Cyber attacks are a great threat to modern businesses due to the ever-increasing use of technology in the workplace. These attacks can result in catastrophic damages for companies. Hackers can leak trade secrets or customer information and gain control over computers or damage devices. Operational setbacks and loss of consumer trust caused by cyber security threats can be avoided if precautions are taken.
One of the easiest ways to protect your company against attacks is to provide cyber security training for all employees. Many attacks depend on undereducated employees making mistakes. For example, social engineering tactics attempt to get employees to share confidential information that can harm the company or lead to larger attacks. Similarly, phishing schemes rely on staff clicking on corrupt links, usually within emails, to install malware or allow the hacker access to computers.
Teaching employees how to recognize potential cyber attacks can drastically reduce a company’s susceptibility to hackers’ schemes. Employees should participate in regular cyber security training courses to stay up-to-date on new and evolving security threats and how to avoid them.
In addition to educating employees, companies should have procedures in place that reduce the risk of falling prey to cyber attacks. This includes a verification process before divulging any information to persons outside of the company to avoid social engineering schemes. Other helpful procedures include implementing a system in which employees can flag suspicious emails for the security department to review, limiting employee access to sensitive information and changing passwords regularly.
Company computers should have firewalls in place to prevent attacks. Firewalls will monitor information being sent from and to your computers, making sure it contains no malicious software before allowing it into your system.
Computers should also have virus detection software. This software will constantly check your computer and files you open for potential viruses. Virus detection programs try to identify harmful software and prevent it from being installed onto your computer. Different antivirus programs have different features, prices and detection rates, so companies should thoroughly research and compare options before selecting what program they wish to use. If a virus manages to slip through the cracks, it should be removed as quickly as possible to avoid damage.
The spam filters on company email accounts should be set to filter out suspicious emails. Correctly adjusting these settings reduces the risk of employees unintentionally clicking on harmful links that could install malware on their device. Furthermore, employees should be discouraged from using their company email addresses for personal use.
One of the easiest ways to prevent cyber attacks is regularly updating your computers. Computer companies are constantly trying to improve their security and stay one step ahead of hackers. Simply installing updates as they become available will ensure that your computers are up to date and as safe as possible.
Unsecure Wi-Fi networks leave company computers vulnerable to attacks. If unauthorized persons have access to a Wi-Fi network, they can easily gain access to sensitive information. Company computers should be connected to secure networks that are protected by passwords and hidden from the general public. If a company wishes to provide Wi-Fi for guests or for employees’ personal use, they should use a different network than the one their company computers are connected to.
Even when proper precautions are taken, companies can still experience cyber attacks. In addition to taking preventative measures, companies should have a backup plan in case things go wrong. One of the worst effects a cyber attack can have on a company is the loss of data. Recovering data can be difficult or impossible, and not having the necessary information can cripple business operations. This can easily be avoided by backing up information to an external source. Important documents and other data can be saved to external hard drives, cloud services or even flash drives. If a company has copies of its records on hand, it can resume operations much more quickly after an attack.
Cyber attacks can be detrimental to companies in many ways. Hackers can access or leak sensitive information, control devices, install malware, damaging devices and hindering business operations as well as compromising consumers’ trust. All of these things can be avoided with proper precautions and preparation. Employees should receive cyber security training, procedures should be developed to limit risks, software should be installed to prevent attacks and Wi-Fi networks should be secured. Companies should also backup important information frequently in case they experience an attack.