The Digital Age has propelled business and commerce over a world that grows more and more connected every day. Brick and mortar stores and display centers have given way to online stores. Mega malls have given way to e-commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba. Mind-numbing volumes of data travel on the information superhighway every day. Yet despite all this progress, technology has also given birth to a new threat: cybercrime.
What is Cybercrime?
It is a broad term for any criminal activity involving a computer, network device or network. People often underestimate how hackers operate. If I were inclined, I could probably hack a small business’ website with some research and my HughesNet internet service.
Cybercrimes can have a monetary motive or an intention to damage deliberately. Small businesses are actually a lot more vulnerable to cyberattacks than larger ones. Of course, larger businesses are targets too because of the immensity of sensitive data they own. However, small businesses stand at a much greater risk. Cybercrime can take many forms including:
- Identity theft
- Data theft
- Corporate espionage
- Website take-down
How Can I Protect My Business from It?
Cybersecurity Ventures, a cybersecurity research firm, estimates that by 2021, the global cost of cybercrime will stand at $6 trillion every year. $6 trillion! That is a staggering amount, and it will come out of the pockets of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks.
An enterprise can invest in state-of-the-art cybersecurity software and personnel. A small business may not always have this luxury. Luckily this blog can help you protect your business using the following information:
- Password Complexity
- Password Protection
- Updated Security Software
- Hidden Wi-Fi
- Cloud Backups
- Data Compartmentalization
- Expecting the Unexpected
Let’s quickly examine these points of interests in more detail below.
Phishing usually takes the form of cybercriminals tricking people into clicking on links that look like they’re from a reputed website. But in reality, clicking on phishing links compromises your business security. Ensure that your employees only click or respond to authentic links and information requests.
To hack passwords, cybercriminals often make use of Brute Force attack. This involves a computer rapidly trying all permutations of characters to guess the right password. However, the more complex your passwords are, the more complex your password is the harder it is to crack with brute force. Ensure that all your employees use distinct, strong, and complex passwords for their accounts.
One of the best steps you can take to guard against cybercrime is to password protect everything belonging to your business. All electronics such as phones, laptops, tablets, PCs, and files should ideally have password protection enabled. If possible, you should set up multi-factor authentication as well to ensure your business remains safe.
Cyber threats aren’t static. They continue to evolve as new threats emerge every year. This is why it is very important to have updated cybersecurity software on all your devices. Older devices with outdated software are at more risk of being attacked.
Hackers can gain access to your business network using your Wi-Fi router. Most businesses make the mistake of broadcasting their SSID or network name. This only makes it easier for hackers to find and gain access to your network.
You cannot depend on just having a strong Wi-Fi password. A better practice is to hide your Wi-Fi network using your router’s settings. Of course, even if you do hide your network, you still need a strong password.
Ransomware is one of the most common types of cyberattacks these days. Hackers gain access to your sensitive business data and hold it for ransom. They demand money in exchange for returning your data to you.
Having a remote or cloud backup for sensitive business information is a good way to guard against ransomware. Hire an expert to help you place your backup behind secure firewalls in cloud storage. That way even if you do lose your data, you have an up-to-date backup ready.
A good way to protect against data leaks and attacks is to compartmentalize your data. This means you shouldn’t give everyone in your organization access to sensitive data. Only people who need that data should have the authorization to access it.
Expect the Unexpected
In many cases, prevention is better than cure. I call the HughesNet number (1-855-850-5976) as soon as my satellite internet goes on the fritz. But in cybersecurity, you can’t wait for an attack to happen before taking corrective action. You need to be constantly on your guard. You should also have a detailed cybersecurity plan that your key staff should be aware of. Don’t be afraid to reach out for professional guidance and help.
Stay safe and protect yourself from hackers and cybercriminals at every turn.