Why do cybercriminals target small businesses? It’s a good question. On the surface of it, small enterprises don’t appeal to offer criminals a great deal. But according to research from the Ponemon Institute, more than 61 percent of small businesses were the target of a cyber attack in 2017 – more than at any other point in history.
The question for small businesses is how they can protect their data and stay one step ahead of the hackers. That’s easier said than done: companies are mostly focused on delivering services to their customers. What they’re not is experts in matters of cybersecurity.
In this post, we’re going to take a look at some of the steps that you can take to protect your business from the prying eyes of data thieves.
Dealing with cybersecurity is all about managing risk. Can your organization cover the potential expense of a security breach? For most firms, the answer is yes, but most of it has to be met out-of-pocket.
There are, however, emerging insurance products which may offer firms extra protection. The most significant of these is cyber insurance, a product that will cover the costs of extortion, legal fees, lawsuits, and investigations that might follow a data breach. Companies can effectively protect themselves from cyber attacks through financial means, should the worst happen.
It’s worth noting that even though insurance offers a host of benefits, it can’t cover things like the reputational damage to your firm, so there’s still a big incentive to put protective policies in place.
Employees can unwittingly lead to security breaches at your firm, either by leaving their laptops lying around, or acting themselves maliciously. User access management systems by ProofID prove that it’s possible for companies to take control of who gains access to what. Restricting access reduces the number of touchpoints through which there could be a compromise in your IT security while at the same time, reducing the pool of people who could potentially cause problems.
Think about the following example. Imagine a hacker gets hold of the login details of a particular employee. For many companies, those login details would be enough to gain access to practically all files and apps. But firms that restrict user access prevent intruders from having free reign. Even if they manage to get hold of employee login details, they have limited usefulness.
Most employees have no idea how to prevent hacks. The good news is that they don’t need to know much: just the basics.
These including the following:
- Training on creating unique and hard-to-guess passwords
- Training on using public Wi-Fi
- Instruction on how to spot phishing, especially in emails
- Training on following email and social media links
Establish A Policy
Company cybersecurity policies can go a long way to reducing the risks faced by your organization. Only a minority of small businesses have a cybersecurity policy in place. A policy should cover things like how to handle sensitive data, how to create good passwords, and how to use email and the internet.