How to Defend your Company from Cyberattacks

Updated: May 20, 2020

When it comes to cybercrimes, time is of the essence. The longer hackers remain inside your network, the more time they have to install an advanced threat, such as a backdoor. This could enable them to continue accessing your network, even after you’ve identified their presence. Possibly irreparable — financial and reputational harm.

Discover how to prevent your business from becoming the next victim.

1. Budget appropriately for cybersecurity

Too many businesses view cybersecurity as expensive rather than an investment. For smaller businesses, without proper security defenses and adaptations, attacks can be destructive enough to result in bankruptcy. Even if your business survives financially, it must earn back public trust — assuming public trust can be recovered at all.

Cybersecurity is the virtual equivalent of security measures that we take for granted. Business is largely performed online today, making cybersecurity just as valuable as these actual security measures.

2. Obtain the right tech, monitor and update it

Businesses should always guarantee that their antivirus/antimalware software, operating systems, intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and other ancillary software are up to date. Devices, such as routers and switches, should also be regularly monitored, as these are often first entry points for hackers.

3. Encrypt customer data

Accurately and securely encrypting customer data is an exceptionally important, yet too often neglected, cybersecurity measure. There is certainly no reason for any business to store sensitive data in clear text (unencrypted or hashed).

4. Use proactive, or preventative, measures

Businesses should spend on proactive cybersecurity strategies. The goal of these tactics is to fix vulnerabilities in your network before cybercriminals can utilize them.

5. Limit access privileges

Another helpful measure is to use the least privileged access model, which provides employees access to the least amount of privileged accounts and data needed to perform their job roles.

6. Drop email attachments

Another great proactive tactic is to simply never send business attachments via email. This way, employees do not need to worry whether an attached file is really work-related or a phishing scam. All files that require to be shared can instead be attained through internal download or access methods, such as local or cloud storage systems.

7. Enlighten all staff

One of the most efficient proactive cybersecurity tactics by far is staff training. Almost 90% of cyberattacks on companies are caused by human vulnerabilities. It is very essential that everyone from the CEO to the part-time bagel vendor fully understands their role in maintaining the business secure.

8. Supplement cybersecurity with physical security

The physical component of cybersecurity is also too often overlooked. Many staff “piggyback” into a secure area that needs an identification and too many computers left unlocked. Every single employee plays a part in the overall cybersecurity. When they see cybersecurity is vital to leadership, they will take it more seriously on their own.

What should you do if you are attacked?

If you ever discover that you have been attacked, your first step should be to quickly contact your internal IT support or your outside technology solutions provider. Next, disengage the network and power from your infected machine. Your IT department or outside support team will then evaluate the damage and do the next steps to reduce the fallout.

If you have been breached, you should never neglect it. Do not wait for someone else to notice and report it so you won’t have to confess your mistake. Keeping something like this to yourself will only harm everyone in the business more as time progresses.