It’s the perfect time to assess your business’ cyber security.
A lot has changed since Cyber Security Awareness Month was launched by the US government in 2004. In 2004 cybercriminals caused a reported 68.1 million dollars of damage. Last year alone reported damages exceeded 4.2 billion dollars. Cyber crime is so prevalent now that it is imperative all businesses of all sizes take security seriously.
There are many entry points to any network to be taken advantage of. One of the most common entry points is a link or shortcut contained in an email or webpage. The link may present an unwitting user with a virus, malware or spyware disguised as something they trust. Passwords are often collected in the same way; one may receive an email from their “bank” asking to verify login credentials. When a user enters their account details, the password is captured by the attacker and oftentimes will be passed around publicly on dark web markets to fulfill other nefarious means
One third of all cyber attacks involve small to medium-sized businesses, according to Verizon’s 2020 cybersecurity report. It’s not hard to imagine, given that most don’t have in-house IT departments and most small business owners do not know how or have time to secure their networks and systems. Proper security protocols and understanding among your staff can be the difference between smooth operations and the loss of critical data and systems.
To best keep prying eyes away from your business’ IT Infrastructure, observe some of these safety tips this month:
- Ensure antivirus systems are in place to detect malicious files and viruses.
- Maintain a firewall to control and monitor traffic between your network and the web.
- Use a different password for everything. Use multi-factor authentication to ensure the right people have access to systems.
- Protect your password at all costs. Passwords are often lost when a user unwittingly enters their credentials into a “spoofed” login page. Passwords can then be exchanged for nefarious purposes on the dark web.
- Be careful working from home: security gaps often appear on home networks and while using work collaboration tools.
- Backup data important business data for a quick rebound in the event of a data loss incident. (and test your backups!)
- Keep important software up-to-date with patches when they are available. Patches are often released with the express purpose of filling in a hole in the software’s security measures.
In the spirit of Cyber Security Awareness Month, take some time to reflect on your business’ network defenses and action plan in case of impacted data or operations. Bad actors don’t only target large corporations, and Tech Mafia will ensure business continuity if they happen to target you.
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