The cyber security market is constantly evolving, with different threats emerging and new technologies emerging that must be understood and supported. We need to educate the next generation of cybersecurity professionals to help prepare them for the evolving cybersecurity landscape that they will face in the future.
One of the biggest threats to your business is cybercrime. Cybercrime costs businesses billions of dollars
each year, according to the FBI, which is why it’s so important for your business to understand the threats and take steps to protect your assets in cyberspace.
The recent surge of cybercrime has even greater implications for small businesses than it does for large enterprises, simply because the vulnerabilities are more easily exploited by hackers and cybercriminals. The SANS Institute says that small- to medium-sized companies are increasingly becoming targets for cyber attacks, and while some types of attacks can be mitigated within several months, many are preventable with cybersecurity training.
The average cost of downtime for businesses is over $200,000, and that can seriously hinder a company’s bottom line. Even worse, sixty percent of affected businesses go under within six months of being victimized.
While cyber defense is an ongoing process that requires continuous vigilance, having good habits from the beginning will make it far easier to stay ahead of cybercriminals. Cyber security awareness training helps staff identify threats, minimize the risk of attack, and sharpen their ability to respond in the unfortunate event they are targeted by a malicious actor. As employees become more empowered to spot cybersecurity pitfalls, it becomes easier for businesses to protect themselves.
If you’re a small business owner, there are a few simple things you can do to make yourself a much less appealing target. A few of the most effective ways to avoid a cyber attack include:
1) Making sure that your staff knows how to recognize phishing attacks
2) Keeping all devices up-to-date on updates and software, such as installing new firewalls and anti-virus programs
3) Ensuring that you have a business continuity plan in place, which can be particularly helpful in the case of ransomware attacks or an attack on your servers
4) Being wary of suspicious emails and following secure cyber security protocols such as two-factor authentication can also help keep small businesses safe online
The main reason cyber security training is a necessity is that today’s cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, which means that even well-educated workers can be vulnerable to attacks.
In addition, businesses with an abundance of personal information about clients and employees are prime targets.
From the security perspective, it’s important to make sure everyone in an organization understands cyber defense best practices because they are all potential victims.
If a company fails to take action to protect its workers, that can lead to even bigger issues down the road when outsiders gain access to sensitive data. Without proper protection, hackers who infiltrate corporate systems gain access to huge troves of personal information, which can lead to identity theft and other malicious acts.
Although the prospect of cybercrime is frightening, companies can take proactive measures to band together their staff to fight against hackers. That includes bringing in a cyber security team to help them deal with high-risk threats.
Businesses need to create procedures so if a worker does fall for a scam, they’ll know how to react. For instance, if a business’s social media account falls into the hands of a criminal, they should have an established way to quickly reach out to their cybersecurity professional and regain control of that channel.
Companies should consider creating a cyber security procedure manual, but the Cylance survey found employees don’t like reading these types of documents. Therefore, they should spend more time training their staff in person on what to do if they encounter phishing or malware attacks. It’s important for managers to sit down with employees and give them instructions on how to engage in their day-to-day tasks.
Another great way to train employees on how to be more secure is by conducting penetration testing. This is the process of trying to hack into a company’s system and seeing if vulnerabilities are present. If hackers can successfully infiltrate, they’ll expose weaknesses that need to be patched.
Penetration testing will provide peace of mind for business owners since their systems will have been tested, and they’ll know what needs to be strengthened.
It’s important for employees to utilize multi-factor authentication when accessing their company accounts. While it may seem like a hassle, the extra step will leave them more secure than they’d be otherwise. Even if someone manages to get access to an employee account, they still wouldn’t be able to access others because of the authentication. It’s also a good idea for business owners with personal accounts to use multi-factor authentication there as well, so they don’t have to worry about unauthorized use.
Whenever possible, service providers should be contacted through their official domain and no other. Hackers are increasingly setting up fraudulent sites that look like the real thing to get people to enter their information or click on malicious links. If there’s ever any doubt about which site is the correct one, the URL should be referenced to see if it matches up with what would be expected. Even if a business owner thinks they’re being careful, they could still fall victim to phishing attacks if they try to access a site and it’s been changed without them knowing.
Every business has a target on its back, whether they’re large or small. Cybersecurity is one of the most important issues that companies will face in the 21st century. In addition to training employees, it’s essential to have a cyber insurance policy in place in case something does go wrong.