabinet or room that only trusted employees have access to. You can dispose of documents by shredding them.
5. Pay for expenses with a business credit card.
A business credit card is a best and most secure way to pay for business expenses. Many will offer zero-liability fraud protection and you won’t lose any money if you have to dispute a transaction. You can limit the spending of employee cards, and you will receive instant notifications via text alerts about any transaction.
Every payment method comes with its own risks. Credit cards offer the best security and protection features, but they are not as secure as credit cards. Business credit cards offer more than security. They also allow you to access detailed expense reports and maximize your travel rewards.
6. Set internal controls to guard against employee fraud.
No matter how trusting you are in your employees, it is wise to implement internal controls to reduce employee fraud risk. Employees could steal customer information or misuse company funds.
Limit employees’ access only to the information they require for their job. Your systems should keep track of which information employees have access to. To prevent employees from being given too many responsibilities, you can set up segregation of tasks. Instead of one employee making purchases or reviewing expense reports, divide those tasks between two employees.
7. Monitor your employees’ accounts.
An employee’s account can be a gateway to your most sensitive information. You can protect your company from employee account hacks by analyzing their logs and setting rule-based alarms. You can spot unusual login attempts, which often indicate that there is a hacker in the account.
8. Establish employment agreements.
Include text in all of your job contracts that prohibits employees from sharing certain types of information. Employees can share information through a channel. Even though it is highly secured, theoretically, this could still be compromised. This information cannot be accessed if it is not shared.
9. Plan your response to data breaches
Always be ready for the worst. You can make the difference between a small data loss or a major breach by how you handle security incidents. These are the steps you should include in your plan:
- Close any holes immediately. Stop using compromised programs and disconnect any compromised computers.
- Notify the relevant parties. You may have to inform customers or law enforcement about the stolen information, depending on what it is.
- Find out what happened. Hire an agency or conduct an internal review to determine what happened.