In 2017, it was estimated that 61% of small businesses have experienced a cyber attack. With increasing numbers of cyber attacks on businesses each year, the personal information of millions of people has been exposed to cybercriminals. This is dangerous because these large-scale cyber attacks on businesses give the hackers the tools and information they need to carry out thousands of attacks on individuals later on.
Cyber attacks can affect virtually anyone at any time. Right now cybercriminals are targeting individuals and businesses alike. If you are a business owner, it’s your duty to protect your client’s information. Consumers regularly put their trust into the organizations they do business with by providing personal information like first and last names, addresses, other contact information and oftentimes even credit card numbers or billing information. While individuals are often targeted at a higher rate, it is important to keep cybersecurity in mind for businesses and organizations because of the large amount of client data they often store. One small cybersecurity breach for a large organization can be immensely more detrimental because it can expose the personal information of thousands of individuals.
In 2018, we’ve seen an increase in cyber attacks against businesses around the world. Back in February of 2018, Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal App was compromised, giving hackers access to usernames, email addresses, and passwords from the app’s roughly 150 million users. This past summer, numerous companies were paralyzed by the notorious WannaCry and NotPetya attacks. Equifax, a large American credit company, announced recently that it suffered a cyberattack last July, revealing the names, birthdates, social security numbers, and driver’s license numbers of 143 million American, British and Canadian customers. This attack also revealed 200,000 credit card numbers.
While we seem to constantly hear about cyber attacks on big businesses, the reality is that some 43% of all cyber attacks affect small businesses. The problem is only expected to worsen with advancements in technology. In fact, studies estimate that by 2021, cybercrime damages will reach a value of $6 trillion globally. That’s why it’s important to take matters into your own hands as a business owner and do everything in your power to prevent being victimized by cybercrimes.
How to Avoid a Cyber Attack
According to the United States Federal Communications Commission, there are numerous ways that you can work to protect your business and your customers from data breaches in the future.
- Provide firewall security for your internet connection: Firewall protection typically involves a series of programs that prevent outsiders from accessing your private network. If employees work remotely, make sure that their home internet connection is protected as well.
- Train employees in basic cybersecurity principles: It’s important to have regular training sessions to update your entire team on the latest in your organization’s cybersecurity efforts. Take the time to implement safety protocols like password strength requirements and internet usage guidelines.
- Protect information, computers, and servers: Keep all of your operating systems and programs updated and set password-protected limits on software downloads on every device in your organization.
- Make backup copies of important business data and information: Create a secure copy of all of your information on a separate, secure server. Backup all important data automatically or backup at least every week.
- Secure your wifi networks: If you have wifi in your business, make sure it is hidden and encrypted so they will not be visible to or accessible by potential hackers.
- Control access to devices and set up individual accounts on each: This is especially important if your company uses laptop computers. Make sure that each device is secured with locked accounts for each employee and limit employee access to only certain devices.
Learn more about the FCC’s recommendations here.
If you have any concerns about your cybersecurity or the cybersecurity of your business or organization, contact Internal Computer Services. Our managed services proactively protect your organization from ransomware and malware attacks with a three-layer approach; web- filtering, real-time protection, and cloud-based backup. The ICS team can offer around-the-clock monitoring and support to help ensure that you and your business are well-protected against cyber threats. Contact us today at 804-672-1057.