Every year, businesses around the world lose billions of dollars to cybercrime. According to a McAfee, hacker attacks and data breaches cause $600 Bn in losses worldwide, every year. Usually, this is often looked at from the perspective of acceptable overall risk.
This year, however, amid the Covid crisis and an economic recession, the stakes have changed. Indian firms that rely heavily on technology cannot afford to be caught unprepared by cybersecurity threats. In this article we will be going through measures SMBs can take to stay ready in the event of a cybersecurity incident.
Protection Goes Beyond Antivirus
Many businesses assume that cybersecurity translates to running antivirus software or a firewall. Yes, both of these are important components of a well-rounded cybersecurity strategy, but that’s the problem: they’re just individual components. Cybersecurity means a lot more than your average antivirus or firewall.
Advanced and persistent cyber threat actors leverage human failures and network vulnerabilities that antivirus solutions aren’t designed to look for. Effective cybersecurity is a process and strategy-based approach that needs the same diligence and input as any other functional unit in your business.
It’s impractical for most small businesses to build their own cybersecurity operations team. However, integrated SaaS solutions like Alienvault and CDC-On and Y offer security-as-a-service, by equally combining the people, process and technology aspects of cybersecurity.
Most cyber criminals target low-hanging fruits at organizations with lax security, however, an effective protection strategy can protect you from the majority of attacks and significantly reduce your risk.
The Need For A Data Backup And Recovery Plan
Despite best efforts, a security breach is often a question of “when” and not if. This means that businesses need to prepare for an eventuality where data is lost or compromised. The best way to ensure continuity is by having a solid data backup and recovery plan in place. This could include putting in place a regular schedule for offline backups, as well as investing in cloud-based backups of day-to-day files, ensuring minimum downtime in the event of a breach.
A great backup plan will ensure that, even in the event of a data breach, business functions remain largely unhindered. Every hour that your business is down can potentially cost huge sums in operational expenses. The goal is to get back on your feet and be operational at the earliest.
Deploy MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication)
One way to protect your devices and data from e-threats is to enable multi-factor authentication at every verification point. In a typical single-factor authentication scenario, a user who wants to access sensitive data enters a password and logs in. If that password is compromised, the data is then accessible to anyone who has it.
In multi-factor authentication, a password is combined with other security factors – including biometric characteristics of an authorized user and security devices they physically carry to harden security against external threats. In a multifactor authentication deployment, authorized users might have to share biometrics alongside time-limited OTPs on specific devices in order to access data. This would mean that, even if an external cyber threat actor discovered login credentials, they wouldn’t be able to access critical files and data
Security Needs To Be Taught To The Workforce
Your precautionary measures are only as good as the diligence of your workforce. Poor security hygiene and lack of cybersecurity training can result in data breaches and e-risks, regardless of how advanced your backend solutions are. Many cyber threat actors rely on human fallacy and information gaps to attack businesses. This means that cybersecurity training is a must.
It is pertinent to involve everyone in the workforce, regardless of their position, and ensure that they are familiar with the basics of cyber safety. This largely deals with, how to stay safe from spam, how to compartmentalize and secure work devices, how to use 2FA, and more. Companies need to educate their employees so that everyone knows what to do to reduce risks and avoid cyber-attacks.
Technology evolves every second, bringing new discoveries that improves our lifestyle and business but somehow our need for efficiency also leaves us open to risks. Being prepared and having an effective cybersecurity measure will not just keep your business safe but is also an additional layer of security in a world ravaged by pandemic where the future is ambiguous.