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Every small business owner is well aware of the importance of protecting the company from the threat of data breaches, denial-of-service attacks, ransomware, and other cybersecurity threats. In today’s times, when close to 67% of cyber attacks are directed at small enterprises, you absolutely must take the necessary steps to prevent the possibility of losses that could range from $84,000 and $148,000 as reported by the USA Today magazine. More worrying statistics also reveal that 61% of the affected businesses may close down within 6 months of becoming the target of cybercrime.
In addition to being wary of the threat of losses, you need to remain compliant with federal laws that expect you to protect the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) that your customers, vendors, and other entities entrust to you. Given the small scale of your operations, it may not be possible to have an in-house team overseeing your day-to-day security measures. For this reason, you may need to outsource such requirements to expert cybersecurity agencies that will conduct the necessary audits and direct you on the best strategies to adopt. Here are some of the most critical steps to take:
Before selling or recycling old hardware used for your company operations, you may want to hire the services of government-certified agencies that will securely wipe the hard drives and remove all sensitive information. Alternatively, they may shred the Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) and Solid State Drives (SSDs) and dispose of the shards so the data cannot be recovered by even the most devious of hackers. Entrust your old gadgets and ensure complete data erasure with All Green Electronics Recycling, or any of the top-ranking agencies offering services out of various locations in the country.
Outsource your cybersecurity to expert agencies that are in tune with the latest developments in the world of cybercrime. However, finding the right agency may present something of a challenge. According to statistics compiled by Globe Newswire, the cybersecurity industry is projected to reach the $181.77 billion in 2021 which is a CAGR of 9.5% from the year 2015 when it was worth $105.45 billion.
These figures indicate that the market has a slew of companies providing cybersecurity services. For this reason, you may have to choose a good company carefully after assessing their capabilities in handling your company’s unique needs. Once you have hired the right agency, you can expect that its personnel will undertake a three-step program to fortify the cyber defenses of your business.
The first step involves a detailed audit of your software and hardware to identify the weak spots. An interesting concept that has emerged in recent times is the deployment of security personnel to pose as expert hackers and attempt to break into your company’s systems. The principle behind this strategy is simple. To deter potential hackers, the defenders need to think like them. If they manage to crack your defenses, they’ll know how to plug the possible leaks.
Using both manual and automated cutting-edge applications, the security team will work to build a digital immune system for your business. They will also show you how to create backups of your data and save it on the cloud or portable storage devices. Keep in mind that good cybersecurity agencies are constantly upgrading their skills to keep pace with the rapidly evolving world of hackers and cybercriminals. They are well aware that the threat is compounded manifold thanks to the availability of professional hackers who offer their services for a fee or for a percentage of the profits.
Cybersecurity companies also remain attuned to the latest hacking tools and software being developed and openly sold in the dark market. It might interest you to know that as PRNewswire predicts, cybercrime will have caused economic losses worth more than $6 trillion by 2021. And, a reputable cybersecurity agency could prevent your business from adding to those numbers.
Simply identifying and implementing digital security measures are not enough. The agency you hire will work constantly to monitor and observe your company operations. You may have teams coming in from time to time to ensure that the measures they have installed are working properly and that your company’s workers are trained in handling phishing attacks and identifying possible malware attached to emails by unknown senders. You may also want to educate your people on the dangers of downloading files and programs from suspicious sources.
Holding workshops for your employees may help in further strengthening your digital defenses turning them into the first line of defense against attacks. People who use your systems on a daily basis are more adept at identifying discrepancies and unusual activities in the company’s accounts.
One of the scariest factors of data breaches is that most companies are unaware that an attack has occurred or that they have lost sensitive information until months or even years, afterward. Should you check this article on CSO, you will find a glaring consistency in most of the 17 cases of reported cybercrime cases – the companies described did not immediately identify the attack and had lost valuable data in the interim period.
Among the many services a cybersecurity team offers you is swift assistance on the discovery of an attack. You can rely on the personnel to come in at short notice, identify the source of the data breach, and take the necessary steps to mitigate the damage. They will work to reinstate the defense systems and recover your data in case you’ve become the victim of a denial-of-service or ransomware attack. You’ll also receive advice on refraining from paying the ransom and the legal steps to take.
Cybersecurity is no longer an expense you may or may not want to incur or a debatable aspect of your company’s operations. Cyber defense has become a glaring necessity. And, before your business becomes a victim and ends up closing down after paying heavy fines and lawsuit claims, it is advisable to bring in the professionals to assist you. Protect your business today!