Every hour of every day a cyber-attack takes place. Once your business is connected to the internet, the likelihood of having a cyberattack targeted against you becomes a reality. Both monetary and reputation risks become an issue if cybersecurity is lacking.
A survey that was conducted in 2018 shows that 38% of small businesses haven’t invested anything in protecting themselves against data breaches. Another survey has found that over a third of the small businesses operating in the UK perform below the “security poverty line”. The most common cyber crime targeted against the aforementioned small businesses was fraudulent emails and identity theft. Malicious e-mails were the most common form of cyber-attack. When a data breach takes place, it comes with a hefty price tag at USD 3.93 million per incidence.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the process of protecting your company’s data against internal or external factors. In order to protect the data, a company can resort to processes, structures, and practices to keep it away from prying hands. The purpose of adopting a cybersecurity strategy is to make sure that the confidentiality, data integrity, and availability are not exposed.
There are various ways how issues with cybersecurity can cause harm to an organization and their reputation. Sensitive information like bank accounts and credit card details can be obtained by hackers. Once obtained, the sensitive information is sold on open markets – using the “dark web”. Once the entities that purchase the data access it, the organization itself would have breached the laws as a third party. Every month there are reports of high-profile security breaches that impact individual data.
The second issue that arises once the data is lost takes the form of reputation damage to the organization. Small organizations tend to be unable to withstand such a hit to their reputation. Most times the data to the reputation is of a higher magnitude than the financial repercussions. Third-parties can file a lawsuit against the organization because of the losses they incurred. On top of all that, there are significant legal penalties that accompany a data breach. These penalties differ greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Ransomware is another alarming aspect that tends to cause organizations worldwide serious issues. We have seen such ransomware attacks occur as early as 2012. In most instances, malware is hidden within a different type of document waiting to be executed on the targets machine. Once executed, said malware encrypts the data that belongs to the organization behind an encryption key. Once this happens, the organizations receive a timeline in which they need to pay the ransom. If the deadline is not met, the data self-destructs and is lost forever. Cloud data security also stands to be compromised by such encryptions. The encryption key is strong enough that it cannot be cracked. Trying to crack the key would mostly lead to the company incurring higher costs than just paying the requested ransom. If the company does not have access to a safe back-up, they need to consider paying the ransom. Data restorations have a painful downside in the fact that the ransomware can be reinstalled on the host machine.
Means of Protection against Malicious Software or External Attacks
The cyberattacks are becoming more complex, and this forces the organization to adapt to this dynamic landscape. We are going to include some essential system utilities that will have to mitigate the damage caused by these malicious attacks:
- Firewalls: software (or hardware) that is designed to protect against attacks that might be conducted using internal or external communication links.
- Anti-spam: protection of the e-mail inboxes that keeps that from becoming clogged with unwanted broadcasted e-mails.
- Anti-phishing: protection when organization users are visiting websites that are designed to trap the user information to have it used for fraudulent purposes later on.
All the aforementioned practices are mandatory to develop an in-depth cybersecurity strategy. Cybersecurity costs need to be closely compared to the costs that incur after a cyber breach.
A notorious supplier that has a strong reputation is recommended when purchasing the above tools. There are companies out there that will attempt to supply the software and they include malicious software within. Free-ware or software from unknown sources must be avoided at all costs.
Business system integration technicians will be the ones that will recommend the software best suited to the organization’s needs. They will also be responsible for the installation and maintenance of the software. A data security analyst is a mandatory job role that needs to be filled by any respectable organization. All data security solutions require maintenance because malicious software hits the market every single day. You can expect most software distributors to deploy at least one automatic update. The purpose of this update is to offer continuous effective protection, and it needs to be implemented correctly.
If the data security systems are compromised, insurance is vital. The proper insurance will cover the costs that result from the replacement of damaged infrastructure. Other costs covered by insurance are the labor costs resulting from the investigation and the system rebuild. Insurance for productivity that is stunted by the cyberattack is another venue one should focus on. Keeping an eye out for cybersecurity news will mesh well with having proper insurance. Once you are done with making sure that your data breach insurance is solid, you just relax playing any of your favorite games.
A data security breach sounds like a possible scenario that could happen to your business. In that case, proactive measures need to be implemented. Threats to data security are becoming a more common occurrence. If your business has had experiences with these threats, we urge you to share them with our readers. You can also take a look at the comment section to see how others have tweaked their data security policy to better fight against cyber-attacks.
Author’s bio: The author of the article is Brian Perry. He loves to write, travel, take photos and study graphic design. When he is not busy writing articles he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend.