Important steps to safeguard your business from cyber attacks

Summary

  • Despite advancements in technologies, cyber attacks remain a significant concern for governments, businesses, and people.
  • Malware, phishing, denial of service attacks, password cracking, ransomware are the common forms of cyber attack.
  • However, individuals and organisations can take specific preventive measures that would reduce the possibility of cyber attacks.

Cyber attack cases are rising at an alarming rate at present. No matter how advanced the technologies are, cyber attacks remain the biggest concern for individuals, businesses, and governments. In 2021, many big companies have experienced the impact of these attacks that have left experts baffled. Some of the biggest cases in recent times include:

  • Microsoft Exchange Cyber Attack.
  • Channel Nine Cyber Attack
  • Harris Federation Cyber Attack
  • CAN Financial Cyber Attack.

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While one cannot guarantee that cyber attacks won’t occur, one can prevent such attacks by following some basic rules.

Before we move into the preventive measures, let’s understand what cyber attacks are. 

What is a cyber attack?

Cyber attacks are an attempt to gain unauthorised access to a computer, network, etc., to steal confidential data or damage the system/network, get control over critical data on the system, block, manipulate or delete files on the computer.

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People involved in these activities are called cybercriminals who use multiple strategies to carry out any of the above activities.

Some known cyber attacks include:

  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Denial of service attack
  • Password cracking
  • SQL or structured query language.
  • Man in the Middle
  • Eavesdropping
  • Ransomware
  • Birthday attack

Steps to prevent cyber attack

Taking business online definitely has its benefits, but at the same time, there are risks such as a cyber attack. Hence, if businesses follow certain essential steps, they can reduce the chance of cyber attacks.

  1. Keep a backup of your data: Regularly keeping a backup of your critical files would help businesses recover the files in case of a cyber attack or any computer issues. It is always best to back up your data on an external device like a USB stick. At the same time, one should remember not to leave the connected devices to the computer as they can get infected through cyber attacks.

Besides saving the data on external devices, many businesses also opt to store data on the cloud in an encrypted format and provide multi-factor authentication for access when transferring and storing data.

  1. Secure the devices and network: Businesses update their software regularly, install security software, set up a firewall, and turn on the spam filter to secure their devices and network.
  • Keeping software upgraded helps to update any security upgrades for any virus attack.
  • Installation of security software would help businesses detect any virus or malware that can damage the system.
  • Setting up a firewall would prevent the internal network of the business. However, firewalls need to be frequently patched to function properly.
  • Using a spam filter, separate important business emails from phishing or spam emails. This step would ensure that the employee would not accidentally click any link on these phishing or spam emails.
  1. Encrypt essential data: It is vital to turn on network encryption and encrypt all data and key files while storing them or sharing them online. This step would reduce the scope of encountering cyber attacks, data theft, destruction, or tampering. By encrypting the data, the data gets converted to a secret code.
  2. Use of multi-factor authentication process (MFA): Using MFA requires the user to provide two or more proof of identity to access a particular file. MFA is an additional security layer to make it difficult for cybercriminals to gain access to the files.

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  1. Prefer passphrases instead of passwords: Passphrases are passwords is a phrase or collection of different words. These are easy for people to remember and difficult for machines to crack. Hence using passphrases would protect access to devices and network that has important business information.
  2. Keep track of all computer devices and equipment: It is essential to know all the devices and equipment that the business uses. This also requires that the business ensures that its employees are careful about how and where they keep the devices, network they are connected to, and how they are using USB sticks or any portable hard drives.
  3. Update employees about the cybersecurity policies: Businesses should also ensure they train and regularly update about cybersecurity
  4. Provide training related to cybersecurity: Businesses should also train their people on the ways to stay safe when online. They need to be aware of possible threats they might experience online and how to overcome such situations and safeguard the business.
  5. Safeguard your customer: Customers are important for any business to grow. Hence it becomes a duty of the businesses to safeguard client data. Any failure on this front could have a severe impact on business reputation.

MUST WATCH: What do we mean by a cyber attack and how to protect yourself from it? 

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