Cybercrime is on the rise, and small businesses are increasingly becoming targets. In fact, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, according to data recently compiled by SCORE.
In the U.S., every day, there are 2200 cyber attacks, and this number is increasing day by day. No one is safe from these attacks, not even the big companies. In 2017, Equifax, one of the biggest credit reporting agencies, was breached, and the personal information of 143 million people was stolen. In 2018, Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, was hacked, exposing the personal information of 500 million guests. It led to a loss of $124 million for the company.
These examples show that even big companies are not safe from cyber attacks. So, what can you do to protect your company from these attacks? Here are some tips:
1. Keep your software up to date
One of the most important things you can do to protect your company from cyber attacks is to keep your software up to date. Outdated software is one of the biggest security risks because it can contain vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit.
You must also have a process for patching software vulnerabilities as soon as they are discovered. This process should include testing the patches before deploying them to production systems.
2. Hire a cybersecurity engineer
A cybersecurity engineer’s expertise is crucial in protecting sensitive company information from hackers and other malicious attackers. Companies in every sector are increasingly looking for cyber security experts to assist them in combating cybercriminals and safeguarding their data.
But what does a cybersecurity engineer do to protect your company against cyberattacks? To answer this, we need to understand the term ‘cybersecurity.’
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting electronic information from unauthorized access or theft. It includes the procedures and technologies used to safeguard electronic data from attacks. A cybersecurity engineer is responsible for designing, developing, and implementing security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.
3. Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication
Another way to protect your company from cyber attacks is by using strong passwords and two-factor authentication. A strong password is a password that is at least eight characters long and includes a mix of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that requires you to enter a one-time code in addition to your password when logging into an account.
The latest cyber security statistics show that weak passwords cause 80% of data breaches. So, use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication for all your accounts.
4. Use a firewall
A firewall is a hardware or software device that filters traffic between your network and the internet. It can help protect your network from attacks by blocking incoming traffic from malicious IP addresses.
You should consider using a web application firewall if you have a business website. A web application firewall is a type of firewall that filters traffic to and from your website. It can help protect your website from attacks such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
5. Use encryption
Encryption is the process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. It can help protect your data from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. Only someone with the proper key can decrypt the data.
When data is encrypted, it is transformed into ciphertext. However, the ciphertext is unreadable without the proper key. Also, even if the ciphertext is intercepted, it is useless without the key.
6. Perform regular backups
Regular backups are essential for protecting your data from being lost or corrupted. A full backup includes all the files on your system. A differential backup only includes the files that have changed since the last full backup. However, it is best to perform both types of backups daily. For instance, you can perform a full backup on Sundays and a differential backup every other day. And you should store your backups in a secure location such as an off-site data center.
7. Implement security policies and procedures
It is important to have security policies and procedures in place to protect your company from cyber-attacks. These policies and procedures should be designed to prevent, detect, and respond to security incidents.
Your security policies and procedures should cover various topics such as password management, user access control, data classification, and incident response. They should be reviewed and updated regularly. In addition, all employees should be trained on security policies and procedures.
8. Use security tools
There are various security tools available that can help protect your company from cyber-attacks. These tools include firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and antivirus software.
Firewalls can help block incoming traffic from malicious IP addresses. Intrusion detection systems can help detect and prevent attacks. Antivirus software can help protect your systems from malware. But, it is important to note that no security tool is 100% effective.
9. Monitor your network
It is important to monitor your network for any suspicious activity. You can use various tools to monitor your networks, such as a network intrusion detection system, a honeypot, or a network behavior analysis system.
A network intrusion detection system can help detect and prevent attacks. A honeypot is a decoy system that is designed to lure attackers. And a network behavior analysis system can help detect unusual activity on your network.
10. Train your employees
Your employees play a critical role in protecting your company from cyber-attacks. Therefore, they should be trained on various topics, such as password management, email security, and social engineering.
In addition, they should be aware of the signs of a cyber attack. For instance, they should be able to identify phishing emails and suspicious websites. And they should know what to do if they suspect their accounts have been compromised.
Implementing a comprehensive security program is best to protect your company from cyber-attacks. This program should include various measures such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and employee training. But, no security measure is 100% effective. Therefore, continuously monitoring your systems for any suspicious activity is important. And you should have an incident response plan to quickly and effectively respond to any security incidents.