The threat of Cyber-attacks is not exclusive to large organizations. Any company that gathers information has the potential to be a victim of an online data breach. And these data breaches are becoming too familiar. If you are affected by a cyber-attack, it can force your business to shut down temporarily, your customers can lose trust, and it could end up damaging your reputation. Therefore, whether you work for a small or large business, as a CIO, you need to take steps to ensure your company is protected if a cyber-attack hits home.
1. Make Sure Your Software is Up to Date
To protect your business, at a minimum you should have anti-spyware and anti-virus software installed on your systems. Adding in data encryption and firewalls are beneficial too. Cyber hackers are always looking for networks and computers that do not have updated security software. Therefore, make sure to prioritize staying on top of your security updates, or outsource the maintenance to a company that specializes in business cybersecurity.
2. Educate Your Employees on Cyber Security
Your main security risk may be your employees. When they use their personal devices for work-related activities, log into their social media accounts, access their personal emails, or use the same password for everything that all increases the risk that hackers could find ways to get a hold of your business information and data.
Teaching your employees to recognize security threats and phishing scams helps to defend against cyber-attacks. Additionally, make sure you establish a solid company password policy – limit who has access to your sensitive data and require strong passwords that need to be reset often.
3. Store Your Data in the Cloud
If you store your data on your own server, it is more susceptible to attacks (especially if you are not on top of updating your security measures or you don’t back up your information regularly). Hiring a cloud-based cybersecurity provider can help monitor your business for any potential threats and keep your data secure.
4. Develop a Response Plan to a Cyber-attack
Since cyber-attacks happen so often nowadays, you need to assume that your business also has the potential to become a victim sooner or later. Thus, developing a comprehensive response plan before a cyber-attack occurs can help you to minimize any damage effectively, and quickly find and fix the cause to help prevent any future attacks. It is also essential to train your employees on the proper protocols to carry out your response plan.
5. Purchase Cyber Security Insurance
Having a general liability policy does not cover losses incurred from a cyber-attack, but the damage can be just as devastating as theft or fires. So, having an additional cybersecurity policy is beneficial. Purchase one that has both first as well as third-party coverage (first to pay for losses, third to step in if a company or customer sues you because of the data breach).
According to a recent study, different industries tend to judge their cyber-attack risk incorrectly. For example, those that work in the manufacturing industry do not tend to use cybersecurity providers, while those in the E-commerce industry have a much higher adoption rate (12%). However, it’s a good idea to also factor in your company’s intellectual property when deciding on cybersecurity measures since that information can be stolen in an attack.
As a CIO, it is natural to fear a cyber-attack, but by making cybersecurity a high priority, you can help minimize your company’s risk. If you would like more information about how to protect your business, contact The Cloud Truth today.