How to Prevent Cyber Attacks on Your Business

Cyber attacks have risen to become a menace and threat to businesses globally. Gartner notes that companies will have a larger attack surface to defend with more people working online, including in remote jobs.

Statista, similarly, reports that the second quarter of 2022 saw approximately 52 million data breaches globally. These numbers denote the threat level cyber attacks pose to businesses of all sizes.

Business owners must take measures to mitigate all types of cyber attacks, including:

·   Malware

·   Phishing

·   Zero-day exploit

·   Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack

·   Man-in-the-middle attack (MITM)

·   SQL injection

·   DNS Tunnelling

·   Business Email Compromise (BEC)

·   Cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks

·   Password Attack

·   Eavesdropping attacks

This article outlines essential steps to protect your business from cyber attacks to avoid the short-term and long-term effects of cyber hacking.

Six Ways to Prevent Cyber Attacks on Your Business

1. Limit Employee Access to Critical Information

Human error is the number-one cybersecurity threat in any business. When an employee leaves the company or has their credentials compromised, these lapses in security could expose your sensitive data.

You can avoid this by limiting employee access to information to just what they need to get their job done. For instance, even if an employee is in senior management, if they do not need the admin password to your accounting system to get their job done, do not give it to them.

2. Update Your Software Regularly

Cyber crooks look for vulnerabilities in your business apps software, and those that are not updated are their favorite. Software companies regularly publish software vulnerabilities and their fixes (patches), and criminals monitor this news to target companies that delay installing these patches. You can avoid these types of attacks (called Zero-Day exploits) by updating your software regularly or setting your software to update automatically.

3. Install Antivirus and Firewall Software

Antivirus and firewall software is your first line of defense against cyber attackers. If you have not installed these two, your company is as vulnerable as leaving for the night and leaving the front door wide open.

If you cannot afford paid antivirus and firewall software, use freeware like Microsoft Security Essentials, which comes with the latest threat monitoring tools and can thwart most malware and penetration attacks. Once installed, update them regularly to have the newest threat matrices installed.

4. Secure all Wireless Access Points

Wireless networks are particularly vulnerable to attack because an attacker can park outside your office, connect to your network, and do damage.

Here are steps you can take to secure your wireless access points:

·   Set a strong admin password for all new wireless devices like routers

·   Do not broadcast your wireless SSID (service set identifier)

·   Always use Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA-2) with Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)

·   Separate your internal network from that used by customers

5. Use an Email and Web Filter

Phishing attacks send tons of spam emails, hoping to entice your employees to open and click. Similarly, websites notorious for malware like gambling and pornography attract users with catchy ads that can download malware when clicked. Email filters block and delete spam, while web filters block notorious and suspicious sites, so your employees never have to choose whether to click on them or not.

6. Use Password Management Software

The average web user with an active digital life has at least a hundred passwords. That’s a hundred passwords that must be unique and that they must remember. Most take a shortcut and set easy passwords they can reuse, which is a major cyber security threat. Your employees can avoid password overload by using password management software like Bitwarden, LastPass, or Dashlane, which takes the hard work out of setting hundreds of strong passwords.

7. Train Your Employees

If software is your first line of defense against cyber attacks, then your employees are your last line of defense. Prepare them for their defensive duties by training them to identify cyber threats and attacks, document and report them, and implement first-strike measures. Also, teach them how to advocate for cyber security vigilance among their peers, so they can keep each other accountable.

Make Cybersecurity a Priority

The most critical factor in cyber security is vigilance. Without it, your business can easily fall victim to any of the millions of attacks on businesses every year. Fortunately, you do not have to be a cyber security expert to protect your business. You can apply the measures above, and by doing so, you can mitigate a significant portion of all future attacks on your business.

Technology   Business   Security