Cyber infrastructure is a crucial part of a successful business that many often neglect. If you have not thought about it, protecting your business’ cybersecurity from internal and external threats may be one of the best decisions you will ever make. A disturbing record shows that 30,000 website attacks occur daily.
It is not out of place to posit that most of these cyber threats have a financial motivation. Recent findings reveal that Colonial Pipeline – the US’ principal pipeline contractor – hack resulted in a $5 million ransom in bitcoin payments.
Another notable example is the widespread hack by the suspected Russian group SolarWinds. The cyber attacks involved harvesting sensitive information on its client, including the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, Intel, Microsoft, Cisco, Intel, and many others.
No business or even government is truly safe from cyber attacks. Cybersecurity protection is not an issue of whether you will be the victim of an attack, but rather when. It is a matter of preparing your establishment to mitigate and recover from such attacks when they occur.
Let us look at some of the impacts of cyber breaches:
A record 63% of all cyberattacks have a financial motivation. As such, this results in ransom demands for not releasing sensitive information for mass download or trading secrets to the highest bidder on the dark web.
Cyber attacks typically disrupt the production process, place a halt on the inflow of profits coupled with the unexpected release of funds to repair and recover from such attacks.
A recent study reveals that nearly $1 trillion was lost to hackers in 2020, raising the concern for more businesses to upgrade their security infrastructure.
Like it or not, cyber breaches cripple consumer trust and patronage. A Deloitte report shows that 84% of consumers expect companies to be held responsible for protecting their data online.
No consumer or investor loves the idea of their personal information released online due to a cyber breach. These days, stolen data is useful information for those committing fraud, identity theft, and impersonation.
And when that occurs, they would be skeptical about patronizing such businesses in the nearest future. It shows these businesses cannot be trusted to protect them
Maintaining your reputation is vital for longevity.
Governmental bodies expect your business to have cybersecurity threat protection in place. The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Requirement 12.10 mandates firms to implement a cyber incident response plan to prepare and respond to system breaches.
Looking at all these impacts, what steps should you take to protect yourself from cyber threats?
One way you can protect your digital infrastructure is to enact multiple-factor authentication. Why? Creating unique passwords does not cut it anymore. Hackers constantly shift strategies and try every possible password combination to steal user credentials and break into systems.
Social media platforms like Facebook, for instance, allow their users to enable Two-Factor Authentication (TFA), preventing unauthorized access until a unique code sent to the authorized user’ smartphone is imputed correctly.
Multifactor authentication adds an extra layer of protection for you and grants authorized users access to your infrastructure.
Cyber threats, with every recorded breach, take complex forms. However, most of these attacks occur as a result of human mistakes. Therefore, it is essential to train your employees on the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of major threat actors in your business.
Cybersecurity is a top-to-bottom holistic concern and not just the concern of your IT professionals to handle. Why? Because when a threat occurs, it affects your entire organization directly or indirectly.
Use Endpoint Detection and Response Tools
Another way you can implement cybersecurity threat protection for your business to procure endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools. These tools have been designed to detect efficiently and respond to malware attacks in your infrastructure.
Think of something better than an antivirus. That is what EDR does.
Regular Software Updates
One of the significant ways hackers render most businesses vulnerable is by exploiting a loophole in outdated software. When a hacker scans your software and discovers you have not applied recent patches, they could take advantage of that vulnerability.
Therefore, it is essential to scan your software for updates and patches to help prevent cyber breaches.
Have a Backup in Place
There is no guarantee that you will get access to your stolen data in a typical ransomware attack, even when the ransom is paid. It is vital to regularly backup all your data elsewhere to keep your business running smoothly in the case of a hack.
While cybersecurity remains a top concern for CEOs today, you should have cybersecurity threat protection in place to keep your business safe.
Conclusions on Cybersecurity
As a business owner it may be hard to initially justify the cost of cybersecurity threat protection. Ultimately you try and make money from spent money. But cybersecurity threat protection is about protecting your operations that ultimately make you money and save you from having to spend potentially thousands to recoup any lost data.
Even our business, Expense To Profit, was the recent the victim of an email-related cyber attack. We had the right processes in place and were able to quickly mitigate the problem. None of our internal or client related data was compromised and as a result no ransom request was ever received. As business returns to a potential “New Normal” you should reevaluate your cybersecurity processes and costs involved. Reach out to us to discuss what options are available to you.
Published by Marc Freedman
Marc currently serves as our Chief Cost Evaluator, expertly advising our client management team on how to help you successfully achieve your business and financial growth goals. A respected mentor to all he consults with, he is an avid collaborator and contributor to the spend consultant community, guiding thought leaders to formulate, design, and install the best operational solutions available to their clients.