When a business is a victim of a cyber-attack, the consequences are usually worse than when the victim is a private individual. There’s more data exposed, and more people are affected.
Businesses that have had their data exposed also faced many lawsuits for failing to protect the data. If you’re a business owner and you employ a fair amount of people, you’ll definitely need to beef up your business’s security system.
Protecting your business from cyber-attacks is more complicated since the risk is higher, so this article will explain the actions you can take to protect your business ’data.
1. Back up your data
Cyber security is more than just keeping attackers out. It also involves taking precautions incase attackers actually get in.
One of the most catastrophic things that can happen to your data (aside from being exposed) is getting it lost. That’s why cyber security practitioners advocate backing up your data and having a backup for your backup.
A good backup plan involves regular backups using different methods. Ideally, you should be doing weekly, quarterly, and yearly backups to mark different progress points each year.
Even just a few days’ worth of data loss can already be devastating, so you might also want to look into a daily backup method using a portable device or a cloud storage system.
Offline storage devices (like hard disks or servers) should be kept in a separate location so that if your office gets robbed or damaged, your backup is not affected.
2. Install and regularly update your security software
Your security software is the bread and butter of your business’s cyber security. Essential software includes sophisticated antivirus, firewall, anti-spyware, and anti-malware systems.
You should also get spam filters for your business emails. Since a business regularly interacts with the general public more than any individual does, the number of emails entering a business’s email domain is substantially higher.
Spam filters area basic layer of security, but the risks they protect you from can be dangerous.
Since it would be impractical (and, depending on the situation, illegal) to monitor everything your employees do on their laptops, having a spam filter greatly reduces the chances that an employee accidentally clicks spam or phishing links.
Cyber security moves at a fast pace, so make sure that your security software is constantly updated. Software updates can be scheduled outside office hours to minimize any interruptions to your business’s workflow.
3. Train your employees to identify basic cyber security attacks
The most sophisticated data protection software won’t work if your employees themselves can’t distinguish between a phishing email and a genuine one.
Cyber security always involves a human element. A company whose employees are well trained to spot and report cyber security attacks is more protected than a company that relies on technology alone.
Your employees are the first layer of protection you can get from cyber-attacks, and security software should complement, not replace them.
4. Limit access authority to sensitive information
A company’s most sensitive information does not have to be accessed by all employees across the corporate ladder. If your business uses a centralized network, you can easily set different employees to have different access levels to information.
The fewer the employees who have access to the company’s sensitive information, the lesser the chances for outsiders to look into and steal critical data.
When employees leave the company for one reason or another, make sure to revoke their access to company files. This can be done by requiring all work to be done on company laptops or computers, which are turned over upon termination.
Access control systems can also let you manage and revoke access levels in the blink of an eye.
5. Install data breach detection and monitoring tools
When a data breach occurs, employees should be aware, so appropriate actions can be taken immediately.
Train your employees (or at the very least, your IT department) to constantly monitor the data breach monitoring tools. That way, when a data breach does occur, the company is instantly aware.
This lets you address the breach right away, minimizing the extent of the possible damage that can occur.
On that note, you should also set up a data breach protocol that outlines what employees should do in case of a data breach. There should be an incident response team composed of employees who can immediately take action, and all members should know their respective roles and responsibilities.
6. Obtain insurance for cyber attacks
Cyber-attacks have a financial cost, and depending on the size of your company, these costs can quickly balloon from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand.
Getting insurance coverage for these costs not only gives you the peace of mind to work without worrying, but if you get the right insurance policy, you also get access to dedicated professionals who can manage data breaches from start to finish.
Cyber insurance is one of the most overlooked protection methods when it comes to operating a business. When looking for cyber insurance providers, make sure to get providers with a proven track record that can help you understand all the cyber security risks that your business faces.
Cyber insurance is not limited to big companies. There are plenty of options that are affordable for small businesses, too.
7. Assess and screen your own employees
The best cyber security setup in the world won’t protect you if your own business has threats from the inside. The only way to address this is by being preemptive.
Before applicants are hired, do a background check to see if they have criminal pasts involving computer technology. Also, regular assessments and security checks on employees can help deter future cyber-attacks.
When it comes to security, people often think of physical security first. However, digital security is just as important as physical security, as more and more data are moved into the cloud.
Taking steps to protect both physical and digital premises is necessary if you want your businesses to be fully protected in this day and age.