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Best Practices to Reduce Business Cybersecurity Risk

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Are you on a mission to reduce business cybersecurity risk but don’t know where to start? As online technologies are constantly improving, the sophistication of cyberattacks is also increasing. This means there are more ways to attack your business digitally than ever before. 

Research shows that only 14% of small businesses are prepared to face a cyberattack. This means that your business is likely among those that need improvement. In this article, we share the best practices to reduce business cybersecurity risk to avoid facing problems that could cripple your daily operations. 

Top Cybersecurity Risks

Let’s start by identifying the top type of cybersecurity risks to help you understand the severity of  potential problems. This helps figure out what cybersecurity management best practices to implement. 

  • Ransomware extortion: this involves the criminals breaching your network and uploading malware that locks files. Then the criminals would ask for payment to unlock those files. This type of ransomware attack is common, and the ransom demand can be massive. 
  • Cloud 3rd party threats: this involves attacking a cloud service provider that you might be using. There is not too much that you can do to prevent such attacks. You simply need to choose 3rd party cloud services with the best cybersecurity standards. 
  • Mobile malware: almost everyone has a smartphone nowadays, and they can be vulnerable points of entry to attack a network. For example, malware can be disguised as seemingly harmless applications like games, flashlights, and QR code readers. 
  • Zero-Day Vulnerabilities: some bad actors target software that has just been released and has not gone through patch cycles to fix exploits. Your business should avoid this type of software if possible. 
  • Wipers: this type of security breach simply deletes data as soon as possible. This can cause havoc with business processes and grind them to a halt. 

Prioritize Risks

Fighting cybersecurity threats can be time-consuming and expensive. Therefore, you should prioritize risks based on their severity and ease of overcoming them. You may need to consult with a cybersecurity expert to figure out how to create a list of priorities. 

Also, you may want to keep your eye on the news to learn about common hacking events taking place at other companies. It’s likely that the most common cybersecurity risks affecting other companies will also have a greater risk of invading your company. 

Business Cybersecurity Risk

Develop Incident Response Plan

You need to create an incident response plan that you can execute when a cyberattack takes place. This ensures you can reduce the severity of the negative effects and avoid massive disruption to your business. Ideally, you should be able to continue business as usual shortly after suffering a cyberattack. 

Also, having an incident response plan is important because it’s a time-sensitive problem. Every second that it’s infecting your system, it can spread. However, if the attack has only affected a small section of the network, you can remove the threat before it gets out of hand. 

Set Up Continuous Monitoring

It’s important to always monitor for threats so that you can immediately know when something isn’t right. This reduces the amount of time between the cyberattack and executing your incident response plan. 

Continuous monitoring can be challenging if you don’t have the resources or technical skills. However, you can outsource the task to professionals, which is a good investment for your business longevity

Train your Employees

Your employees will be one of the main ways hackers will attempt to launch a cyber attack on your business. They can trick employees into sharing passwords or other vital information to gain entry. Here are some ideas for how to help your employees avoid cyberattacks:

  • Provide classes: you can pay for your employees to attend cybersecurity classes when they first start working. Also, you can ask your employees to take these classes periodically to ensure they stay updated on the latest threats – after all technology is evolving rapidly. 
  • Improve passwords: ask your employees to create long passwords that include lower and upper case letters, numbers, and special characters. Ideally, the password length should be at least 12 characters to avoid making brute force attacks easy. 
  • Extend security to personal devices: the devices your employees use to connect to your business network are also vulnerable. Therefore, employees should be trained on how to improve their security. This could be to use VPNs and antivirus software. 

Backup Your Data

As mentioned previously, it’s possible that ransomware attacks may harm your network, which essentially locks your data until you pay up. However, you can avoid this vulnerability by constantly backing up your data. This ensures that you can always receive important business data when it’s required. 

Nowadays, the cost of data storage is becoming more sophisticated and cheaper. However, this cost depends on the size and nature of your business. Also, if you’re storing customers’ personal information, you’ll need to invest in the best data storage security that money can buy. 

Implement a Killswitch

The killswitch is your best response to a systemwide attack. It’s a strong measure but a necessary one. It will essentially shut down your system entirely when it detects a severe attack. This will reduce the severity of the cyberattack and gives your IT security experts more time to deal with the problem. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, cybersecurity is an important part of running a modern business. You need to invest money and resources into this area, or the chances of an attack will increase. Also, it’s worth getting business insurance to prevent losses from such an attack completely crippling your business. 

Start with the best practices to reduce business cybersecurity risk in this article. However, there are many more steps you can take to prevent these attacks. Finally, you can speak with a cybersecurity expert for advice on setting up an ironclad network to reduce the chances of getting breached. 

About Author

Picture of Rick Mak

Rick Mak

Rick Mak is a 30-year veteran businessman, having started, bought, and/or sold more than a dozen companies. He has bachelor's degrees in International Business, Finance, and Economics, with masters in both Entrepreneurship and International Law. He has spoken at hundreds of conferences around the world during his career on entrepreneurship, international tax law, asset protection, and company structure. Business Anywhere Editorial Guidelines

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