Cyberattacks are becoming more prevalent each year and are not an enjoyable experience for anyone. With so much of daily life conducted digitally, from emails and work conference calls to streaming our favorite movies and TV shows to uploading images from yesterday’s fancy latte, the opportunities to invade your private cyber life are frequent. However, it is not just individuals at risk of cybercrimes—businesses are too.
Business-focused cyberattacks, specifically those targeting a small business, can have dire consequences for the reputation and success of the brand, the employer, and the employees. Recent studies show, on average, nearly 25% of U.S. companies that suffer a data breach often permanently lose clients.
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While this percentage might seem high, employers must avoid the “it won’t happen to me”-mentality. Cybercriminals do not discriminate. Any data vulnerability, large or small, is ripe for a cyber-attack. For example, Target’s systems were hacked in 2013, resulting in the theft of 40 million credit and debit cards.
Here are four actions you can take to help keep sensitive information and data out of the hands of cybercriminals.
Create Security Requirements for Employees
Odds are if your business is the subject of a cyberattack, an employee is most likely the victim of social engineering. This term refers to the manipulation of an individual to gain control of or access to a computer system. Social engineering attacks account for over 50% of all cybersecurity intrusions.
Many of these attacks are difficult to notice, thus the reason you should limit employee access to sensitive data and information. Furthermore, it’s important that your employees create unique passwords that are changed every 30, 60, or 90 days.
For further protection, have employees establish multi-factor authentication (MFA), a process of verifying an individual’s identity by requiring additional one or two steps beyond traditional login credentials only. Examples include calling or texting the user’s profile phone number with a code, facial recognition, fingerprint recognition, entering a PIN, etc.
Employers are also encouraged to enable the use of firewalls as a response to incoming traffic to fight aid in preventing cyber-attacks not easily tracked manually.
Back up Data Regularly
Businesses could face detrimental circumstances if their data is stolen, deleted, held hostage, or released. For this reason, it is imperative to store data in more than one location: a primary and a backup.
To ensure top-notch security standards, stored data should be audited and checked regularly. If you use cloud storage networks like Dropbox, Google Drive, or Microsoft services, have an administrator monitor permissions and activities in the system. The administrator should make the necessary parties aware if something doesn’t look right.
Criminals can access data because it is easy for them. Hide Wi-Fi networks and set up wireless access points or routers so the network name or the Service Set Identifier (SSID) is not broadcast.
Get Smart About Smart Security
Smart security is an umbrella term describing security hardware and personal/professional protocols in practice. Businesses may be familiar with property-based smart security, which includes CCTV, intruder alarms, video surveillance, and/or fire detection. This is generally the same strategy, but applied on a technology/hardware level. According to the Federal Trade Commission, employers can implement smart security by requiring strong passwords of at least 12 characters, a mix of numbers, symbols, capital and lowercase letters, avoiding the reuse or recycling of passwords, and strictly limiting the number of unsuccessful login attempts.
Employers can also create a culture of security, by supporting regular security training, updating the entire organization of risks, vulnerabilities, and preparing a plan to notify employees and customers if there is a data breach.
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Get Cyber Liability Insurance
Many people opt for identity theft protection, but for businesses, specifically small and medium-sized, it is necessary to have complete cyber protection. Vensure Employer Services has partnered with Mulberri for automated cyber protection and monitoring.
The cyber protection firm’s automated process sends requests to a range of carriers who can offer uniquely tailored policies that make sense for your business.
The platform provides data-driven experiences for end-to-end insurance lifecycles.
Mulberri’s cyber program also offers several tools to help protect your business from unforeseen attacks.