It seems that every time you read the news or log onto social media, something emerges about how a business has fallen victim to a cyber-attack or data breach. What if this happened to your business? Are you ready for it, and the potential aftermath?
There are two stages to consider: the immediate effect (whether that’s your e-commerce website losing sales from downtime, or having to notify several thousand clients that their data is compromised) and the medium to long-term effect on your reputation.
So how do you mitigate the risk associated with cyber-attacks, to protect your business and its finances? Let’s take a look…
Taking the fight to cyber criminals
No-one is exempt from cyber threats… The largest PLCs in the world have fallen victim to digital crime and data breaches, so you’re equally susceptible. Reportedly, 46% of UK Businesses identified a cyber security breach in the last year. Such statistics show it isn’t unthinkable that you could be next.
There are a few simple steps you can take to strengthen your security, which include:
- Creating a Password Management Policy
- Complex, regularly updated passwords are harder to crack
- Using Two Factor Authentication for log-ins
- Updating your system for Microsoft 365, firewalls or any software you use
- Encrypting your devices
- Backing up your systems regularly
Going one step further…
The basics of cyber protection are quite easy to deal with. A business, however, requires far more intelligent counter measures than those we’ve described already, especially with GDPR just around the corner. To truly protect your business, staff and customers, you should explore the following positive actions:
- Cyber Essentials – this is a government-backed cyber security certification scheme that sets out a good baseline of how your resources can be strengthened. Take the questionnaire to see how you measure up.
- Train your staff to the best standards. People are often considered to be the weakest part of your digital defence. Phishing emails, for example, are a common avenue for criminals to exploit. Well-trained staff can spot them and reduce your business’ susceptibility.
- Create a disaster recovery plan or cyber strategy plan for handling negative data or process scenarios. Then, test it and improve it.
- Know your data and systems, which can help the search for anomalies. Do you know how many visitors are on your website daily? Would you know if there was an unexpected spike in visitors? Such questions need an answer.
With so much uncertainty at play, you’ll need a final plan – that of who is going to cover the cost of a data breach or cyber-attack on your business. We’ve already discussed how revenue can plummet in the wake of such an incident, but it really is essential to make those disaster recovery scenarios watertight on an economic level, as well as an operational one. Speak to your insurance broker about cyber and data insurance – they can be a vital ally should the worst happen. To start the conversation, click here to talk to RiskBox.