With Cyberattacks Being on the Rise, Businesses Must Improve Their Security Measures

By  //  May 13, 2022

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Businesses must be aware of cyberattacks and protect themselves from criminals who constantly look for their next target. As shown by the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2022, cyberattacks affected 39% of UK businesses. While phishing was the most common threat, companies also identified other attack types, like ransomware, denial of service, or malware. 

Cyberattacks can lead to data breaches, causing significant damage to businesses. There can be a financial, reputational and legal impact – you can lose customers, money, and your overall prestige.

Whether your business is big or small, improving your security practices is critical to stay safe from these threats. Every company has the responsibility to secure the data they store – not only their own but also their partners’ and customers’ information. 

Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Skf7HxARcoc 

How does a data breach occur?

Information is worth a significant amount of money, and criminals can use it for bank fraud or identity theft. Most data breaches are malicious, but sometimes, they can happen accidentally, like sending personal information via email to the wrong address. Having your data stolen is a significant threat in both cases, and it’s critical to watch out for all kinds of data breaches. 

Here are the most common reasons why data breaches occur: 

■ Network insecurity. This is a significant area of risk. Clicking on suspicious links, opening compromised sites, and using USB drives can introduce malware to your computer. Often, the software goes undetected as it collects your data. 

■ System weaknesses. This is often the result of outdated software that fails to keep your data secure. Since hacking is constantly developing, it’s vital to keep your security software updated and efficiently protect your data from bugs and new tactics. 

■ Targeted attacks. They are the riskiest data breaches because attackers target specific data from a particular party. Hackers use phishing, clever coding, or scams to access sensitive information. Targeted attacks look like emails or secure links from trustworthy websites, so you can easily fail to recognize them. However, the right security software can protect your business against this attack.

■ User errors. Unfortunately, people can mess up sometimes. However, adequate safeguards can prevent human error from generating data leaks. Weak passwords make it easy for hackers to access information, and yet, many people choose simple, short passwords they can remember quickly. 

According to the experts of Data Breach Claims, data breaches are common – a number of 397 cases were reported in Q2 2021/2022. And victims can claim compensation for both material and non-material damages. This is a good enough reason for businesses to improve their security measures, as they are the ones to be held accountable in case something unexpected happens.

Security tips every business owner should embrace

Improve your network security

If your internet connection isn’t secure enough, hackers can easily access your data. Using encrypting information and a firewall is an efficient way to keep your information private and safe. Some days, you may feel like working in the office doesn’t make you productive. So, you decide to carry out your tasks in a local coffee shop instead. While the free internet connection they provide may be accommodating, it is detrimental to your business’s safety. An unsecured network enables hackers to access your system effortlessly. 

To avoid this, it’s best to use a portable hotspot when you work outside the office. That way, you can ensure your Wi-fi network is hidden and secure. 

Enhance password protection

Implementing passwords to ensure network security is a no-brainer, but you should consider more than the letter sequences and estranged numbers for maximum protection. 

Using multi-factor authentication can add an extra layer of protection to your computer, as it takes more than a single password to access the information. In fact, this technology can decrease security breaches by as much as 99.9%.  

Also, make sure to use strong passwords and to change them frequently. Data security should be a priority for every business owner, and luckily, technology can provide the right solutions – even though it also poses risks. 

Back up your data regularly

Data backups are essential, as they can help businesses bounce back quickly in case a cyberattack happens. As a business owner, you know how critical it is to protect your data. Whether it gets lost or stolen, you need to ensure there’s a copy available so that you can easily restore it. 

If your customer’s data keeps coming up daily, it would be impossible to recreate it. In such a case, it’s vital to set regular backups. Also, you should store backups somewhere safe – and offline would be better. 

Restrict data access

You should limit employees’ access to data as much as possible. Now, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give them any permission to documents because that would prevent them from carrying out their tasks. 

But you should restrict anything that isn’t required for their job – only give them access to programs and data files they need. As they have less access to the data, the risks of a data breach are reduced. Establish clear cybersecurity policies and make sure employees understand the consequences of disregarding them.    

Keep your personal and business accounts separate

Separating your personal and business account may seem obvious, but this doesn’t only involve your credit cards and bank accounts. This rule should be applied to all accounts, including data storage and email. 

You don’t want someone to hack into your personal email and get immediate access to sensitive business information. Thus, make sure to delimit personal and professional accounts and use a unique password for each of them. 

Teach your employees to follow this practice too – one small mistake is enough to expose the whole organisation, so taking the proper security measures should concern everyone.  

Educate your team

More often than not, data breaches happen due to employees’ mistakes. Rather than recovering from a cyberattack, preventing one is much more efficient. Therefore, you should teach your staff about critical security practices. Make sure they know how cyberattacks happen and strategies they can use to prevent any damage. 

Your employees should also know how to create strong passwords and recognize potential phishing scams. While training them on cyber security threats and procedures can be challenging, it’s worth the effort, as it decreases your company’s chances of experiencing a cyberattack.