Cyber attacks dominate the news. From credit card breaches at major retailers to the recent Equifax breach that left millions of social security numbers compromised, cyber criminals are finding new ways every day to gain access to private information. In fact, cyber attacks account for losses of around $86 billion across the business world each year, with most companies reporting $188,000 in losses. Now more than ever, it’s vital that your business invests in cyber security solutions to protect customer data, trade secrets, or wealth from cyber criminals looking to prey on vulnerable small businesses.
But stolen data isn’t the only effect your business will feel after a cyber attack…
Whether or not your business thrives or languishes is heavily impacted by its reputation. The damage to your reputation in the face of a data breach is not easily resolved and can result in loss of trust which often equals loss of clients and the revenue they provide. Plus, recovering from a data breach means time and money diverted to locating the source of the breach while scrambling to find a cyber security solution that prevents future attacks.
Though many small businesses believe their lack of public exposure keeps them exempt from these attacks, most security analysts consider this a false sense of security. Looking back to 2016, Symantec’s Internet Security Report found 43% of reported cyber attacks affected small businesses. Targeting customer data to gain access to personal data as well as attempts to gain access to your business’s hard earned money appear to be the top motivations for cyber criminals and these cyber criminals are choosing their victims wisely. Small businesses who forgo cyber security are easy targets and extremely appealing to criminals. So how do you protect your customer data and business assets from this security threat?
For most people, Intel is most largely associated with their contributions to the computer processor industry. For decades, they’ve spent their time researching and developing ways to make technology better for consumers and businesses alike. What you may not know is they offer a range of technology and software to keep you on the cutting edge of security. Incorporating hardware level authentication with advanced encryption technology is how Intel protects their business customers. Best yet, Intel has found a way to easily add these advanced security features to all products using their 7th Generation Intel Core vPro processor.
Since 2002, Comodo has strived to “create trust online.” Beginning with email security, Comodo now offers a wide range of endpoint security solutions to protect consumers and small businesses alike. With Comodo’s Enterprise ITSM solution, small businesses can protect their entire network - including up to 200 devices - from any potential data breaches. From remote monitoring to mobile device management, Comodo is focused on preventing attacks and repairing vulnerabilities that could lead to future problems. All of this comes with their 24 hour support team ready to help your business stay safe when you need them most.
General Security Tips
When it comes to protecting your business online, even small changes to the way you handle your data can make all the difference.
- Choose strong passwords: Ensuring everyone on your team chooses a secure password is an easy way to prevent unauthorized access to your sensitive data. A good rule of thumb is to choose a password that does not make up any common words or phrases, includes both numbers, upper and lowercase letters, and special characters, and is between 12 to 14 characters. If you struggle to think of one on your own, many web browsers like Apple’s Safari and Google Chrome offer password assistance to help you create a strong password that meet these suggestions.
- Protect devices with antivirus/antimalware software. In the internet age, most of your business is likely ran online. The need to download various attachments leaves you open to mistakenly downloading malicious software directly to your devices. Choosing well known antivirus and antimalware software from established internet security companies like McAfee or Symantec will help alert you and your team to potential harmful attachments while constantly scanning your system for existing threats and vulnerabilities.
- Be careful when you download. Though using the right cyber security software can help circumvent any malicious downloads, you and your team should always be mindful of what is downloaded to company devices. Establish a downloading policy with your employees as it pertains to company devices and make sure they understand why it is important to never download attachments or software from unknown sources. Additionally, both Apple and Microsoft have additional security settings built into their operating system which allow you to prevent unauthorized downloads without a password.
- Never leave devices unattended. One of the easiest ways for cybercriminals to breach your network is by gaining physical access to a device. It only takes a few moments to install malicious software that will give someone unlimited access to not only the data that resides just on that device, but also to the entire network where that device operates. Ensure your employees password protect their devices so in the event they do need to briefly leave their device, it is much tougher for an unauthorized person to gain access.
Without proper cyber security solutions in place, all of the hard work you’ve poured into your business could all be gone in an instant. As the estimated cost of damages from cyber crime climb to upwards of $2 trillion by 2019, now more than ever, it is vital for your continued growth and success to implement or update your cyber security strategy now.