Recent security data breaches have forced companies to adopt austere cybersecurity measures to keep off hackers and other online vermin. One of the largest data breaches happened in March 2020 when CAM4, an adult video streaming company, was compromised and 10.88 billion records exposed. You can imagine the agony those whose records were exposed went through.
Another data breach happened at Yahoo in October 2017. In that incident, 3 billion accounts were hacked. One can go on and on, and we haven’t even scratched the surface considering the fact that small-scale data breaches rarely get reported.
The situation is so bad that the U.S Department of Defence considers CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification) a core focus of its operations. It prioritizes the safety of businesses against losses incurred through cyber theft that cost the country a whopping $100 billion every year.
Worldwide, cyber theft causes enterprise losses amounting to $600 billion, a 1% of global GDP. In view of such scary statistics, how can one improve a company’s cybersecurity and stop hackers in their tracks? Below are four tips.
1. Invest in Appropriate Cyber Security Tools
Hardly a day passes without reports of cyber-attacks at work. While some of the attacks are minor and hardly damage the businesses concerned, others are devastating. To safeguard against such attacks, every company should invest in commercial-grade anti-virus applications to safeguard their records. Combined with regular data backups, the risk of permanent data loss is minimized. Another critical safeguard companies can, and should, employ is adopting a multi-factor system of authentication.
In case the worst case happens and your company finds itself faced with huge losses, consider hiring a public defender, even though they can only give you 25% of the time your case requires to be thoroughly dealt with. While it is critical to be in constant contact with your court-selected lawyer, in most cases you can only see them on the trial day.
2. Make Cybersecurity Training a Priority from the Get-go
While most data breaches are a result of operator errors, regular training of the relevant workers can mitigate the risks to cybersecurity exposure. Your current team may be appropriately trained in safeguarding against and mitigating cyber-attacks, but your new staff is not as adequately prepared. Hackers could very well exploit such gaps to launch attacks at work. Prioritizing security training means that new employees get onboarded on security issues as fast as possible. They should quickly be informed about the dos and don’ts immediately after joining your company.
Conduct phishing training to equip all employees with online safety knowledge and an analysis of their current internet behavior while at work. The training should be regular and current on all matters to do with data infringement. To test their level of preparedness, send regular email messages enticing them to provide you with sensitive information and see how they respond. This will help you gauge their alertness to cyber-attacks and inform your next cybersecurity training.
3. Insure your Business Against Cybersecurity Exposure
The best mitigation, besides prevention, against cybersecurity attacks is to prepare for different scenarios of attacks, in the worst case. Always go by the rule: whatever could go wrong, will go wrong. Insurance policies against cyberattacks have evolved over time to include areas that help a business start to recover after an attack. Among coverage, areas include legal and crisis communications costs and conducting IT forensics. Other areas include ransomware attacks, crypto-jacking, cyber extortion, theft of personal funds, and bot-netting, among others.
4. Prepare for the Worst
You should pray that the day will not come when your company will be exposed to a cyber attack. Unfortunately, however, things do happen and the best companies get exposed. It’s, therefore, critical to work with a worst-case eventuality in mind. Besides taking the measures mentioned above, consider having an attorney on call in case you need one. The lawyer should be able to inform you of your options should the worst happen.
In Canada, companies undergoing financial woes have two avenues of recourse. The first is the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA), while the second is CAA, fully known as the Companies Creditors Arrangement Act. A cybersecurity breach could bring a company to the throes of bankruptcy, and it helps to have a lawyer with enough experience to read you “your rights”.
You cannot fully shield your company from cyber attacks, but you can take preemptive measures to minimize exposure. If the worst happens and a cyber-attack leaves your company exposed, understanding the mitigation measures required to minimize losses and recover as quickly as possible is critical.