We’re all familiar with the vulnerabilities of weak data security, but how many businesses really experience a data breach every year? On average, 1.7 billion Americans are impacted by data breaches every year. Many of them caused by blemishes in payment systems, both online and in-store and taken advantage of by aggressive hackers. So what do you do when your business has been attacked by a cyber crime?
Before you get in over your head, call IT. Often what starts as a simple fix, can easily be made more complex by attempting to solve the problem on your own. Use authorized applications to access corporate data and sensitive documents. Study the process of how IT connects to your systems so that you aware of timeliness and when issues need to be resolved.
Preventing Phishing Attacks
For one reason or another, people can easily be fooled when it comes to online interactions. It’s much easier to trick users, which is why phishing attacks are so excessive. There are countless potential consequences, and identity theft is in the thick of them. Even though hackers are constantly formulating new ways to get what they're after, there are some practices you can utilize to protect yourself and your organization:
- Spam filters can be used to protect against spam emails. Generally, spam filters evaluate the source of the message and the software used to send the message and its image to determine if its spam. Periodically, spam filters will block emails from authentic sources, so the software isn’t always 100% accurate.
- Change your browser settings to prevent deceptive websites from opening. Bowers keep a list of fraudulent websites that will block the web addresses or send an alert message. The browser settings should only allow reliable websites to open.
- Most websites require users to enter login information with a user image displayed. These systems may open to security attacks. To maintain security, change passwords on a consistent basis, never using the same password for multiple accounts. For added security, use a CAPTCHA system for website logins.
- Hover over the URL of all links before clicking them. Secure websites with valid Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate will always begin with “https”. In time, all sites will be required to have a valid SSL.
- Bank and financial institutions use monitoring systems to prevent phishing. Individual employees can report phishing threats, then legal actions can be taken against the fraudulent websites. Provide your employees with security awareness training to recognize potential threats.
Spoofing emails sent by cyber-criminals are disguised to appear to be sent by a business that offers services to the users. Most will not ask for personal information via email or threaten to suspend your account for any reason. Generally, banks and financial institutions will provide an account number or other personal details within the content of the email, which assures its source is reliable.
A whopping 91% of cyber-attacks and the resulting data breach begin with a spear phishing email.”
Prepping Employees for Cyber Security Challenges
Observation shows that 30% of cyber security attacks are caused by employee error. Forrester research proposes that 70% of breaches are caused by employees’ lack of cyber security awareness.
For example, browser plug-ins or add-ons you download can collect your information and pass it to the hackers. Something as harmless as an email appearing to be sent from your boss prompting you to click a link can create a path to hackers. The recent Wanna Cry Ransomware attack is one (phishing) attack where the email link opened caused extreme losses across enterprises.
This one click can raise the costs for your business in terms of reputation, finance, business data and loss of customer trust. Preparing employees for cyber-attacks is the first line of defense. To be sure your employees are ready and able to protect your business systems, ensure that they:
- Never click on a link or attachment in an email from an unknown source or from someone you did not expect to receive the email from.
- Ensure anti-virus, malware, and firewall software’s up-to-date.
- For mobile devices keep track of them and use biometric authorization
- Never email sensitive files to your personal email. Best to access remotely when needed through a secure connection.
- Use up-to-date security practices and anti-virus and browsing security software at home and for personal devices.
- Do not browse on sites that force the sharing of information or are of a non-professional nature because just visiting can open you up to hackers.
Cyber-crimes happen everywhere. You need to protect your business by working towards prevention. It is important for every business to understand cyber security and its components to reduce attacks. Want to dig a little deeper to know how ready your business is to fight cyber crimes, here is a free assessment from our experts.