3 Things That Can Help Protect Your Business from Cyber Security RisksOctober 1, 2018 No Comments
Featured article by Matthew Walker-Jones
Companies all over the world are increasingly concerned with cybersecurity after a number of high-profile cyber-attacks devastated companies and governments all over the world in the last few years. Clearly, this is a growing threat that must be addressed by business owners if damages are to be minimised and prevented. No one is safe – from small companies to large corporations – hackers are targeting businesses at all levels because they know that there’s a lot to be gained by stealing data and causing disruption to everyday operations.
This year alone saw some of the biggest and most brazen attacks with the hackers spreading their sights widely to gain access to personal, intellectual, and financial data. In March, hackers from Iran targeted over 300 universities in the US and beyond, harvesting 31 terabytes of data, worth an estimated $3 billion in intellectual property. Over the years hackers have targeted movie studios (to prevent the release of a politically-charged film), dating websites, banks, government agencies, and more.
Any business operating today with an eye for future growth and general long-term health must place cybersecurity at the top of the priority list. Below we outline the three things that can help protect your business from cyber security risks.
Develop a Security Strategy
Far too many businesses don’t have a strong and active security strategy. That’s not to say that no security measures are employed at all, but there’s usually no formal plan and security protocols that are consistently implemented. When devising a formal security plan, it’s vital to ensure that it covers all areas of the business and encompasses all your staff with relevant training so that everyone is aware of best security practices, eliminating any weak spots. You may need to provide initial training to staff, setting good security practices, and implement additional training throughout the year, adapting to new and best security practices. When creating a security policy, make sure to include guides on how to best create passwords, how to deal with spam emails, etc.
Test Your Security
If your business already has a solid security plan and policy in place, then the next step is to test the durability of your security system. Any security system is only as good as an attack it can withstand but it’s best to not test this with a real cyber-attack. Instead, penetration testing is usually employed and it’s the security industry’s best recognised approach to identifying and quantifying risk. During a penetration test, your business’s security system is actively exploited for vulnerabilities and exposures, providing a clear picture of strengths and weaknesses in the company’s security and infrastructure. This will allow your business to make strategic security improvements or design a whole new approach if it becomes clear that the current approach is simply not up to scratch.
Encrypt Your Data
Most businesses today deal with some degree of confidential data like credit card information, addresses, and many other types of sensitive information. Encrypting this information is vital before it gets uploaded or saved to the company’s servers or the cloud. You can choose from software to assist you in doing this or outsource to industry experts that provide the service. Encryption is an extra layer of security that protects any sensitive information even if hackers can penetrate your initial layer of cloud or infrastructure security.
SECURITY, SOCIAL BUSINESS