Protecting Your Business from Cyber Attacks

​Having a plan ahead of time can help you save your business from major destruction

1/26/2017 8:00:00 AM
Protecting Your Business from Cyber Attacks
In the digital age, cyberattacks are not only a reality but commonplace among businesses and consumers. Knowing how to protect your business from cyber threats is crucial to the lifespan of your business.

Steps to take to protect sensitive information

According to an October 2015 article in Forbes by financial CEO Frank Sorrentino, it’s not enough to be vigilant on your own for your business; protecting the business from cyberattacks should be a collective effort within the company and even with federal agencies.
A cyberattack can potentially affect not only the business but its financial institution, consumers, other companies that work with that business and even government regulators. In short, having a plan and protecting your business can keep it from going under should an attack occur.
Furthermore, businesses with fewer than 100 employees account for 71 percent of cyberattacks, reports Sorrentino. This means you should expect your business to come under attack, and therefore know how to protect it. Sorrentino outlines five basic tips:
  1. Stay current with how cyberattacks transpire - Know your business’s internal and external vulnerabilities relative to cyberattack trends and reported hacking activities. By planning ahead and learning the schemes of cybercriminals, you can put processes in place to thwart attacks.
  2. Establish a company-wide security policy - Develop a protocol for all operations with regard to all confidential information, including warning signs of an attack to observe. Make sure the policy practice is being carried out by every employee and across all business strategies.
  3. Don’t just rely on email - There is no better way to verify a financial request than by actually talking with someone. With any financial transaction you conduct, verify information via phone call, whether it’s with vendors, clients or the financial institution.
  4. Keep software updated - As methods for cyberattacks become more diversified, it’s extremely important to stay up to date with all your antivirus software and other security programs.
  5. Have a plan if a cyberattack should occur - With your company security policy, you should also have a plan of action and educate your employees on what to do if a cyberattack should transpire. Such a protocol can help fight a cyberattack and save your business’s information.
A July 2016 article in Business News Daily by contributor Sammi Caramela also advises business owners to make sure to not only implement antivirus software but additional firewalls to prevent unauthorized users from accessing a computer or network. These can be added to routers as well as servers. You can also use encryption software to further protect sensitive information, suggests Caramela.
You should also have a data backup solution, so that if a breach occurs, you can recover the lost data from a different location not penetrated by the attack. In fact, there are now many companies that sell data security platforms for such needs.
With passwords, it’s helpful to include a two-step verification process, as the likelihood of decoding both passwords is less than that of just one, advises Caramela. You should also make passwords strong, using numbers, characters, and upper- and lowercase letters, and change passwords every 60 to 90 days.
Last, you can invest in cybersecurity insurance. You’ll be thankful you have it, in the event of a data breach, as general liability insurance does not cover such events.
“First-party liability coverage includes any general costs incurred as a result of a breach, such as legal expertise, public relations campaigns, customer notification and business interruption. Third-party coverage protects you if your company is at the center of a breach that exposed sensitive information. This type of protection covers defense costs if the affected parties sue your company,” reports Caramela.

Published by North Shore Bank. Includes copyrighted material of IMakeNews, Inc. and its suppliers. 

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