Although most data breaches, we hear about, occur at large organizations, which operate globally, a Verizon report found that victims of 58 percent of all cyber-attacks were small businesses.
Having said that, cybercriminals obviously gain more when they attack large enterprises, but they target small and medium businesses (SMBs) because they are easy to target. This is because SMBs don’t concentrate so much on cyber security as much as they should. When hackers identify an incorrectly secured device or a single device that is not protected, they take it as an invitation to breach an entire system.
The Verizon report adds that cybercriminals use various tactics to breach systems, which is why the approach to security must be all-inclusive if anyone wants to foil attempts of cybercriminals. But the problem with SMBs is that their approach to cyber security is haphazard because it is not communicated to all personnel of their organization.
The report also states that around 20 percent of cyber-attacks happen because of human oversights. These occur when users click on a malicious link inadvertently or do not properly secure their devices.
The Security Magazine cites the Ponemon Institute as saying that it would cost on an average $690k for small businesses to get their systems back in order after a cyber-attack. On the other hand, it would cost a medium-sized organization more than $1 million to do the same.
These amounts translate into huge losses for SMBs. They, therefore, need to secure their networks and ensure that they allocate budgets going forward. If SMBs want to secure their systems, they have to encrypt data, validate users, and allow select users to access it.
Don’t Ignore the Power of Data
In today’s hyper-connected world, data needs to be secured if enterprises have to operate successfully. Otherwise, it could affect them badly. Without data usage, efficiency and profitability will both take a beating. Since organizations store the information of their clients, any cyber-attack could compromise their safety, as well.
In the recent past, the process of cyber incursion has been automated, letting automated cyber-attacks to occur without hackers’ participation. These automated attacks deflect the IT security team’s attention so that they can access systems of these organizations.
In some cases, enterprises also have to be blamed because some of them believe that they are sufficiently ready to thwart breaches. So, they must secure their portals networks, websites, and equipment to protect themselves against hackers. Hence, it’s crucial that enterprises review their safety procedures for processing and handling data securely in your IT landscape.
In this context, enterprises need to decide who can access what type of data, depending on their roles. They must make use of end-point protection software to block unwanted visitors from gaining access to unsecured web pages and reducing the threats of breaches. Organizations must use updated antivirus software, firewall, and data backup and recovery software.
Additional Best Practices to Follow in CyberSecurity
In addition, companies should also make use of the best practices in cybersecurity such as educating all employees, implementing safe password strategies, using multifactor identification, planning for mobile devices, documenting their cybersecurity policies, and getting them insured against cybersecurity threats.
To implement a safe password strategy, companies need to create passwords in which uppercase letters should be used along with lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It should also be made mandatory for employees to rest their passwords regularly.
The other best practices include implementing the effective Backup 3-2-1 Rule which mandates enterprises to make a minimum of three copies on a daily basis, whenever there is a possibility. One of them would be an original, and the other two would be backups. It is also advised that copies are saved on two different mediums such as hard disk, SD, USB, and DVD. Finally, one copy should be stored in different premises so that they do not lose it any case of contingencies like fire, theft or other disasters. Of course, one copy could also be saved in the cloud so that it can be accessed whenever possible.
Don’t Overlook the Threats
It must not be overlooked that some major threats stem from within an organization. An IBM study, entitled “the 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index”, found that insider was responsible for 60 percent of all breaches. Only 25 percent of them did it unwittingly, and the rest initiated it knowing very well the consequences. Some active actors do it by disclosing passwords, selling information in return for money or favors, using malware or phishing tactics, and so on. But, the most dangerous ones are those who do it clandestinely, leaving no traces of evidence.
In order to avoid, or mitigate such activities, enterprises must secure and monitor regularly the most important systems and data. They should implement deep analytics, which can identify more easily indiscretionary behaviors of all employees. They should also keep an eye on all key employees.
With IoT devices all set to become ubiquitous at homes and businesses, they have to be protected from hackers and cyber-attacks. As some come with an app, it is better to have a separate wireless network in each of your premises. Different wireless networks ensure saving of sensitive data.
To Do List – To Avoid Any Attacks
- If you have a home assistant such as Alexa, change the nickname on it from the default, which comes pre-installed.
- When logging onto gaming platforms, ensure to save credit/debit card info by avoiding saving it within the mobile gaming platform or on the console.
- While using IoT devices, it is better to name the router yourself by doing away with one the vendor has given you.
- It is better to set up guest networks when unauthorized users log onto your IoT devices, as they will not log into the same network as yours.
- Do also remember to have the latest software while using IoT devices. Do not use IoT devices on public Wi-Fi.
- Finally, be wary against phishing scams by being aware of phishing techniques. If you install anti-phishing toolbars, verify the security of a site, update browsers periodically, never disclose personal information, and use antivirus software, you can surely protect yourself against phishing cons.
If all the precautions mentioned above are taken, you can be assured that your business will be safe as houses.