With the continued increase in cyber threats, businesses can’t afford to not look at their handling of data and making sure that they are protected. There are a number of reasons why cyber security is important for businesses. As we rely on technology to support so many areas in business operations from financial transactions, email correspondence, professional networking, document collaboration and more, these lines of communication have the potential to become compromised with devastating results for an organization.
There have been some massive data breaches in recent years including Equifax, where 148 million user accounts were compromised and the Facebook breach, leaving up to 50 million users possibly affected.
It can be a mistake, however, to assume that only large corporations need to worry about data breaches. They are also happening to small and medium-size businesses as well. Statistics Canada revealed that in 2017, Canadian businesses had spent $14 billion on cybersecurity and more than one in five companies reported being hit by a cyber attack that year.
The most common types of cyber security threats usually involve fraudulent emails from scammers trying to impersonate a business, or viruses and malware. Security breaches can be costly to a business as well as result in lost files, software, assets or even intellectual property. There are a few areas that business owners should be aware of to help keep their data secure.
One of cyber security’s most rampant threats is data leaks, which can be incredibly destructive to both individuals and businesses. As most organizations possess a wide range of customer and employee data, which typically contains sensitive information, businesses face serious risks if they do not take the proper steps to protect themselves. One major way that businesses can protect their data is by limiting the amount of personal information in the public domain. One method of doing this is by setting up what is called a burner email which is only used when signing up for sites or services that they may not want to provide their real email to. Burner emails can be set to forward replies to an active email so that this way the organization has the security of their information not being shared but can still receive communication.
A major cyber security threat for businesses is ransomware, a form of malware that encrypts data until a ‘ransom’ fee is paid to unlock it. While data stored on individual computers has always been a target for ransomware, the threat can also infiltrate some cloud services. No matter how a business stores their information, they need to make sure that all valuable data is backed up and stored in multiple places.
It is also important to realize that anti-virus software alone will not completely protect your business from ransomware. Working with a Managed Service Provider is the best option to ensure that all aspects of your systems and networks are secure as well as that your staff has appropriate training to be able to identify security risks and know what action to take if they are faced with something suspicious.
Phishing emails continue to be one of the most common ways for a hacker to gain access to an organization’s systems. By posing as a legitimate source or business, phishing emails are designed to trick users into divulging sensitive information. As mentioned above, it is essential for all employees in your organization to have the proper cyber security training to help keep your business secure.
Failing to be cyber security-focused can be incredibly damaging to an organization, from financial loss to ruined reputation and lost consumer confidence. There’s no better time for businesses to be prioritizing taking action against potential cyber security breaches. To understand the risks your organization may be faced with and how MBC can give you peace of mind that your data is secure, get a free assessment today.