By Aleah Kristine Chandler
The threat of cyberattacks is a day-to-day struggle for businesses. According to the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds, and on average 2,244 times a day. Every business is susceptible, regardless of size. Research also suggests that most companies have poor cybersecurity practices in place, making them exposed to vulnerabilities and their data unprotected.
Investing in cybersecurity for your business may seem like a highly technical and complicated endeavor. However, in reality, protecting your business against cybercrime starts off with some straightforward steps. Below we will list five simple ways to protect your business from cybercrime.
Securing Company Hardware
One of the most basic steps in cyber protection is safeguarding company hardware. Protect all company devices with a complicated password that is shared with only the device holder. The password should be committed to memory instead of written down in an easily accessible location. Some businesses prefer physically attaching computer monitors to their desks to avoid intruders from stealing company equipment and the sensitive data they contain. ‘Find my device’ software should also be installed in all company hardware so that in case it is stolen, the authorities can locate the equipment very quickly.
Invest in Staff Training
In a previous Brilliance Security article by Megan Nichols, she cited that 43% of workers in the US and the UK made errors that caused cybersecurity repercussions for their companies. Having the most up to date firewalls and data encryptions are useless if your employees do not follow basic digital security principles. Digitalist Mag says that 90% of security breaches happen because an employee used a weak password or fell victim to a phishing email. A simple way to protect your business against cybercrime is by understanding the most common cybersecurity mistakes workers commit and having relevant training sessions to address them.
Legal Options for Cyber Protection
Because criminals are relentless when it comes to finding ways to breach security systems, even the most cyber secure businesses are at risk. Thus, exhausting all legal means of protection is also necessary to ensure that your business is still standing even after a cybersecurity attack. You can minimize your risk by seeking a specialist who can help in selecting the best type of cyber liability insurance for your company. Beyond insurance, selecting the right business structure also ensures legal protection. A ZenBusiness guide on LLCs in Arizona outlines that LLC owners protect their personal assets from business liability and debts. This means that your personal assets are protected in case of a cybersecurity breach. Entrepreneur cites that the average cost of a single data breach was $3.6 million in 2017 so this protection can serve as an essential lifeboat for your business.
Data Division, Backup, and Encryption
Hackers are after company data so how you manage your data is critical. For one, do not keep company data in a single source. Although inconvenient, it helps to divide your data into segments that require different methods of accessing them. This important because if cybercriminals breach your system, they do not get access to your whole data repository. Moreover, use advanced encryption methods and back up your data regularly.
Investing in a VPN
When using public Wi-Fi, anyone nearby who is also connected to the same network can see what your device is sending and receiving across the internet. A virtual private network is a method of creating a secure connection in a less-secure network between a device and the internet. This encrypts all of your internet traffic as well as what goes through your browser. A VPN renders your business network invisible to hackers, so they cannot penetrate your system to steal your information or track your online activities. There is a range of free and paid VPN options to choose from for company devices.
Kristine Chandler is a cyber blogger. She has been passionate about computers her entire life and now spends her time writing about them. Her main interest is the rise of cyber threats and how they are being dealt with. In her free time, she plays e-sports.