When businesses think of cybersecurity, they generally think of e-commerce or banking. However, you don’t have to be in the business of handling financial information to take cyber threat seriously. Business-to-business (B2B) companies have operations with suppliers and vendors where sensitive information is exchanged. It’s not just your customers data that should be protected, but also your own private information.
Strong cybersecurity not only protects you from the liability of lost customer information, but also protects your company from the risk of stolen data and finances. Small companies can invest in third-party cybersecurity agency for protection. While larger companies with IT departments will want to invest in the equipment and tools to self-protect from nefarious hackers.
Cybersecurity is not a one-and-done task. Robust security is about getting the right equipment, the right technology, software, and personnel that all stay on top of the ever-changing cyber threats.
Know the Types of Cyber Threats
Malware is the most common type of cyberattacks in the form of viruses, worms, and Trojans. Your business may be fortunate enough to not be a victim of a data breach, but don’t get comfortable. Even the most robust cyber security technology can be breached by cyber thieves who are always plotting ways to hack new security systems.
Ransomware is the single-most prevalent cyber security risk to small businesses today. It is a malicious software that blocks access to a computer system or database until a sum of money is paid. This can cause you to lose years of business and customer records. The FBI estimates that over 4,000 U.S. businesses are infected by ransomware every day. Ransomware takes control of the files on small business networks by encrypting them and holding them for ransom. The existing tools, like anti-virus, are not effective against the rapidly changing variants.
Phishing is probably the most familiar cybercrime. It uses email, telephone, or text message to lure victims into revealing personal, sensitive information. Less familiar is spear phishing. Spear phishing is another email-spoofing attack that specifically targets an organization or individual. As with regular phishing, spear phishing messages appear to come from a trusted source. Phishing emails generally come from a large and well-known company or website with a broad membership base, such as Google or PayPal. In the case of spear phishing, the apparent source of the email is likely to be an individual within your own company—generally, someone in a position of authority—or from someone you know personally.
Account takeover fraud is a form of identity theft where a fraudster gains access to unique details of an online account. By posing as the real customer, the cybercriminal changes account details, withdraws funds, makes purchases, and even leverages the stolen information to access other accounts.
Human Behavior is often the cause of data compromise. It’s necessary to invest in training to educate your employees on how to protect your company’s information and your customer’s data. Schedule routine training with security experts who focus on the latest cybersecurity scams so that your employees know what to look for. Encourage your employees to subscribe to Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity page for updates and prevention tactics. Making cyber security a top priority is key to retaining trusted relationships with customers and businesses.
What Cybersecurity Tools Do You Need?
Almost daily, new security threats emerge. To secure your distributed network, your IT team must also develop defense-in-depth strategies that combine network-enforced technologies with best practices. The following tools will help your IT department tackle emerging threats.
Secure Office Hardware
When securing cloud-based data, hardware is often overlooked. If a company has 500 employees, it is easier to secure one cloud structure than to secure 500 laptops. You can reduce your risk through security-centered device management. Creating a secure network is simply not enough. Small businesses must select secure hardware and adopt secure protocols to really protect themselves.
Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems
IDS and IPS tools help IT staff identify and protect their wired and wireless networks against several security threat types. Both IDS and IPS solutions detect threat activity types as well as threats posed by policy violations. IDS tools passively monitor and detect suspicious activity; IPS tools perform active, in-line monitoring and can prevent attacks by known and unknown sources. Both tool types can identify and classify attack types.
Anti-malware network tools help administrators identify, block and remove malware. Malware is always on the lookout for network vulnerabilities—in security defenses, operating systems, browsers, applications and popular targets. Best practices call for a multipronged defense that might also include IP blacklisting, data loss prevention (DLP) tools, anti-virus and anti-spyware software, web browsing policies, egress filtering, and outbound-traffic proxies.
Mobile Device Management
MDM software bolsters network security through remote monitoring and control of security configurations, policy enforcement and patch pushes to mobile devices. These systems remotely lock lost, stolen, or compromised mobile devices and, if needed, wipe all stored data.
Network Access Control
NAC products enforce security policy by granting network assess to only devices that are compliant with security policy. They handle access authentication and authorization functions and can even control the data that specific users can access, based on its ability to recognize users, their devices, and their network roles.
Traditionally, companies have used SSL/TLS certificates on specific pages that request personal information. Today, companies are encouraged to follow what’s know as Always on SSL. This means that the entire website is protected by https, instead of just a couple of pages. This helps protect against modern attacks that seek to steal information when a site visitor browses between secure and not-secure pages.
Top reasons to invest in Cybersecurity
Frequency of attacks. Industry leaders like Symantec, McAfee, Fire Eye, and Version all report continued increases in attack frequency over the last eight quarters.
Cost of attacks. The direct cost of an attack, the downtime it causes, the damage to the PR of your organization, loss of business opportunity, the legal fees all add up. Cyberattack liability has become so prevalent that many insurers are now offering cybersecurity insurance.
Cybercriminals focus on small to medium businesses. Attackers use both automated software that probes websites for vulnerabilities and flaws that are easily breached; and thoroughly tested, massive phishing campaigns to spread botnets, Trojans and Ransomware. These criminals know that large companies have invested in cybersecurity, they are looking for the more vulnerable small to medium sized businesses.
Cybercriminals are expanding rapidly. Dozens of Nation States are investing Billions in their cyberwar attack capabilities. They go after whole sectors of the economy, and that means degrading individual organizations running stock markets, financials, insurance, manufacturing and more.
Cybercrime-as-a-service is taking off—it’s easier than ever for beginning cyber criminals to get started with sophisticated tools that are provided by a fast-growing cyber underground economy. Existing mafias are moving into this area with rapid speed and the criminal competition is furious.
The need to invest in cybersecurity has never been greater. Talk to Allied Financial about an accounts receivable loan to assist all your financial needs including your cybersecurity investment.