If you’re like most business owners, you’re more focused on opportunities for growth than on possible risks. But if we’re honest, risks are everywhere around you. And if you don’t plan for them, you could end up on the wrong side of these risks.
When it comes to cybersecurity, how can you keep your business safe for the future? In this article, we share some simple ways to protect your business against cyber threats.
How To Minimize The Threat Of Cyber Attacks
Make no mistake about it – we operate in a business world where risks are aplenty, and consequences are sharp. All it takes is one misguided step, and your organization could find itself suffering significant financial or legal consequences.
In light of the severity of today’s biggest cyber risks, here are a few simple ways you can safeguard your business and stay protected from costly consequences.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has obviously done a lot of good for businesses – creating opportunities for businesses to decentralize their technology and deploy more cost-effective and far-reaching strategies. But along with this fragmentation comes increased risk.
Rise of DDoS Attacks
In particular, we see an increased number of DDoS attacks. These attacks overwhelm the company’s firewall with thousands of smaller attacks until the defense can no longer hold up to the pressure. Then it cracks. And hackers are becoming even more creative with how they get “inside.”
What we are seeing in these (DDoS) attacks is that IP video Surveillance, heating and air conditioning controls, routers and other IoT devices are being taken over and used to send these DDoS attacks.
This is done by a Mirai Bot. A Mirai Bot (server) scans the internet and looks for these devices that have not changed their default password. It then logs into those devices and takes them over.
To prevent DDoS attacks, start with protecting devices and control whatever you can. For example, every business should have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) strategy. It’s non-negotiable at this point. (As the saying goes, a failure to plan is a plan to fail).
The BYOD strategy should include proper device protection, password hygiene, and requirements for regular pen-testing.
Safeguard Intellectual Property From Being Hijacked
Intellectual property (IP) is the lifeblood of most companies. If you haven’t already taken steps to protect your trademarks, ideas, and designs, now is the time to do so.
While it might not be thought of as a traditional cyber-attack, having people steal your IP is a real threat with serious consequences.
The best way to protect your IP is by filing for registered trademarks and patents (when applicable). You should also be mindful of your contracts and the various clauses included in them.
Whenever you enter into a project or deal with someone – which could be another business, freelancer, or even a supplier – you need to get everything in writing.
In fact, just assume that anything not in writing has no legal protection or recourse. This gives you an idea of how important it is to document everything.
Verbal agreements may hold weight in your state, or area but they almost always come down to a he-said-she-said confrontation which is messy. There’s no sense in risking your business so just get it in writing!
Train Your Employees for Cyber Security
The average employee doesn’t have a very advanced understanding of cybersecurity. They might understand the importance of not downloading attachments from external email addresses and using a password to log in, but that’s about the extent of it. It’s up to you to train them.
Regular cybersecurity awareness training is a must.
If you’re in a larger company with a taller business structure, you must get C-suite buy-in before you can fully invest in this aspect of your business.
If you’re in a smaller company where you are the decision-maker, be sure to partner with the right experts and/or programs to get your team the latest information.
The training objectives should emphasize helping employees spot, report, and/or neutralize threats.
Adding It All Up
By protecting your business against the downside, you leave a lot more opportunity and space for the upside.
Shoring up your cybersecurity strategy and proactively putting the correct defenses in place today will set you up for continued success tomorrow.