29 February 2024

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9 Ways to Protect Cyberattack on Your Business

A cyberattack or crime is fundamentally a breach of online safety and security. Customers’ names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, and credit card information will all be accessible to hackers. This does not imply that an effective attack on your company is inevitable. However, there are several easy, affordable, and quick steps you can take to defend your company against  cyber attacks.

An Increase in Cybercrime

Over 118 million individuals have been affected by data breaches in only the first half of 2021. In actuality, figures of data breaches this year were far greater than those of last year. Data breaches are predicted to increase to 15.4 million by 2023. Businesses in Canada are starting to realise how important it is to improve security measures against cyberattacks. According to CIRA’s 2020 Cybersecurity Report, half of companies adopted DNS firewalls in response to an increase in cyber threats, and almost six out of 10 did so in reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prevent Cyber Attacks on your business

What are the best strategies for protecting your company against cyber attacks? Here are some recommendations to help protect your company from cyber thieves:

1) Data  back-up

One of the easiest ways to ensure that your information is recoverable in the case of a cyber incident or computer problem is to back up your data. Use a variety of backup techniques, such as regular incremental backups to a mobile device or cloud storage, to help assure the security of your data. Include weekly, quarterly, and annual server backups as well. Regular checks should be made to ensure that this data is functioning correctly and is recoverable.

2) Always update your hardware and software

The automatic updating of operating systems and security software is recommended. These updates help with fixing exploitable flaws and security weaknesses by fixing them. You must always follow the instructions for updating. It is also advisable to set up firewalls, which serve as the “gatekeeper for all incoming and outgoing traffic.” To reduce the number of spam and phishing emails arriving, it will also be beneficial for businesses to use spam filters. These are a typical strategy used by hackers to infect devices and steal private information from companies.

3) Turn on data encryption

Don’t forget to encrypt any important information. Since data is encrypted before it is delivered over the internet, it is essential for companies to enable network and data encryption while storing and distributing data. Only those who have the encryption key are allowed access to the data. Furthermore, it guarantees that even if unauthorised persons access the data, they cannot read it. Some data encryption software will even alert you if someone attempts to change or tamper with the data.

4) Implement multi-factor authentication

Additional protection for your accounts is provided by two-factor or multi-factor authentication. The method is currently used by the majority of social media sites, email providers, banks, and numerous other companies. Although this extra step can seem like a burden, it really serves as a security to keep your account secure. An programme for two-factor authentication, like the Google Authenticator app, may be downloaded straight from your app store.

5) Use passphrases instead of passwords

Passphrases should be used in place of passwords wherever possible, especially for accounts that contain private business information. Ideally, a safe passphrase is at least 14 characters long and has a mix of capital and lowercase letters, digits, and special characters. Additionally, it should be unexpected, which means that the terms used are insignificant and not seen in other accounts. According to the Ponemon Report, 41% of IT professionals and 51% of employees exchange passwords with colleagues. Although human mistake (typing a wrong password, for example) is only expected to account for 39% of cyber assaults, it really accounts for 50% of them.

6) Extensive monitoring system

You must maintain track of all the tools and software your company employs. When a device or piece of software is no longer in use, you should delete any sensitive data from it and unplug the device from the network. Older and underutilised hardware and software won’t likely be upgraded and might be exploited as a “backdoor” by thieves to attack enterprises. The same goes for former workers and anyone who have changed positions and no longer need access.

7) Implement safety precautions

Businesses should have clear cybersecurity rules that inform staff on what is appropriate while exchanging data, using computers and other devices, and visiting websites. Because they require a distribution channel and they are so prevalent, nine out of 10 cyberattacks begin with an email. Up to 188 million emails are exchanged worldwide every 60 seconds, according to Barry Searle, Director of Education at Cyber Stars Initiative. Therefore, we can more or less immediately reduce most of our cyber risk if we get better at handling emails. To safeguard your company from cyberattacks, keep in mind this useful advice.

8) Educate everyone

Peter Buckley, Head of Technology and Cyber Resilience, HSBC Bank Canada, says that businesses must strike a balance between wanting to expand their company and protecting it. The best method to defend your organisation, according to Buckley, is by showing your people what to watch out for. More than 90% of cyberattacks are the result of human error. Hackers might have their access limited by creating a culture of awareness. In order to defend your company against cyberattacks, employees may serve as both your first and final line of defence. This is why it is so important to teach children how to recognise, prevent, and handle a cyber threat.

9) Make sure that customers are protected from cyberattacks

You can’t afford to overlook vendor risk management since it’s likely that your cyber security depends significantly on third-party suppliers. Any danger that is exposed to your business by outside parties connected to its network is referred to as third-party risk. These parties might be vendors, suppliers, partners, contractors, or service providers who have access to confidential corporate or customer data, systems, procedures, or other data. Keeping the sensitive information of your consumers safe is also important. In accordance with this, you have to be able to offer a secure online setting where transactions may be made. Don’t entrust your cybersecurity on a whim! Make careful to quickly limit your third-party exposure by acquiring the appropriate cyber liability insurance.

Why is Cyber safety important to your business?

It’s important to take cyber attack protection seriously. It might cost thousands of dollars to restart the company if you become a victim of a cybercrime. In the worst-case situations, it may even force you out of business permanently since you won’t be able to make up the losses. The good news is that you can be proactive and safeguard your business before it’s too late with a number of cyber insurance options.

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