7 Tips to Protect Your Company from a Cyber-attack

Posted by Amber Bradley on May 14, 2015

Cyber security is a growing concern. In 2014 Apple, Sony, Neiman Marcus, and Target were high profile victims of cyber theft. But for every big company that has fallen prey to a cyber-attack, there are hundreds of small businesses which have also been targeted. The potential for a cyber-attack is real for all companies, big and small, from cutting edge, high-tech corporations to traditional institutions. Phone companies, credit card services, department stores, hospitals, social media sites, and even government offices are possible targets. The scale of cybercrime is growing and no company is safe. It seems the bad guys are forging ahead in this race. It is important for you to understand: Cyber security is your problem.

Many companies resort to hoping that a cyber-attack doesn’t happen to them and fail to prepare for one. Ernst & Young, in its “Get Ahead of Cybercrime” report, says that companies “lack awareness, budget and skills to prevent a cyber-attack.”

The challenge is how do you manage risk, reduce the threat of cyber-attack, and implement sufficient security while budgets for these activities remain static? How do you allocate resources and staff to address the growing concerns of cyber-attack while conducting everyday business? Where can you find trained cyber security specialists to help you begin to build your defenses against cyber-attacks? If you do experience a cyber-attack, how can you minimize the damage it could cause?

Here are some tips for protecting your company and preventing or reducing loss:

  1. Educate your employees through cybersecurity awareness and training. Educated employees reduce breach costs by 76 percent!
  2. Be aware of what data is vulnerable to a cyber-attack. This allows you to focus on the areas of your business that need the most protection.
  3. Work to install multi-factor authentication systems rather than using a single password. Making it difficult for cyber hackers to break through the security wall may deter them from their nefarious tasks.
  4. Be vigilant. Early detection is vital. Notifying your company’s security team and law enforcement in the earliest stage of a cybercrime may significantly limit your losses.
  5. Act quickly. Fast action may hamper the efforts of your cyber-attackers to access or use your information.
  6. Make an effort to secure your data with workable solutions such as setting up segmented networks, deleting unneeded information, or using encryption.
  7. Keep informed about the latest equipment and security systems as they become available. This may require an investment of funds, but managing risk and protecting your company is worth the cost.

Cybercrime is a real threat. “Heartbleed” bugs, “Shellshocks,” and “Sandworms” can penetrate your company’s computers, databases, and security walls. A breach in security can undermine your daily operations, destroy consumer trust, and leave you wondering what to do next. Though it is impossible to protect your company from every threat, there are things you can do and steps you can take to thwart cyber attackers. Is your company protected from cyber-attack?

Check out a cybersecurity stat video we created in collaboration with our partner, Fortalice Solutions.  We partner with Founder and CEO of Fortalice, Theresa Payton, to create dynamic and inspiring cybersecurity awareness solutions for all types of businesses.  Payton is the former CIO of the White House in the Bush Administration.