Cyber exposure risk is growing daily. There are over 4,000 attacks in the U.S. alone everyday, 50% of which are on small businesses. Because of this, it is important to find ways to keep your business protected from hackers. While there is no solution that will keep you 100% protected against hackers, taking steps to reduce your risk goes a long way towards keeping you protected.
Here are 5 quick and easy ways to keep your business protected.
1. Know your risk
As with anything, arming yourself with knowledge is a massive first step. Just being remotely aware of the types of risks that your business will help you better understand how to address it.
Here are a few quick ways you can understand the risks your company faces.
- Stay up-to-date on the latest trends in cyber attacks
- Check to see if you have the most recent version of your operating system and various softwares
- Be aware of what coverages you do have and where there might be gaps
- Pay attention to cyber statistics that you come across
- Know the types of data you have on your clients and customers
- Know how many people have access to your company's data
But these are rather broad solutions to understanding your cyber risk, and while they are beneficial it is even better to know your individual company's exact risk. A good way to do this is to go through a risk assessment for your company.
A risk assessment for your company will help you understand what are your major areas of exposure and help you take steps to address those exposure risks head on.
2. Educate your employees
As with understanding your risk, a great way to reduce your cyber risk is to keep your employees informed of the cyber risk your company currently has and provide them with education and training resources
- Passive Training - Passive training or “teachable moments” follows the idea of constantly reinforcing certain behaviors amongst your employees. Running phishing simulations, for example, allows you to send your employees “phishing” emails and learn from their mistake if they fall for it, without causing an actual cyber breach.
- Direct Training - Direct training involves having your employees actually attend a class or take an online course/module on cyber security and risks mitigation. This can be as simple as taking lessons on increasing password security and recognizing phishing emails.
Training and reinforcement will help make your employees part of the "security team" so to speak, empowering them with helping maintain company security. Additionally, this type of training is easy to execute and will help your employees with their own personal cyber security. It's a no-brainer to get your team trained.
3. Have a plan of action
One of the biggest effects on the cost of a cyber security breach is time. The more time you go without getting a handle on the problem, the bigger your cyber exposure becomes. In order to reduce the amount of time it takes to get everything shored up, it is important to have a plan of attack in place in case you ever DO suffer a cyber attack.
In the event of a Cyber Attack You’ll Want to:
Have someone to call: Access to a breach coach or counselor can really help guide you through the process.
Contain the damage: Run an anti-virus program, and change all passwords. This is the first step to mitigating the damage that has occured to your system.
Hire a cyber remediation team: Depending on the level of breach (a breach coach can help you understand that) you may want to bring in a cyber remediation team to help “unhack” your system and help you repair the damage and rebuild.
Get legal advice - You will need to have access or get in touch with a firm with relevant expertise and experience.
If you don’t have all of the above covered completely, but having one or more of these parts of a cyber response plan ready to go will go a long way towards reducing the damage that occurs in the hours, days and weeks after an attack on your business has occurred.
4. Invest in tools to protect your inbox and browser
Gone are the days where a simple anti-virus would cover most of the risk that you had to worry about. The breadth and severity of attacks has increased dramatically, and because of this it is important to take active measures to ensure your cyber security risk, rather than just defensive measures.
Here are a few tools you will want to look out for to help you lock down your browser and inbox and help give you and your business more security.
- Spam filter - to block general spam messages that can contain malware
- Phishing filter - to block phishing emails that aim to trick you into downloading malware or providing login credentials.
- Password Manager - to manage your passwords, allowing you to have more secure passwords overall and help recognize phishing sites that don’t match the site requesting your credential.
- Content filter - To block websites with unsafe content and NSFW content as these sites are known to have security vulnerabilities and be targeted by hackers.
- Malicious code filter - To filter out malicious websites and websites that may not be directly malicious, but have security vulnerabilities
- Wifi browsing security - To lock down your internet browsing over wifi.
5. Have security policies in place
Establishing company wide security policies will help mitigate your risk even further. At its simplest, your security policy should:
- Establish a central authority
- Establish acceptable computer usage
- Password requirements,
- Password change schedules
- “Rights” restrictions on resources
- Rules for storing company data
- Program installation procedures
On top of having a security policy in place, there needs to be enforcement protocols and a procedure in place to handle violation. Afterall, a policy means nothing if it is not actually enforced in any capacity.
Cyber security exposure is a growing concern for businesses of any size, but smaller companies with limited resources need to make smart decisions rapidly that can improve their security quickly. That’s where Paladin comes in. Paladin is your all in one cyber protection solution, and the best way to ensure your business’ security. We combine tools, training, software, insurance and remediation to keep you protected from hackers, and keep you financially secure if you ever are hacked. Learn more today.