As has been the case for several years now, cyber attacks are on the rise and many small- and medium-sized businesses are falling victim to them.
Many cyber attacks can be avoided using a variety of security measures, common sense and education. Regardless of how safe a business feels it and its systems are, everyone must still be aware of and vigilant toward online threats.
Here are some of the most common cyber attacks that your business could face and ways to avoid them:
1) Understand the risk of a cyber attack and what valuable information you have that can be acquired by an attacker. For example, credit card information or any information dealing with finances (i.e. bank account info, payroll programs, etc.) are obvious targets. It is important to note that not all cyber attackers want your money. Sometimes, they are administered to sabotage a person or business. This can result in the denial of access to certain accounts or programs, bring down your company website and more.
2) Test your security measures by conducting internal and external tests. These tests, usually called penetration tests, imitate real-world hacking techniques. Many businesses seek out a third-party technology company to conduct these tests, which provides valuable business insight into your company’s network.
3) Know that cyber-risk insurance exists and can protect your business. If you currently don’t have such coverage, it would be a great idea to learn more about it and find a coverage plan that keeps you, your company and its assets safe in the event of a cyber attack. Cyber attacks are no longer a questions of “if,” but “when.” As an insurance broker, we can advise you on the various available coverage plans to keep your business safe.
4) Educate your employees. Businesses should know that it’s not just external factors that can lead to a cyber attack. Many attacks are caused by someone from the inside doing something wrong, which leads them to being victims of phising attacks. These attacks can launch viruses or trojans that can spread across your entire network and effectively shut down your company. Asking employees to use strong passwords, to avoid clicking on suspicious links or ads, and creating an overall sense of security at your office will go a long way.
5) Be prepared. In the event that your data is breached, responding to such attacks quickly can majorly impact the organizational costs of restoring your business’ data and network. Enforcing security measures, being insured against cyber attacks and educating your office are just some of the ways to prepare your company. Responding quickly in the event that those measures fail, will save you time and money. Remember to document and test an incident response plan in advance, so you will be ready.