How sure are you that when you leave your company at the end of the day, the digital information of your company and your clients are safe from cyber breaches and hackers?
If it seems that there's a new critical data breach every day, you're not far off. 2019 was a brutal year that saw the likes of Marriott, Facebook, Instagram, First American, and Capital One hacked with some cyber attacks lasting years.
Were you aware that small and medium sized businesses are just as much at risk, if not more, as large companies when it comes to cyber security attacks? With the larger companies getting very serious and fearful about cyber attacks; investing millions to protect their customers and data, it makes small and medium companies even more vulnerable, and very attractive targets.
Many small and medium sized companies are operating under a false sense of security because of the reasoning that they are too small for a hacker to care about their data. When, in reality, a cyber thief is just looking for any way in – and the easier, the better. Not to mention, the cyber thief is thinking that small/medium businesses do not necessarily want to invest in what they think would be unnecessary protocols, when it would only take a relatively small investment in their data security. This could save their business and livelihood- if something were to happen.
Below are some proactive and simple steps to improve the safety of your company’s network:
1. Regularly have your employees change and create complex passwords. Your IT person can regularly set up a rotation and reminders for this to happen.
2. Delete any unused accounts. Whenever someone leaves your organization, or if you have switched to a different system, immediately delete accounts to avoid an attacker gaining access to the network.
3. Use a firewall for your internet connection. Doing this prevents unauthorized access to or from a private network.
4. Enabling two-factor authentication. This enables additional security to the password when logging in. This adds an additional layer of security that makes it difficult for a hacker to get into the accounts. It is as simple as installing an app on your phone or registering a phone number.
5. Keep software up to date– this allows the software company to work out bugs that had gone undetected that may appear at a future date. Always update when being prompted.
6. Install anti virus software. This is designed to detect, prevent and take action to disarm or remove malicious software from your computer such as viruses.
7. Invest in cyber security education of your employees. This can be done by having your staff take a relatively short online course that goes through everything there is to know about how to recognize a potential hacking.
8. Have effective backup by making copies of what is important data and information.
Check out this free, customizable cyber security plan for your company, courtesy of the FCC.
Cyber resilience doesn't end with protective measures for your infrastructure, it also needs to include the right cyber liability protection for business continuity so that you are able to remain in business if such an attack were to happen. Having this type of insurance would provide your company with the financial protection if a cyber attack occurs.
Broad Street Labs provides cyber security insurance and risk advisory services to small and medium sized companies. With over 20 years of experience advising companies in the technology, legal, financial, and healthcare sectors, Broad Street Labs understands the unique challenges of building security organizations and developing cyber programs that can keep pace with the constantly evolving threat landscape. Cyber risk is no longer a siloed technical function but part of the overall integrated business risk strategy. Our goal is to ensure our clients' businesses have the right teams, tools, and protection in place for sustained revenue growth and business continuity.