Modern business is becoming ever more reliant on technology to operate. The standard business today will use many examples of this, from computers for staff to work on, to servers for it all to run on. This has naturally led to many benefits for all businesses as work processes are streamlined and customer expectations are met through technology.
One issue that is becoming a hot topic in this area though is cyber security. Cyber-attacks are an ever-present threat for all business across the US, and stopping hackers from accessing your data is a constant battle. This is true for small start-ups right up to large corporations. Even big names such as Home Depot have suffered from this kind of trouble in the past.
With this in mind, a robust IT security strategy is key for any organization in the modern business world.
What issues should you be aware of?
When it comes to cyber-attacks, the below are some of the most common issues to plan against:
- Malware attacks – one of the most common ways that your business’s cyber security could be breached is through malicious malware infecting your whole network. This could see your whole systems locked up while the hackers freely steal all your sensitive data. They are usually spread through emails to staff. When an unsuspecting staff member clicks on an infected link or file, the malware virus is downloaded into your network to spread. Think of the fairly recent WannaCry ransomware attack for an example of this.
- Phishing – this is the practice of a hacker obtaining sensitive information from an employee that they can then use to access your systems. This is particularly dangerous as it can easily go on undetected for a long time. The hacker will usually get the information out of them (such as their network password, for example) by posing as an internal or external figure of authority.
- Internal security – a recent Insider Threat Report by Crowd Research Partners found that 53% of organizations asked had been victims of internal cybercrime. This is where a salaried employee will use their access to steal sensitive data and information.
- POS systems – the Point of Sale system has changed lots over the years and is now more connected with the whole of a company’s operation than ever before. While this is great for your customers and obtaining useable data, it is also a section of your business that hackers may target.
How can you prevent these attacks from affecting you?
Naturally, the best way to guard against these problems is to ensure that your cyber security is of the highest standard possible. The main way to do this is to plan an appropriate IT security strategy that covers all the bases. Of course, education for staff is key so that they know what this policy is, and also to guard against attacks that may come their way when working.
You should do all that you can to protect your network, devices, and servers. Always make sure that your firewall is robust enough to withstand regular attacks, and close off any weak spots in your cyber security setup that hackers could exploit. Most will target either network connected devices or the server itself, so pay particular attention to these areas.
It is also key to be constantly keeping an eye out for attacks, even if they do not succeed. This kind of preventative action will allow you to see where you might be vulnerable and where hackers are targeting in your setup so that you can strengthen there. It will also allow you to spot any attacks that do make it through so that you can deal with them quickly.
What if an attack succeeds and your systems fail?
Sometimes, hackers will force entry with a new way of attacking that your firewall cannot stand up to. When this happens, it may see your systems fail and panic ensue. In times like these, it is best to remain calm and take quick action.
For many organizations, this can mean calling in outside help from a specialist IT contractor. This could be very handy if you are a one-man band and not an IT expert yourself. Getting in an expert IT contractor will allow them to use all their skills to get the threat nullified and your systems back up in no time.
If you do not usually use contractors, then you may wish to use an umbrella company to help handle things. They can help with contractor pay and help you to arrange the payment for their services. It makes it very easy to call in an IT contractor to assist you and get back to business.
Security systems needed for all businesses
If you run any kind of business, your online security systems are essential. Without them, malicious hackers will target you and steal your sensitive data. This could prove disastrous for your future business and therefore is a chance not worth taking.