All it takes is one cyberattack to put you out of business.
If that wasn’t scary enough, consider that malware putting someone out of business isn’t even that rare a phenomenon: in 2014 alone over 300 million new pieces of malware were created. Those millions of threats resulted in thousands upon thousands of instances of data loss.
When your network is breached, the following cleanup is incredibly costly. It takes an average of $150 per compromised file to recover from data loss, and thousands of files are usually compromised in each attack.
That’s enough to put a lot of data loss victims out of business, especially smaller organizations that don’t have as many resources as their larger counterparts. 55% of small to medium-sized businesses close within 6 months of a security breach.
Here are 5 ways to make your business better protected from cyberattacks:
- Don’t open any emails from sources you’re not sure about
You have the common sense to know not to trust any emails you get from a “Nigerian prince”.
But not all phishing schemes are that easy to spot. Some go to great lengths, whether it’s by impersonating a local authority (police department, tax office, etc.) or by using the hacked account of someone you trust, to trick you into downloading malware onto your computer.
If you’re at all suspicious of an email, just don’t open it, and certainly don’t follow any links or open any attachments. If you get an email about an unpaid parking ticket or back taxes, call to confirm before you download any “payment software”.
- Same goes for websites
If you don’t trust a website, don’t go there.
Also, make sure you don’t make any mistakes when you’re typing a URL into your address bar. One method cybercriminals use to get into your network is buying the domains that are very nearly the name of a popular website (something like hoogle.com) and loading them up with malware.
Be careful with what you put in your address bar, people.
- Strong passwords
Yeah, “password” or “1234” isn’t going to cut it.
Also, avoid using your children’s names, favorite movie, or anything else that can be easily found on your Facebook.
Choose a password that’s relatively random (but not too random, lest you forget), make it long, and throw in some numbers and special characters just for good measure.
- Secure mobile devices
Cloud computing is the latest and greatest trend in business technology. One of the many benefits of the cloud is that it unshackles your workers from their desks and allows them to access business data and contribute from in the field.
But this convenience comes at the cost of possibly compromising your sensitive data if you’re not careful. The same public Wi-Fi you’re using could be used by anyone else, potential by a cybercriminal who knows how to turn that shared connection into a golden opportunity.
Mobile device security is a must.
- Get human help
If that figure of 300 million new pieces of malware created in 2014 didn’t properly illustrate just how fluid the threat landscape, maybe this stat will: 80% of cyberattacks are entirely unique. Signature-based antivirus software isn’t going to you much good.
You need a living, breathing IT professional to compensate for your software’s flaws.