Protect Your Data, Employees and Equipment from Cyberattacks
Proper cybersecurity is key to protecting company and customer data.
Your employees and customers trust you with their safety – protecting both their personal information and physical safety. With cybercrime and breaches on this rise, this is becoming a more challenging task.
Being a victim of cybercrime damages both your reputation and your finances. When your data and infrastructure is down due to an attack, your business may be losing revenue. If you are concerned about protecting your small business from cybercrime, you are not alone. The Q3 Small Business Index by MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that almost 60 percent of small business owners are concerned about cybersecurity.
Small businesses are often targets of the following cybercrimes:
Malware/Ransomware – This type of attack typically occurs when an employee downloads a file containing a virus or clicks on a link. The criminals hold your files ransom and will not return the useable versions until you pay a ransom. Since you cannot access your data, your business could possibly be brought to a standstill during a malware and ransomware attack unless you have a secure backup. Osterman Research found that 22 percent of small to medium businesses attacked by ransomware were forced to temporarily stop business operations, with 15 percent losing revenue.
Data Breach – Breaches often happen because the network isn’t secured properly or employees practice poor password hygiene. According to the KPMG Small Business Reputation & Cyber Risk Report, 89 percent of small businesses that experienced a breach said it impacted their reputation, including brand damage (31 percent), loss of clients (30 percent) and reduced ability to win new clients (29 percent). Since data breaches give thieves access to personally identifiable information, these types of attacks can lead to identity theft.
To help protect your small business from cybersecurity attacks, take the following precautions:
- Educate your employees not to click on links or download files from unknown senders.
- Install anti-malware and anti-virus software on all networks, computers and mobile devices.
- Use firewalls to protect your network and servers from attack.
- Check your business insurance policy to see if you are covered against security breaches. If not, consider switching to an insurance policy that provides protection for losses after an attack.
- Train employees on proper password security, including not using common passwords like 1234567 or password, changing passwords regularly, not using the same passwords for all accounts and using a mix of letters, numbers and characters.
- Have an offsite backup of your data that is not connected to your network so you can quickly get your business back up and running. Attacks, especially certain ransomware viruses, specifically attack backups connected to a business’s network.