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Why Every Business Needs to Be Prepared for a Cyber Attack

September 09th, 2016

Think a data breach or successful cyber attack could never happen to your business?

We urge you to think again.

Like it or not, companies just like yours are being successfully targeted every minute of every day.  In fact, since Jan. 2015, hackers have stolen $3.1 billion from businesses, just through phishing emails.

lock-156641_640.pngAnd that's only what gets reported.

It's also estimated that nearly half of all small and medium-sized businesses are victims of cyber attacks each year.  And of those that are targeted, 60% will eventually go out of business.  Again, that's based on what actually gets reported.

The point is that no business is immune - not yours, not ours.

This bears repeating becuase despite the fact that cyber-criminals are exploiting our reliance on technology and the vulnerability of many networks, the National Small Business Association (NSBA), reports the following in their Impact of Cybercrime on Small Business:

Despite the rise in cybercrime among small businesses, many small business remain susceptible to cyber attacks due to lack of resources and surprisingly, a lack of knowledge of the threat. The NSBA found that despite the increasing threats posed by cyberattacks, an astounding one in four small business owners have little to no understanding of the issue whatsoever.

Every business must acknowledge their risks and be actively considering what to do in the face of an attack, or better yet, planning for how to minimize the risks as much as possible and avoid one.

Disaster Preparedness Must Include Defending Against Cyber-Crime

one_bad_click_can_disrupt_your_entire_network.jpgSeptember is National Preparedness Month, which is a great opportunity to focus on what would happen if a hacker gained control of your data.  And of course, what you can do to prevent it from happening at all.

Because any preparedness planning these days must factor in cyber-crime, right along with planning for what to do in the event of a natural disaster or other event like a fire or a power outage.

In other words, it's not enough to make sure you have enough bottled water, flashlight batteries and canned food on hand. Now you must prepare for man-made disasters too. 

Man-made disasters are in fact more likely to impact your business, and without the warnings and prep time that you get when, for example, a Hurricane is projected to hit your area.  That could include something as commonplace as a failed server, or an accidental spill in the server closet.  But it also includes cyber attacks.

One reason that cyber attacks are increasing is because the social engineering tactics being deployed today are sophisticated and unfortunately, often successful in promting an end-user to make that 1 click.

And 1 bad click is all it takes to disrupt your network.

When just one end-user in your office unknowingly opens an attachment loaded with malware that encrypts all of your data, they have helped the attacker bypass all your other systems, and you have a disaster on your hands.

Phishing attacks are so common these days that a new one is detected every minute of every day.  And experts now estimate that the majority of them contain ransomware encryption.  So not only will you get hacked if even one person clicks on a bad link or attachment, but you could potentially wind up having to pay a hefty "fee" (ransom) to the hackers in order to re-gain access to your own data...with no guarantees that you'll ever get it back, even after meeting the cyber-criminal's demands.

The keys to defending against cyber attacks are:

  • End-user education & training - train your staff on a regular basis on how to spot a phishing attack and identify the known red flags of a cyber-attack.
  • Strong end-point security - anti-virus, firewalls and patch management are all critical for strong overall network security
  • Modern data backups and recovery- the ONLY guarantee against a ransomware attack is having all of your data backed up, secured and easily accessible

Get the Business Guide to Cybersecurity

defend_against_cyber_attacks.jpgThere's no debate as to whether cybersecurity is critical. With our current reliance on technology in business, protecting the heart of your company must be a priority.  If any good has come from the rise in ransomware attacks and the publicity around this cyber-threat it's that it has at least raised the awareness levels.  So smart businesses are aware that they need to protect themselves.

But for many, the question is still how, and where to start.

One place to start is by grabbing this free resource, The Business Guide to Cybersecurity.

Download this guide and you'll learn about common cybersecurity mistakes that are easy to correct, how to create a security policy for your business, and other actionable cybersecurity tips that can help you right now to assess and reduce your risks.

You are only as secure as your weakest link.  But you can use this comprehensive guide as an educational resource for your entire team right now.  You can protect yourself from cyber-attacks, but not by ignoring the risks or assuming it's not something that you need to worry about.

Don't wait until it's too late to make cybersecurity your priority.  Download this guide today.

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