By Ana Galic
The danger of fraud and cyber-attacks has become part of our reality. While in the past, it was something we would only see in the movies and the news headlines, the story is quite different now. Every business is at risk as cybercriminals and fraudsters can find a gain just about anywhere, from intellectual property, financial or sensitive data. This is why companies and organizations must take the necessary steps to protect their business, employees, and customers from the increasing danger of fraud and cyber-attacks.
What can you do to protect your business against fraud and cyber-attacks?
Most businesses are not prepared to deal with cybersecurity issues. Cybercriminals will not wait for you to develop defenses; they constantly develop new sophisticated attacks that can exploit vulnerabilities of your business. It is time to start fighting.
- Identify the risks.
Before creating an effective cybersecurity strategy, you need to know the dangers you face. You will be able to ensure your cybersecurity strategy is the right fit for your company by identifying the most common cybersecurity risks that are more likely to affect it. In any department, staying informed is a key to staying in business and cybersecurity is no different. Knowing what dangers your business can face and which cybersecurity trends can help you to stop them will make a difference between staying safe or becoming a victim. For example, data enrichment and machine learning are at the base of many fraud prevention strategies, and they can do wonders in helping you calculate the customers’ risk score. According to SEON, just one small piece of information, such as an email address or a phone number, can give you enough information about the user to successfully determine if they will pose a risk for your business.
- Conduct regular security audits.
Cybercriminals and fraudsters constantly update their malicious actions, trying to make them more sophisticated and harder to trace, while at the same time, cybersecurity strategies remain static. This is no longer an option; companies need to take a proactive approach if they want to protect their business. By conducting regular risk assessments, you can determine if there are any weaknesses in your company that might make you vulnerable to cyber-attacks and identify possible threats. Not only does this allow you to patch up those vulnerabilities and use the knowledge you gather to create or update your cybersecurity strategy, but also to create an incident response plan, so you are ready in case the worst happens.
- Use the benefits of cybersecurity tools.
An inadequate cybersecurity strategy can put you even in a bigger danger as it gives you a false sense of security. While firewall, antivirus, and anti-malware programs can protect your business from some types of cyberattacks, they are not enough. Cybercriminals and fraudsters constantly adapt their malicious actions, and your cybersecurity strategy needs to be able to do the same. Cybersecurity tools usually use artificial intelligence and machine learning which means they are adaptable enough to deal with ever-changing online dangers.
- Educate your employees.
Your employees need to be informed about the most common danger they will face, how to recognize them, and most importantly, how to stop them, as explained by Reciprocity. How do you expect them to protect your business and themselves if they are unaware of online dangers or the red flags that might indicate fraudulent attempts or a cyber attack? By conducting regular cyber awareness training, your employees will gain the knowledge they need to keep your business safe.
- Strengthen your passwords.
Unfortunately, most people have poor password hygiene, which is like leaving open doors for cybercriminals and fraudsters. Using simple passwords, reusing the same ones, or constantly choosing simple ones makes it easier for cybercriminals to find a way through them. Password hygiene is such a big problem in cybersecurity that major tech players like Google, Apple, and Microsoft are trying to remove them completely. Until that happens, implement a password policy and ensure everyone uses complex and unique passwords.
- Turn on automatic updates.
Don’t let fraudsters and cybercriminals use your devices and systems against you. They are constantly looking for any weak spots in the software they can use, but they are not the only ones. The good guys also check for weaknesses and how to fix them, after which they release security patches in product updates.
- Backup your data.
Regularly backing up your business’s data and website ensures you have a way to recover any information you might lose in case of a cyber incident such as ransomware, but also if you encounter system issues.
Malicious actors are not going away and will keep trying to come up with new, more sophisticated ways of exploiting your business. Don’t be defenseless. Follow these steps and keep your business safe.
Ana Galic is a freelance writer with interests in all things technology such as IoT, fintech trends, big data, machine learning, and cybersecurity. In her free time, Ana is an avid bookworm who enjoys traveling and exploring new places and activities while staying busy with her lifestyle and parenting blog.