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The Importance of Identifying Risks and How to Protect Your Business

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Business owners realise there are threats from natural disasters to cyberattacks, and it makes running a business a costly endeavour.

Not only can these events cause serious disruption to business operations and profits, for small businesses, especially it can mean shutting down for good. However, identifying risks and taking steps to protect your business will go a long way in preventing and minimising disruption. Read on to find out how best to protect your business.

Data Breaches & Cyberattacks

The year 2018 was a big one for data breaches and cyberattacks. At one point, hackers from Russia infiltrated a number of US power companies with some claiming that they gained access to American utility’s control systems.

The US didn’t get off the hook with just one major attack, either as nine Iranian hackers also conducted a spree of hacks on over 300 universities, stealing 31 terabytes of data estimated to be worth an eye-watering $3 billion in intellectual property.

Government and companies’ data breaches overshadowed its quieter counterpart, that of data exposure.

Data Exposure

Personalised data exposure occurred frequently and with similarly distressing effects. When the data contained credit card and social security numbers this was distressing. The list of entities hacked with their customer data exposed has grown out of control and now media reports on such an event hardly make the news. How is this data exposure occurring?

Email Top Way In For Scammer And Hackers

Email is the channel that remains one of the most popular avenues for scammers and hackers to infiltrate systems. The bulk email of a phishing scam remaining prevalent and unfortunately effective. In fact, 92% of malware is still delivered by email though with much publicity most email users are more informed and less likely to fall for it. Spam filters have worked to remove a lot of inbound spam however they’re not a ‘catch-all’ and sophisticated requests for your money still catch people out. We’re still not that skilled at recognising fake emails and that’s due to how much more personalised they are in the content. When an email presents your name and maybe your location or another personalised attribute you automatically assume the email is authentic and thus many people respond.

How to Protect Your Business

If the above information started to make you uncomfortable, then now is a great time to ensure that your business is protected from potential attacks and disruption.

Risk Identification & Analysis

The first step is to carry out risk identification and analysis; create a list of all the possible things that could go wrong in an extreme weather event and during a cyberattack. Through this, you will begin to see where your business is most vulnerable and likely to have the most devastating effects.

Risk Control

The next step is risk control; for example, what actions will your business take to prevent financial and operational losses and how you plan to recover should this nevertheless occur.

If cybersecurity is a particular concern, then you should test your business’s cyber-vulnerabilities through penetration testing, a means of testing and exploiting weaknesses in your business’s security systems before hackers do. Risk control should be a company-wide exercise, complete with training to increase knowledge about risk prevention and more.

Recovery Plan

Lastly, create a recovery plan outlining what is to be done should any kind of disruption occur. All company employees need to be aware of proper procedures, like client management at times of crisis, and the steps to be taken for the fastest recovery possible.

By taking a realistic stock of your business’s procedures and security measures, you will gain a better understanding of how your business can function during a tough period. Investing resources (time and money) to manage and prevent disruption will benefit your business and profits in the long run.

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