We’re all living in increasingly riskier times. From natural disasters to cyberattacks, running a business is costly and dangerous endeavour in 2018.
Not only can these events cause serious disruption to business operations and profits, for small businesses especially it can mean shutting down for good. It doesn’t have to be quite so bleak as 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 (and it’s not even over yet) 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, nine Iranian hackers conducted a spree of hacks on over 300 universities, stealing 31 terabytes of data that’s estimated to be worth an eye-watering $3 billion in intellectual property.
Government and companies’ data breaches overshadowed its quieter counterpart, data exposure, though it occurred frequently and had similarly distressing effects, exposing credit card and social security numbers.
Email Top Way In For Scammer And Hackers
Email remains one of the top ways for scammers and hackers to infiltrate systems, with the good old phishing scam remaining prevalent. In fact, 92% of malware is still delivered by email and though we are less likely to fall for assistance requests from oversees royalty, we’re still kind of terrible at recognising fake emails as they grow more personalised and sophisticated.
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.
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.
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 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.