Guest post from Eleanor Wyatt of RemoteWorkWellness.net
Cyberattacks are a set of actions taken by an individual or group with the intent of gaining unauthorized access to data. Once gaining access, these threat actors can hold it ransom, delete or manipulate it to suit their agendas. According to research, 42% of small businesses across the country have been victims of cyberattacks such as ransomware, phishing, malware data breach, and more in the past year.
Small businesses that have recently moved their operations online post the onset of COVID-19 have become the primary targets of cyberattacks. If you’re wondering what steps are needed to safeguard your business from such attacks, this article by Ted Vieira Consulting is here to address all your concerns.
What’s at Risk During an Attack?
A cyber attack puts all your important data at risk, which includes:
- Customer database
- Customer credit card information
- Business banking details
- Client contracts
- Unreleased product designs and business plans
Additionally, some attacks may use your network as a pathway to access a larger network of companies you are connected with, such as suppliers, investors, subsidiaries, etc.
A cyberattack can put the health of your company in danger. As reported by Policy Sweet, 60% of small businesses close down in six months following a cyberattack. This is due to a variety of reasons such as:
- Financial damage due to theft of banking information
- Creation of a bad reputation in the market
- The steep cost of data recovery
How to Prevent Attacks?
The best method to safeguard your business from cyberattacks is to practice appropriate prevention techniques.
- Set Cybersecurity Policies
In consultation with your IT team, create a manual of best practices to be followed by everyone in the organization. This includes setting strong passwords, restricting the use of the internet on work computers/laptops, and hosting regular safety workshops.
- Keep Software Updated
Cybercriminals often find ways to capitalize on vulnerabilities in older versions of software. Hence, whether it be your operating system or third-party applications, always keep them up-to-date.
- Restrict Software Installations
Provide the right to install software only to a select few administrators in the organization. While everyone will be able to use these programs, only those with adequate permissions should be able to add, delete or make changes. This acts as a strong safeguard against programs being integrated with your network without your knowledge.
Take Help of Professionals
While the above-mentioned steps serve as good practices to prevent attacks, you should employ the help of IT security professionals such as Commvault to integrate more comprehensive measures such as:
Undertaking a thorough review of your current security measures can bring forth weaknesses in your system, which hackers can exploit. Post-review, your IT security team can put in place the necessary data protection programs, providing you comprehensive safety from threats. This includes:
- Installing ransomware protection software
- End-to-end data encryption
- Centralized security management dashboard
- Periodic scans of your system to uncover threats
- Taking necessary action depending on the type and severity of the threat
As reported by Gartner, post a ransomware attack, only 65% of data is recovered on average. Additionally, there is no guarantee that hackers have not implanted further attacks into the data to trap you in a vicious loop of payment. To avoid such scenarios, it is important to have a reliable backup of all your data. This allows you to minimize disruption of business post-attack and save thousands if not millions of dollars in ransom.
Backup is one important part of the process followed by recovery. Depending on the size of your data, it can take days to restore. If your data has been compromised, you need to have a plan to restore it in a timely and organized manner. Professionals at Commvault can seamlessly help you in this process. Depending on your needs, important software and data can be recovered first allowing you to continue serving your clients with minimal disruption.
While one can never guarantee 100% protection from cyberattacks, through practicing prevention techniques and having the right systems in place, you can be confident in safeguarding your data and business.
About the Author
Eleanor Wyatt is a workplace wellness expert and writer. She created Remote Work Wellness to provide advice to the growing remote workforce. She thinks it’s essential that people who work remotely be proactive about their health, and that’s what her site is all about. The resources she provides on her site are carefully curated from reputable sources and personal experiences to help people who work remotely care for their bodies and minds.