Today’s world runs on the internet. Though we’re surrounded by constantly evolving technology that makes many aspects of doing business a lot more convenient, the cyber world does come with its fair share of risks. And among them are cyberattacks.
Types of attacks to beware of
Cyberattacks are any sort of data breach or ransomware that attempts to invade your technology or steal valuable information (about your customers, your business, your trade secrets, etc.) or business operations. If you house sensitive and personal information online, you should be worried about cyberattacks and keeping valuable information secure. You can also be affected if you have a website where you sell your product or services or even if you rely on technology for daily operations.
Cybercriminals can come after anything from financial information to customers’ Social Security numbers and credit card information. And if they get ahold of it, you face the costs associated with mandatory reports, communications to customers and the public, legal fees and maintaining your company’s reputation.
Cyber extortion takes things a step further. Once criminals have your information, they demand payment for its safe return. Often, this is accompanied by a threat to make private information public if you don’t comply. Another form of cyber extortion involves ransomware. Criminals hack into your computer systems or website and lock you out, demanding payment for access to your own technology.
How to protect your business from cyberattacks
Unfortunately, there are always bad guys out there, but you don’t have to let them win. You can take steps to ward off cybercriminals and keep your business information and technology safe:
- Know what data you’re storing. In order to keep all information safe, it’s good to keep your arms around what you’re working with. The more data you have to access, the greater risk your company faces.
- Always keep back-ups. In case of an attack, don’t lose valuable information simply because it wasn’t backed up. This way you can recover all data if you need to rebuild.
- Update your security software regularly. If you maintain your technology on your own, always keep up with all required updates. It can help to work with an outsourced vendor to ensure your software and security protocols are up to date.
- Be careful when you hire. Background checks help you keep your business and workforce safe from potential criminal activity. Criminal background checks, credit checks and more are important to include in your screening process. If you work with a staffing partner, your recruiter can help.
- Purchase the right insurance. Your insurance policy can keep you covered in case of cyberattacks and extortion. You may get support to investigate how the breach happened, make necessary repairs, communicate to clients and the public, and work with an attorney. It all depends on what’s included in the policy you purchase.
Need more guidance to manage risk?
Odell Studner can help. For more information about protecting your business from cyber extortion and other types of risk management, contact us today!