Last year, there were 3.5 million different malicious programs attempting to hack into people’s computers.
This year, companies will pay $93 billion to keep their networks and machines safe from hackers.
So how can you keep your company safe from cyber security problems? What’s the best use of your money?
Let’s take a look at the five most common risks that businesses face in securing their data and machines.
A company’s employees are its biggest cybersecurity problem.
Employees download viruses and malware, or fall for phishing email scams. They’re often not tech savvy enough to know when something in an email, website, or proposal seems wrong.
Your team can also fall for business email compromise (BEC) scams. This type of con happens when hackers trick an employee into transferring money out of the company with a fake email from their CEO.
While it seems a little far-fetched, this can and does happen. The FBI noted that this scam occurred in every state and 79 different countries. It cost companies a whopping $2.3 billion!
All of these mistakes put businesses at risk and can cost them a lot of money.
How can you fix this weakness? Education is the answer.
Teach your employees what to look out for and make sure they know how to spot phishing sites and emails. Most importantly, teach them that when they’re not sure, they need to check with a supervisor before clicking or sending anything.
We all have a million passwords to keep track of. It’s very tempting to use the same easy password for every account. However, this can be a costly mistake.
Businesses often have employees who use personal passwords for their emails or company accounts. This leads to a lot of cyber security problems.
Teach your employees how to create safe passwords. Require them to change their passwords at least every quarter.
Also, make sure your staff members are not sharing their passwords with each other. While it may seem like this is a no-brainer, it happens more often than you think.
Another reason for this is tracking electronic actions in your company. If all of your employees are using the same password and money goes missing, how will you know who last accessed the account?
For these reasons, it’s important to keep your company’s passwords secure and unique.
3. Software Updates
It’s a pain to update your computers and software. We all feel the same way about it. Yet, this is a crucial step to fight cyber security problems.
One type of software that is causing major cyber security problems is ransomware.
Ransomware is usually accidentally downloaded by someone, and then freezes up their computer. In order to get the computer working again, the person has to pay a “ransom” or fee.
This attack is becoming more and more popular because it spreads quickly. People panic when they can’t get into their computers, and many are willing to pay whatever fee they have to in order to access their files.
In 2017, a specific ransomware called WannaCry was released. It spread through a weakness of Windows operating software. This destroyed the networks of many companies.
Microsoft released a patch for this weakness three months before WannaCry was everywhere. If people had updated their OSs earlier, they would have been protected.
Make sure your IT department is continuously updating your company’s software. You also need to have the latest version of antivirus programs. This can prevent stolen content, loss of revenue, and loss of customer trust.
4. Partner Companies
While you may have the best safety practices in place, other businesses your company works with can put you at risk.
According to Infrascale, 20 percent of businesses don’t have a disaster recovery plan to get their data back if they’re hacked. Do you really want to partner with them?
The companies you work with may be hacked, and viruses and programs can be shared with your employees. If your partner becomes a victim, the hackers may be able to go straight into your network too.
Target lost $202 million in 2013 because a company they used as a third-party vendor was hacked.
The best way to avoid these issues is to use network segmentation. This allows connection between you and other companies’ networks. But it keeps them separated enough that a hacker can’t skip from one to another.
If you can’t use a segmented network, ask what security practices other companies use before you do business with them. If they aren’t safe and cautious, take your business elsewhere.
5. Employee Devices
Many companies are now allowing employees to bring their own devices to work (BYOD). This gives employees flexibility in where they work and allows them to have access to their projects at more convenient times. Seems like a win-win, right?
Employee computers are not as protected as a corporation’s machines, leaving the company open to cyber security problems. Keep in mind that this includes all the smartphones that your employees use on the company’s WiFi.
If you want to give your employees the freedom to use their own devices at work or complete projects at home, there are a couple of steps that can protect you.
First, make sure they always use two-factor authentication. This means they will be required to log in via two different means. For example, they may use a password and a code sent to them via text.
Second, only let your employees log into the company network through a virtual private network (VPN). This will keep other people on their WiFi network from having access to your materials.
These measures will keep your company safe from network security threats. It will also give your employees better connectivity to the company’s files.
Keeping Your Business Safe from Cyber Security Problems
These extra steps may frustrate some of your employees or partner companies, but don’t let them whine their way out of it. If you want to keep your data and finances secure, make sure everyone follows the rules.
Now that you know the biggest cyber security problems facing your business, it’s time to look at more protective measures. If you want to know more about potential threats like rasomware, check out our article.