As more and more of our lives go online, the amount of damage that can be done to us through cyberattacks increases. This is particularly true for businesses whose customer data and other sensitive information are at risk.
Cyber attacks can mean that your companies financial solvency is at risk, as well as your reputation and your intellectual property. It’s essential that you take steps to avoid cyber attacks wherever possible.
The methods that cybercriminals use to make their attacks are being updated and refined all of the time, and they are getting more and more sophisticated. Most software providers will regularly carry out analysis of the latest threats and create updates to their software to minimize the risk of attack. These updates are known as patches.
As a business running software, it’s essential that you regularly download and install patches from your software providers regularly to ensure that you are protected against attacks.
Businesses can find patch management difficult to manage because patches may impact how the software operates, which can have impacts in unexpected areas of your business if you don’t carry out due diligence and proper testing.
A good strategy is to ensure that you have a qualified IT support team to carry out patch management and also advise you on other Cybersecurity strategies.
Social engineering can be a difficult security risk for businesses to manage. Social engineering is the term used for a hacker to obtain the information that they need to compromise your business systems by utilizing social media or other methods to speak with your staff members to get the information they need.
The best way to protect yourself from social engineering is through education. Teach your employees what kinds of interactions might be suspicious, and teach them about which information should never be shared.
A lot of businesses outsource some of their functions to third-party providers. For example, you might outsource your payments to a specially designed platform.
The problem is, if your third-party provider has a data breach and your customers are impacted, you are still liable.
When appraising potential third-party providers, it’s important that you pay close attention to their cybersecurity policies and ensure that you are happy that they are going to keep your customer data safe.
Ransomware is a malicious piece of software that a user inadvertently downloads onto their computer, often through an email attachment.
The ransomware works by encrypting files on the computer to no longer be accessed without entering a mathematical key known only to the orchestrator of the attack. Usually, they will demand payment from you before they will agree to remove the encryption.
To protect yourself against ransomware attacks, you should:
- Only allow download privileges to trusted people within an organization.
- Educate staff regularly about not downloading any unexpected attachments.
- Keep anti-virus software up to date.
- Regularly back up all of your data. This won’t stop the attack, but it can help to mitigate the damage.
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