How to Protect Your Business from Cybercriminals
At first glance, you may think cybercriminals are not a threat to your business, believing they just target large corporations. In fact, 83% of small businesses lack a formal cyber-security plan, and over 69% lack an informal one. However, it is the lack of cybersecurity that make small business such easy targets for criminals. On average, cyber-attacks cost small businesses $188,242 with each incident, and 43% of cyber-attacks specifically target small businesses.
Fortunately, there are ways small businesses can protect themselves from cyber-attacks, even when they do not have as many resources as larger corporations. Consider investing in basic information technology security steps upfront before your business is facing a serious attack. Below are good starting points to check off in your endeavor to protect your business against cybercrimes.
Create File & Database Back-ups
Ensuring that your business has multiple places where vital files and databases are stored is a great way to lessen the costs of a potential attack. This will help your business retain information in the situation that a hacker stole or extorted it. Although creating these backup measures will not prevent your business from the actual attack, it will help mitigate the resulting disaster if one were to occur.
Consistently Monitor Databases
Maintaining adequate security protocols should not be a one-time activity. Employees should be trained to recognize common cyber threats, such as phishing, fake SMS messages, and vishing. Phishing attacks are executed through dangerous and malicious email links that may seem harmless at first but become the perfect doorway for cybercriminals to prey on business’ sensitive information. These same messages can come through SMS and through phone calls (vishing). By consistently training employees to know how to monitor these infamous cyber-attack pop-up threats, the business’ exposure can be reduced tremendously.
Update Software Regularly
Just as often as you update your smartphone, you should be updating your company’s software or firmware. This includes any applications and programs you have downloaded, as the older they get, the more susceptible they are to cyber-attacks. Updating software regularly will not only improve the overall functionality of the technology but will also enable a more secure system.
Implement Insurance Plans
Another way to help mitigate the resulting costs of a cyber-attack is with cyber liability insurance. This will provide coverage in the case of data breaches and extortion events. Having a skilled and experienced professional implement a plan in place from start to finish will help manage the response, should a breach occur. About 60% of small businesses that are victims of a cyber-attack go out of business within six months. Having an insurance plan will help prevent your small business from being part of that unfortunate statistic and can save you tens of thousands of dollars.
Consider Secondary Security Safeguards
After you have created backup databases, monitored and updated the software, and implemented an insurance plan, consider having a secondary security safeguard. This will ensure your systems have an appropriate firewall and antivirus technology to decrease the risk of an incoming threat. Consider the options provided by the National Cyber Security Alliance, Cyber Security & Infrastructure Security Agency, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to remain cyber safe.
Cyber-attacks are projected to cause six trillion dollars in damages by the end of 2021. They only become more prevalent as technology continues to advance and spread throughout the market economy. The internet is the newest way for cybercriminals to obtain your business’ sensitive information and data. Without the right protocols in place, your business may be a victim of a serious virus or malware. Consider the steps in this blog as you are updating your cybersecurity protocols.
DYE CULIK PC is a Charlotte, North Carolina small business and franchise law firm. Our attorneys protect North Carolina businesses and work with them as they grow to legally safeguard the business and business owner. Give us a call at 980-999-3557 if you need legal assistance for your small business. Follow us on Instagram for the latest updates on CLT small businesses.