Even before the COVID era kicked in, threat actors had been attacking businesses everywhere. The cases of Business Email Compromise and related hacks reported to the FBI and other relevant agencies had already reached a fever pitch over the last year.
With the start of the pandemic came a new wave of hackers targeting businesses more aggressively than ever. These attacks are getting more sophisticated and becoming more precise to better focus on high-value targets. With one attack happening every 40 seconds, this is the time to make a move to better protect yourself and your business.
Here are some steps you can take to make that happen.
1. Educate your employees
The fact that most employees now work from home makes cybersecurity more challenging in these times. For all the good they do, security experts know that human error can make all cybersecurity measures come undone. Now that most workers are doing their thing from home, they are working without the usual protection they would get from company systems.
The best way around this is to ensure your workers and employees are kept educated on and sensitised to the dangers they could face. Some of the things to do here include, but are not limited to:
● Ensuring all members of staff have an antivirus software at least, and that they keep it updated
● Downloading a VPN app to ensure safety over unencrypted connections
● Encouraging healthy password habits
● Knowing the dangers of phishing attacks – and how to avoid them
● Basic and advanced education on cybersecurity practices, depending on the employee’s clearance level
2. Have a backup policy
One of the best ways to combat malware is to have a reliable backup policy in place. This might sound counterproductive at first. After all, a backup should only be called into question when an attack happens. However, it is not wrong to think that a breach can still occur even after all you’ve taken every security measure. It’s just a matter of hoping for the best while preparing for the worst too.
A solid backup policy will keep your firm insulated against ransomware attacks, among other things. The best way to backup is to have both an offline and online backup model. This way, even if threat actors accessed your online backups and deleted them, you would still have the offline option to fall back on.
3. Update and upgrade
Your company’s systems are probably running on operating software that needs to be updated and upgraded regularly. These systems will also contain apps and programs that are run on them regularly. Updating the software and upgrading the firmware when due will keep the systems safe from bugs and exploits that have been discovered in older versions.
That way, you are not at the mercy of hackers who know about those vulnerabilities and can use them against you. In the same vein, the only software and apps that should be allowed on company systems should be the official versions.
Cracked and free versions of premium apps, for example, could contain malicious code inserted by the individual or group that offered them for free. That way, they can get you to install the malware on your device and bypass your security for them.
When it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is way better than scrambling to find a cure. Most businesses never recover from a ransomware attack. Besides the fact that their finances suffer, their reputation is also on the line. If there is anything we know about today's businesses, it is how much of a vital currency their reputation can be. Please don't throw that away when you can do something about it.