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4 Ways to Protect Your Business from Cybersecurity Threats

By Business.com Editorial Staff
Business.com / Security / Last Modified: January 29, 2018
Photo credit: Wright Studio/Shutterstock

Nearly 32 of businesses around the globe have fallen victim to cybersecurity crimes. Don't let your business be part of that percentage. Thankfully, IT security threats are manageable.For starters, here are four actionable tips to implement.

As much as you have the freedom to utilize technological innovations, you should also think about your security when using them. More than the physical security of devices and system, there seems to be a greater threat in the cloud.

IT data breaches are very costly for businesses. Based on a study by Ponemon Institute, a data breach is defined as a criminal or malicious attack with the goal to use personal information for its unintended purpose. With each piece of stolen data valued at $225, the average cost of a data breach to a business is $7.35 million, according to the study.

The data breach computation is not so straightforward; you have to consider direct and indirect expenses. Direct expenses include asking experts for a solution and handling outsourced support. Indirect expenses include internal investigation, communication and information dissemination, and, most importantly, customer loss.

According to Heimdal Security, 32 percent of organizations have reported cybercrime in their business. It is the second most reported economic crime.

So, how do you protect yourself from cybersecurity threats? Here are four tips you can begin to implement today.

  1. Install a whitelisting capability inside your business's system. This is a document of all the applications, operating systems, devices, and even websites that you allow access to your network. A generic network will classify "known good" and "known bad" accesses. However, in the advancement of malware technology, some of these harmful attacks may appear as "good." By setting up a whitelist, you can specifically tell your standards to classify them as safe and secured. Naturally, applications, operating systems, devices, and websites that don't pass will not be given access.

  2. Reassess your current system. Do a diagnostic run and check for errors and loopholes. If, at this stage, you can already think of solutions, then go ahead and apply them. Just make sure that your bases are covered, as these will cover your system for now and the long run.

  3. Change up. Inform everyone in your business to replace their passwords with new ones. Also, tell them to use different passwords for all of their accounts to avoid password fatigue. If you don't have them set up yet, create cybersecurity regulations in your business. You can set the schedule for password changes and guidelines for the quality of passwords (uppercase and lowercase, variation of characters, and length).

  4. Consider outsourcing functions. Surprisingly, 62 percent of businesses lack adequate information security staff. Some outlets project that by 2020, the shortage of skilled data security personnel will reach 1.5 million. To address this, businesses are turning to outsourcing and upgrading security tools. 

Cybersecurity should be a legitimate concern for your business. An attack could cost you thousands, if not millions of dollars. Furthermore, think about how your customers will perceive you after the attack. Do you remember the system attacks on Yahoo and Uber? These have made massive headlines across the world.

The key to protecting your business from such threats is to be one step ahead of the hackers. Prepare and surely, you will reduce, if not completely remove, the potential damage to your business originating from a cybersecurity threat. 

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