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May 5, 2022 | By stephen

7 Ways to Protect Your Business’ Data From Cyber Risk

“Data is the new oil” is one catchphrase that accurately captures how crucial information is to modern-day businesses. You rely on data to understand your market and its needs, formulate policies, design marketing campaigns, measure growth, and the list is endless.

According to SeedScientific, we generate approximately 1 billion gigabytes of information daily. Every organization creates, collects, transmits, uses, and stores data. If your critical information lands in the wrong hands, they can use it to plot against you and put you out of business.

Data Breaches Have Increased Significantly in Recent Years

The continual increase in data breaches is no longer news; what’s more disturbing is how lethal the bad guys have become. Here are the main takeaways:

  • Nobody is safe: Do you imagine that your small or medium-sized business is safer because of its size? The bad guys have demonstrated that they target any company that handles data. Everybody is a potential target.
  • Your reputation is at stake: 21st-century consumers are keen on how businesses handle their data. They trust you with their social security numbers, bank details, logins, and other critical information. If you cannot safeguard their data from hackers, they may not trust you. The adage goes: It takes centuries to build a solid reputation and a mess to destroy it.
  • The costs of cyberattacks are getting higher: A decade or so ago, a cyber incident would cost a few thousand dollars at most. Fast-forward to today; data breaches cost $3.86 million on average. Such a loss can be a significant financial setback, even for a multinational corporation. For a small or medium-sized business like yours, it may force you to close shop.
  • Cyber attackers are becoming more organized: Cybercrime has continually evolved over the years into one of the world’s most dreaded crimes. Experts warn of an increase in ransomware as a service, proof that the bad guys are commercializing their craft. We are also witnessing increased aggressiveness from nation-state hacker groups like APT28 and WannaCry.

7 Ways to Protect Your Business’ Information and Data

If you’re managing data, you must invest in cybersecurity—there are no two ways about it. Here are seven practical cybersecurity strategies you can implement:

  1. Use strong passwords with 2FA: Statistics show that 8 out of 10 data breaches are due to weak passwords. Do not assume that your employees will always create strong passwords. Passwords should be strong, complex, and lengthy. The latest recommendations suggest creating passwords with minimum a length of 12 characters using uppercase, lowercase, numerals and symbols. Implement password expiration and complexity protocols in all access levels. Only then can you be confident that your systems always have reliable passwords.
  2. Create reliable backups: Ransomware is inarguably one of the most rampant cyberattack vectors. Typically, the bad guys encrypt your data and pressure you into paying a ransom. Most businesses pay ransom to avert downtime and business interruptions. However, if you have easy-to-retrieve backups of your crucial files, you can sustain normal operations without giving in to ransom demands. We recommend sending backups to remote servers at least thrice a day.
  3. Conduct regular cyber awareness training: A cyber-conscious workforce is better than even the most sophisticated intrusion detection and prevention systems. Cybinit estimates that 9 out of 10 cyber-attacks succeed because of employee negligence. Educating your staff on identifying and thwarting breach attempts can help lower your risk levels.
  4. Update and patch your systems on time: Cybersecurity is dynamic. Actors keep devising new tricks, and software developers respond by eliminating vulnerabilities. Each software update comes with advanced security features. Installing these updates and patches ensures you have the safest versions of apps and software.
  5. Monitor your network 24/7: You never know when the bad guys will strike. Sometimes, they can lie dormant in your systems to identify more vulnerabilities before launching an onslaught. Monitoring your network round-the-clock can help you identify and eliminate threats early enough before they get more severe.
  6. Implement privileged access protocols: Limit access to critical files to just a few high-level management personnel. This strategy helps you reduce your attack surface. It also ensures that even if the bad guys compromise regular user accounts, they may not access the entire network.
  7. Pay attention to physical security: Most organizations focus on the digital aspect of cybersecurity and overlook the physical threats. Do not give cyber actors any chance. Some strategies for enhancing physical security include implementing multi-factor authentication, deploying a killswitch, and safely disposing of obsolete gadgets.

As you may have noticed, the best cybersecurity strategy focuses on the basics. Invest in complex data safety systems—yes—but do not neglect the basics.

LeadingIT offers 24/7, all-inclusive, fast, and friendly technology and cybersecurity support for nonprofits, manufacturers, schools, accounting firms, religious organizations, government, and law offices with 10-200 employees across the Chicagoland area.

Do you need cybersecurity support to protect your business? Leave a message for us and we will get back to you right away.



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