5 Cybersecurity Tips to Protect Your Business
Although many businesses switched to remote or hybrid work environments, cybercriminals also took advantage of the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. This included increased numbers of data breaches and attempts to steal people’s personal information. If you run a primarily remote business, cybersecurity should be your primary focus. Here’s what you need to know about cybersecurity and some tips to protect your business from malicious hackers.
What is Cybersecurity?
As one might expect from its name, cybersecurity refers to the need for protection involving internet-connected technology such as software, hardware, and data. Cyber threats can seriously compromise your business, requiring the need for efficient technological safety practices. Cybersecurity ensures your business is prepared when unauthorized access is given to your data center and other computer systems.
Thankfully, a strong and effective cybersecurity strategy can prevent these attacks before they happen. These are often enacted with the intent to destroy, delete, or alter important company information. After the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber criminals became more sneaky about their attacks, leading to an increased need for cybersecurity among remote businesses. If you are worried about threats, cybersecurity insurance is something a lot of businesses explore to further ensure they are protected from cyber attacks.
Types of Cyber Threats
Malware attacks usually occur when unwanted programs and software are unintentionally installed into your business systems. Examples of this include infamous .exe files that attack your software in the form of a virus. This infects the application before embedding itself into the most important elements of your computer. Malware may also appear in the form of a “Trojan Horse,” opening an unwelcome system of “worms” that wreak havoc on everything within your system.
Some other examples of malware include malvertising, spyware, zero-day attacks, and advanced-persistent threats (ATP). The primary detail all of these have in common is that they all use vital company information to target and harm your consumers.
This is an umbrella term for a wide range of cyber attacks that use everyday human interactions to play psychological trips on consumers. They’ll utilize these tactics to trick users into providing important information without their knowledge. These can be especially threatening since the hackers have to study their target by obtaining background information and gathering specific data they’ll need for the attack.
Common examples of social engineering cyber attacks include phishing, pretexting, whaling, and spoofing. To use a frequently encountered example, phishing forcefully steals money from users by using psychological tricks via texts or emails. They’ll often involve a sense of urgency that makes the user interact with a malicious website with built-in malware.
Man-in-the-Middle Attacks and SQL Injections
Man-in-the-middle attacks get their name from malicious attackers posing as legitimate representatives of your business with the intent to steal from users. The perpetrators will pretend to reach out to a customer for “normal, important communications.” They’ll act as if the transferring of sensitive information is completely regular when they’re truthfully spying on the user.
Meanwhile, as the name suggests, SQL injections use SQL to learn important business information in a non-display capacity. Hackers can use SQL to analyze and manipulate user accounts, infiltrating administrative rights to data. Both SQL injection and man-in-the-middle attacks can be used to manipulate passwords, hack bank transactions, commit identity theft, and invade business networks.
Denial-of-Service (DoS) & Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks
A denial-of-service (DoS) attack involves a plot to completely shut down your business’s service or network. This makes it impossible for users to engage with your hardware or software in any capacity. The attackers will usually try to overwhelm the network until it crashes, completely denying access to employees, customers, and other important parties.
Meanwhile, in the case of a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack, various sources overwhelm the server with high amounts of sudden traffic. Since these attacks typically happen from multiple locations at the same time, trying to block them can unintentionally exacerbate the problem. Cyber attacks of this nature tend to be a deflection or to intentionally hurt a business and its information systems.
Remote Work Security
There’s no doubt that the global pandemic changed the world. As more people were forced to stay within their homes, workplaces adjusted their means of employment to accommodate these transformations. Even so, businesses weren’t the only people making changes in light of COVID-19. While break-ins and direct robberies decreased, scammers became more strategic.
In other words, while businesses and their employees made the switch to remote work, malicious hackers were close behind. Companies without much remote work experience created the perfect opportunity for increased data breaches, some of which included sensitive data. With these points in mind, cybersecurity should be your top priority if you’re running a remote or hybrid business.
5 Cybersecurity Tips
1. Conduct Risk Assessments
Thoroughly evaluate your hardware and software whenever possible. This should include anything that might threaten the security of the business’s networks, information, and systems. Identifying these gaps in security can help you prevent future attacks. Part of your risk assessment should include the identification of people who are allowed access to your data and where it’s located. If your business data is stored via a cloud system, speak with your provider to conduct a risk assessment.
2. Consistently Back Up Files
Backing up your data should be your top priority when it comes to cybersecurity. A cyberattack could potentially delete your data, leading to a massive loss for your business. You should also think about what happens if this situation were to occur. If your company experienced a data breach, could it still function properly? Back up your business files with multiple programs spread across several devices. You should ideally select a program that automatically schedules backups so you don’t have to even think about it.
3. Encrypt Important Information
If your business regularly works with extremely sensitive data from bank accounts or credit cards, encryption programs should be a must. Encryption secures important data by altering a device’s information into unreadable codes. Granted, encryption is designed as a safety net for the worst-case scenario. Even if your data was stolen, the hacker would likely abandon their efforts since they’d have to decrypt sensitive information. In other words, this encourages the hacker to leave your company information alone upon observation of the encryption.
4. Properly Train Your Team Members
Even if it’s unintentional, many businesses experience security breaches due to a lack of training among their employees. This can happen when team members accidentally give away sensitive information to malicious cyber attackers. An employee may also mistakenly open malicious emails that release viruses into your company’s networks. With these points in mind, consider providing thorough cybersecurity training for your employees, especially if they’re remote workers.
5. Thoroughly Update Your Software
Any business technology should always stay up-to-date, and that includes antivirus software. Most vendors do a good job of regularly updating and reinforcing their software to patch security vulnerabilities. Keep in mind that certain software may need to be manually updated, such as certain wi-fi firmware. Even something as simple as a wi-fi router could be subject to security breaches if left unchecked for too long.
Do you run a remote or hybrid business? If so, it’s important to make sure you have proper cybersecurity strategies in place. If you’re in need of new security technology, make sure to work with our certified technicians at Teksetra! Contact us to learn more about how we can enhance your cybersecurity software today!
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