It seems that every other week there’s a new report of a hack on a business. This can include major corporations and organisations. If it’s not Equifax, it’s Sony. If it’s not Sony, it’s Facebook and the list goes on. Security threats for businesses are at an all time high.
How companies respond to these security issues can impact the future of the brand. While many of the brands we have mentioned may be too big to fail, if a hack occurs on a small company, the result can be quite different. Business survival is at stake. Of course, business owners often feel powerless to stop attacks like this. But there are steps that they can take. These are the security steps business owners must consider today rather than tomorrow.
You may not know this but there is a cyber attack on a business every seven seconds, these can be detrimental. Hackers have been targeting businesses for a long time and their reasons include that it is easy, especially if you don’t have the right security measures in place.
Did you know that if you have a simple seven character password protecting your company and clients, this can take a hacker just milliseconds to crack. When you are told to set strong passwords there is a reason for this, it can take two centuries to crack a super hard password. Your business will be safe as that will take someone far too long and it simply isn’t worth it.
If you put the right security measures in place from the start then you won’t be an easy target. If you keep client files online then you need to make sure that these are kept safe and secure with passwords. Only you and others on a need to know basis should have access to these passwords.
You could also use the help and assistance of an IT company. They will monitor your activity and look out for anything suspicious. If they do notice something a little off, they will notify you and put a block on whatever it is that is happening. You might also want to look into having good quality cyber insurance. This will protect you and your company if the worst was to happen and you get attacked by hackers.
You might think that it will never happen to you, however, what if it does? If your business is your pride and joy then you will want to do anything you can to protect it. We have spoken about online security but what about physical security. You could look into hiring a security guard, this could be 24 hours or just when your business is closed.
You might be sensible to sign up to a CCTV company that monitors your cameras for you. They will also come and install the cameras themselves to make sure they are in the right place to catch any suspicious activity. It is always better to pay slightly more out your budget for security measures that will protect your company.
You need to know who is entering and leaving your business premises too. There are easy ways to avoid someone being there who shouldn’t. For instance, you can invest in employee badges so any unknown individual is easily identifiable.
It’s worth considering extra security options that you can put in place too. For instance, you might want to think about hiring security guards. These are popular in retail businesses but they can be useful for any brick and mortar business. You just need to check that any security team you are using is carefully vetted. Remember, if you hire the wrong people, that’s just one more way that you can leave your business more vulnerable overall.
It’s also worth thinking about delivering training to your team members. If there is a security failure in your business, the majority of the time, it is going to be due to an issue with human error or a member of your team making a significant mistake.
This is certainly true in the case of phishing scams. In scenarios like this, criminals are relying on your team members being unaware of the signs of a hack taking place. That’s why it’s always going to be in your business interest to invest in security training. While this can cost a lot of money, it will provide a solid ROI and extra peace of mind.
Finally, there are other considerations that you should keep in mind when you are protecting your business. The first is insurance. It’s important to have insurance in place in case you are unable to prevent a security attack on your company. With the right insurance options, you can avoid a cyber attack crippling your business financially. You just need to make sure that you are choosing the right policy.
Be aware that there are also specialist insurance options and this does include cyber security coverage. This will be useful for any business that is operating online.
Aside from insurance, you may also want to think about investing in backup systems. People often assume that the greatest issue with a security threat is going to be the theft of sensitive data or critical assets. While this can be the case, it’s not always the story.
For instance, a criminal could decide to cripple your systems instead. This would lead to massive downtime and they may keep the systems disabled until you pay a ransom. With backup systems available, particularly for critical applications, your company won’t be vulnerable to this type of attack.
Another point worth exploring is what to do if an attack is successful. You will need to alert your customers, clients and employees immediately. You should have a plan of action in place if this occurs so there are no delays. Any delay will make your business look guilty and it seems as though you were trying to cover up a security failure.
It’s clear that hacks and security attacks are going to continue to be a serious issue for businesses in the years ahead. Companies large and small must work to ensure that they are updated with the latest security features and requirements to avoid a disaster scenario here.
Remember, if you are struggling to maintain control of your security requirements there are businesses that will manage the legwork for you and ensure that you don’t fall into a vulnerable situation here.