Has your website gone live and if so, do you have protection systems in place? If the answer is no, then making your website live is similar to keeping the doors of your office open. Where unwanted guests can simply walk in and steal your valuable data. Electronic thieves are invisible and fast, so it’s your prime liability to protect your data from theft.
“Cyber-attacks” is not a new term. It has been a severe and constant threat to businesses and consumers, with significant attacks having nationwide effects. It has become a top concern, for not only national security but also large companies that rely on data.
Malwarebytes, an internet security company reported that there were one billion malware incidents all over the world during the latter half of 2016 alone, with ransomware taking the top spot.
Eighty-one percent of ransomware detected in corporate environments occurred in North America. Fifty-one percent of ransomware detected in home/consumer environments occurred in Europe.
Ransomware cybercriminals concentrated their efforts on businesses, particularly North American enterprises, no doubt realizing that these companies had the most to lose and the resources to pay. Globally, 12.3 percent of enterprise business detections, among the six categories of malware tracked for this report, was ransomware, compared to only 1.8 percent on the consumer side.
According to the 2018 Cybersecurity Market Report, the global cybersecurity spending will exceed $1 Trillion from 2017 to 2021.
What Does Malware Attack Mean?
Malware is a hybrid of “Evil” and “Innovation." The term ‘Mal’ means bad, and ‘Ware’ means software. Malware attack is an automated activity. The days are gone where a lone hacker decides to attack a single site. The goal now is to use search and destroy programs, to find thousands of vulnerable computers into which malware can then be installed. The goal? To build a botnet; an extensive network of computers that is ready to do the bidding of the controller.
A botnet operator aims to get as many compromised machines as possible in less time. Also, he is not much bothered about who the victims are? As a whole it means 'low hanging fruit' - the machines that can be easily attacked will be compromised, and the sites and servers that are tough to crack are skipped.
Let’s have a look at some of the tips to protect your business from malware:
1. Stay Updated
Being a business owner, it is your liability to stay updated about different types of cybersecurity threats that can affect your business. Often the source of weak systems is a false sense of security. Thus, it is a necessity to know what is out there and how to protect against it.
2. Get Your Network Secured
Your first line of defense against cyber-attacks are firewalls. Threats can come from different connections. For instance, your business connects to the internet via various applications like VoIP, email and media streaming. Ensure that your firewall monitors threats that come from different connections. Setting up a private network to have more control over security would be an add on, (Key ways to Protect Your Business From Malware).
3. Invest in Security
Simply installing antivirus will not serve the purpose. Your business data is your ‘asset,’ which needs multiple layers of security. Some of the applications that can evaluate the weakness of your security system are anti-malware, antivirus and anti-ransomware.
Make sure you have all these tools handy!
4. Update Frequently
Once the applications are installed, make sure that you update them regularly. Malware is there to stay and evolve rapidly; thus your security applications need patches and updates to detect any attacks from new forms of threats (Key Ways to Protect Your Business From Malware). Similarly, regularly update your system drivers and operating systems.
5. Encrypt Your Data
Hackers can breach your security, so the next level of protection is encryption. Encryption encodes your data, which makes it secured from third-party attacks. Many software companies will offer encryption applications suitable for your needs.
6. Ensure Your Hardware is Safe
With the internet posing immense threats, your hardware is not safe either. Any devices with company information like laptops, stolen hard drives, and thumb drives may just be the vulnerability the bad guys are looking for. Strong security is a must in your business premises, not only for your physical assets but for your data as well.
7. Develop a Security Policy
Not often, but sometimes even people are the most significant security threats. For example, if an employee accidentally clicks the wrong link may cost a hole in your pocket. Try to integrate security policies in your company operations, and educate your employees about the threats and how to prevent them. Strengthen the knowledge of your colleagues and employees against cybersecurity attacks, with the help of workshops available.
8. Strong Passwords- A Must
Enforce password security. From emails to bank accounts anything accessed in the company, ensure that they are protected by a strong password. A secure password usually means a sentence that is at least 12 characters long. It should be like easy for you to remember and hard to guess for others.
9. Have an Emergency Response Plan in Place
You can still expect the worst, even with all the protection. It’s advisable to set up company guidelines on how to detect possible attacks, what to do if attacked and how to proceed after an attack. Expect damages to be least, if you could stop the attack sooner and contact the authorities.
10. Do Back Up Your Files
Last but, not least, back up your valuable data saved on systems or any devices. This move can save you the pain of starting from scratch. During an attack, your next priority is to get your business back to normal as soon as possible. Regularly updated backups can help you get your business back in the running with minor losses.
Small and medium-sized businesses are weaker targets of these attacks, as they are usually used as gateways to gain access to more prominent companies. In today’s heavily connected world, an attack on another business can put yours at risk. Thus, staying updated will help you from cybersecurity threats and also prevent them. Make sure your company is prepared for a cybersecurity attack.
Read more about how to protect your self and back up your data in our product review here.
- Cybercrimemag. “2018 Cybersecurity Market Report.” Cybercrime Magazine, 7 Jan. 2019, cybersecurityventures.com/cybersecurity-market-report/.
- 2017 State of Malware Report. www.malwarebytes.com/pdf/white-papers/stateofmalware.pdf.
- “12 Tips to Protect Your Company Website From Hackers.” Entrepreneur, 20 Jan. 2015, www.entrepreneur.com/article/241620.
- “Key Ways to Protect Your Business From Malware.” Stay Safe Online, staysafeonline.org/blog/key-ways-protect-business-malware/.