The dangers of cybercrime and simple security tips to help protect your company data
While few would deny the tremendous benefits the web and tech have brought to business over recent years, the truth remains that every time you go online, you potentially leave your firm (and yourself) wide open to cyberattack. The growth of cybercrime in recent years has been exponential, and in a recent survey, researchers found the greatest fear among Small to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) business owners is the prospect of falling victim to a hacking attack.
The numbers speak for themselves
Just a cursory look at the statistics makes it clear these fears are not unwarranted. A 2021 report conducted by insurance company AdvisorSmith, found that 42% of SME respondents had suffered a cyberattack within the previous 12 months – with a whopping 69% concerned about the idea of future attacks.
Worse yet, other research suggests that 60% of SMEs that suffer a cyberattack subsequently go out of business in the following six months.
Steps you can take today to give added protection to your business
Cybercrime is a clear and present danger facing all firms, regardless of size, sector or profitability. Nonetheless, there are thankfully some simple steps you could take today that will help minimize the risk and reduce your exposure:
Outsource your IT to a cloud computing provider: By far the easiest and most cost-effective way to protect your firm, its data and its digital services is to outsource your IT to a professional cloud service provider. In recent years, cloud computing has become one of the fastest-growing and most lucrative sectors in the entire IT and computing industry – and for very good reason. By entrusting your firm’s data and networking to a cloud provider like www.avepoint.com, you’ll gain the complete peace of mind that comes from knowing your company is protected by industry-leading professionals with the added security of regular backups.
Install antivirus protection and firewalls: It should go without saying, but you must, at the very least, have adequate antivirus protection and firewalls installed on your network – plus on all connected devices.
Use strong passwords (and change them regularly): One of the most common ways hackers gain access to networks is through basic, easy-to-guess, or repeated passwords. You should ensure both you and your staff employ strong alphanumeric passwords that are unique to each account (i.e. don’t use the same credentials for your business accounts as you do for Facebook or personal email, etc). You should also make sure passwords are updated regularly.
Install updates when prompted: Another very common backdoor for hackers is through outdated software and Operating Systems (OSs). You should update all programs when prompted to ensure you’re running the latest, most secure version.
Educate colleagues: No matter how bulletproof your protection, you’ll be fighting a losing battle if you don’t first educate your staff about the dangers that lurk online. Considerable evidence proves that humans are, more often than not, the weakest link in the chain. Indeed, this fact is evidenced yet further by the startling rise in phishing attacks – a form of social engineering attack that exploits our innate tendency to trust. Visit FortifID to learn more about data authentication and privacy.