According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, 70% of organizations that encounter a data breach are small businesses. The same study highlights that most companies neglect the importance of cybersecurity. Namely, only 33% of them have taken precautionary steps to mitigate data loss risks.
A cyberattack can affect your business’ performance on multiple levels, from compromising your brand image to increasing your expenses.
Here are a few cybersecurity questions you should ask to protect your business.
How do my employees contribute to the company’s data security?
Cybercriminals do not necessarily look for vulnerabilities in your company’s networks. They also rely on people’s lack of knowledge. Research studies back me up on that. Did you know that about 80% of online security hacks are caused by employees’ negligence?
Employee cybersecurity training should be your priority. Make it mandatory for everyone at your company. The idea is to familiarize your staff with the common types of cyberattacks and help them recognize spam. Above all, teach them the essential cybersecurity tips, such as creating strong passwords, avoiding clicking on links from unknown sources, or not downloading suspicious files.
Do I have cyber liability insurance to back me up?
Sometimes, even the most sophisticated cybersecurity tools and vendors cannot protect you from data breaches. If you do not prepare for a data breach on time, the consequences can be serious. They often result in lawsuits, fines, and financial losses. They also compromise the brand reputation and may result in a customer churn. Yahoo reported that, only in 2019, 205,280 companies submitted reports of ransomware hacks, costing them between $84,000-$190,000 per attack.
That is why you should consider purchasing cyber liability insurance. It is specifically designed to cover your financial losses that result from data breaches. Those costs are usually excluded from other business liability coverage plans.
Most cyber liability policies include both first-party and third-party coverages.
First-party coverages include damage to electronic data, income losses, extra expenses, notification costs, and brand reputation damage.
Third-party coverages involve network security, privacy liability, and regulatory proceedings.
Do I perform regular backups?
The causes of data loss are multiple, including hardware destruction, software corruption, theft, computer viruses, misconfigures application, and accidental file deletion. Data loss takes a lot of time and resources to handle. Sometimes, restoring data is not even possible. That may seriously compromise your operational fluidity and harm customer experiences. According to the Help Net Security magazine, in 2019, 42% of enterprises experienced data loss that resulted in downtime.
To maintain the continuity of your company’s operations, you need to make copies of your data. While performing onsite backups gives you greater control of your data, you should not neglect the power of backup virtualization. Cloud backups provide you with faster, multi-location access to your data. Above all, they are highly scalable and adapts to your business’ needs as it grows. Sure, you can always choose to combine onsite and cloud backups.
Which cybersecurity tools should I have in my arsenal?
When building a cybersecurity strategy, start by investing in the right tools, such as:
- Antimalware tools
They are your first line of defense, designed to prevent, detect, and remove malware from your company’s devices. You can purchase commercially-registered cloud antivirus tools. Apart from being more flexible and affordable, cloud antimalware solutions allow you to centralize your organization’s cybersecurity management under a single platform.
There are many opportunities for hackers to sneak into your systems and gain unwanted access to your company’s sensitive data. That is where a firewall steps in. It monitors your employees’ incoming and outgoing traffic and prevents infected or suspicious files from entering your network.
- Multi-factor authentication
Many companies decide to limit employees’ access to sensitive data. In other words, any access requests need to be manually verified. However, that can be time-consuming and complicated, especially for remote teams working from various time zones.
With multi-factor authentication, users need to provide credentials when entering the company’s cloud network. For example, this could be a numeric code sent to their email accounts. To access the network, they need to verify the code via the PC device.
Your employees spend a lot of time uploading data to your cloud servers, interacting via email and collaboration tools, and downloading files. No matter how reliable your cloud vendors are, hackers can still intercept the interaction between employees’ devices and the company’s servers. That is where encryption tools step in. They decompose your data into multiple fragments before moving them to the cloud. That way, they prevent a hacker from assembling the entire file and reading it.
Are my applications up-to-date?
According to some recent studies, more than half of all PCs using Windows are not updated. Outdated applications can harm your company’s online security in multiple ways. Namely, out-of-date software is more vulnerable to malware, ransomware, and data breaches. As such, it provides hackers with a back door into your company’s network.
Moreover, outdated software is not supported by a vendor. Therefore, it may result in numerous bugs and business disruptions.
Over to You
In the era of advanced cybersecurity threats, neglecting data security is not an option anymore. To protect your data, build a detailed cybersecurity policy. Start by educating your employees and helping them understand their role in the company’s cybersecurity strategy. Most importantly, you need to invest in the right cybersecurity tools and update your system regularly.