The big numbers popping up from time to time on cybersecurity statistics show that attacks continue to increase and even become more sophisticated on a daily basis. A recent report shows that 66% of small businesses have encountered various attacks within the past 12 months. Businesses of all types, locations and sizes are at risk of real attacks in the next few months.
The end effect can be devastating when a threat actor hacks your system. It could result in you losing huge amounts of money or destroying your company’s reputation. However, bear in mind that not all cyber attacks are the same. So, even if you know of a company that survived an attack, it doesn’t mean you’ll be so lucky.
A network gateway has proven efficient in connecting systems and networks and securing how data are being transferred between them. Some of the possible effects of cyber attacks on your company can include the following:
1. Operational Disruption
Cybercriminals can frustrate a company’s ability to function as usual by blocking access to vital data needed for operations. They can erase highly sensitive information from your systems which can grind operations to a halt. In 2010, hackers sympathetic to WikiLeaks launched an attack on Visa and Mastercard, which temporarily crashed their websites.
2. Stolen Intellectual Property
Many organizations’ intellectual properties are usually stored in the cloud, where they may be vulnerable to attacks. Company go-to-market strategies, product designs, and technologies. For instance, about 30% of companies in the US claim to have experienced intellectual property theft stolen by a Chinese counterpart within the past decade.
3. Loss of Revenue
While some companies may avoid bearing the cost of acquiring security technologies and expertise, the result of not doing so is highly unpredictable. A report showed that about 6% of companies lost $381 million to ransomware attacks in 2019.
4. Reputational Damage
If you experience a major attack on your data, customers, investors, and suppliers may no longer feel secure providing sensitive information to your company. This will significantly impact your income and business growth.
However, you can safeguard your business right now by implementing some necessary things without spending a huge amount of money.
1. Prioritize Data Encryption
Utilizing encryption tools is essential for securing your data in such a way that they cannot be hijacked when they are transmitted because encrypting data will convert it into a form of code before delivering it over the web. Experts say encryption is one of the best ways organizations secure their data. Two main kinds of data encryption include symmetric and asymmetric encryption, otherwise known as public-key encryption.
Experts have shown that data encryption remains the most efficient way to fix issues with data breaches if they occur. Data to be added to your encryption plans should include all sensitive data, employee data, business data, and all customer information.
2. Use the Multi-Factor Authentication Method
Without spending a huge amount of money on security, multi-factor authentication serves as a simple and very effective way to control access to data. However, with Multi-Factor authentication, also known as MFA, users must pass checkpoints to access systems, often through extra security or verification requirements.
While this approach appears quite simple, the extra layer of security it adds to accessing certain network areas are very powerful ways to prevent hackers.
3. Educate Employees About Cybersecurity
Even when you know everything to do to safeguard your business and your employees don’t know, your network security remains almost as vulnerable and weary of the inconvenience. It would return to the approach without you knowing it.
So, it is much more effective when you train them to secure data via corporate systems or personal devices. Some ways to achieve this include communicating the impact of cybersecurity occasions, deploying the right messaging approach, making difficult terms easy for the average employee to understand, explaining the various forms of cybersecurity threats, and necessitating cybersecurity training as part of the onboarding process and ongoing conversation.
4. Data Backup
Data Backup involves duplicating your sensitive data to secondary locations so you can fall back to it if a malicious act disrupts business operations. In such a situation, you can easily fall back on your backed-up data to restore lost data and continue business activities.
Backing up data is one of the most efficient ways to safeguard business information. And as a baseline, you should back up everything that can hardly be replaced once lost. Some include documents, address books, pictures, videos, spreadsheets, emails, financial databases, and music files.
5. Invest in Cybersecurity Insurance
With cybercriminals working consistently to deepen their craftiness and uncover more advanced ways of breaching security infrastructures, and so having top-level security technologies doesn’t mean that an attack may not occur or be successful on your network. And with Statista estimating a single data breach at $4.3 million, the losses that could be incurred from a single breach are always better when prevented or prepared for through cyber security insurance. Current reports show that only about 20% of US businesses have this type of insurance.