A drastic rise in cyberattacks is taking billions from business sheets worldwide. And with each passing day, these attacks are growing more deadly and sophisticated.
Unsurprisingly, businesses must prepare themselves to defend against cyberattacks to protect their money and reputation.
This article will explore some of the most common forms of cyberattacks you need to be aware of. We’ll also highlight the best cybersecurity tools you can rely on to protect you and your employees from a crisis.
Cyberattacks in Business: How Much Can You Lose?
Several recent reports have shed light on the growing cost of cyberattacks in business. According to the International Business Machines Corporation, the average data breach cost was $4.5 million in 2022, a 2.6% increase from the previous year.
83% of companies had more than one breach reported, with 60% reporting they increased the prices of their services as a direct result of a hack
Similarly, a report by advisory company Forrester paints an equally bleak picture. Its analysis reports that over 1 billion records were exposed in the top 35 breaches. The report also highlighted the amount of money seized by hackers, with over $2.6 billion taken across just nine cryptocurrency breaches. Businesses reported increasing service prices to recoup these costs.
From these two reports, it’s clear the damage from a cyberattack can be devastating and that businesses are still unequipped in cybersecurity. Common attacks that companies struggle against include phishing, infecting systems with malware, ransomware, and DDoS attacks.
Ways to Improve Your Cybersecurity
But as scary as the research and reports suggest, there are ways of protecting your business and customer’s data.
1. Staff Training & Development
Being proactive is one of the best defenses against cybersecurity. Every business should invest in security awareness training and upskilling so that employees are proactive rather than reactive to cybercrime.
That’s because most hackers now target the human element of businesses, and not necessarily technology or software.
Phishing is the most common form of a cyberattack now, where hackers contact employees through email, phone, or text message, pretending to be a legitimate institution.
The victim unknowingly engages with a criminal and may surrender confidential or sensitive information or download a file that gives external access to a system, leading to severe data breaches.
Proper security training will see staff being able to identify phishing attempts, identify fraudulent-looking websites, avoid clicking on suspicious links, and know what to do in the case of a cyber emergency.
2. Cloud VPN
With remote working, more and more employees are logging on to work from across the globe. Businesses can now attract the best talent, regardless of their location.
However, remote working comes with additional risks, namely cybersecurity.
People’s home security will not be as advanced as their workplace, and they could be giving criminals easy access to a work network through their home PCs.
A cloud VPN combines all the benefits of a standard virtual private network, including encrypting online activity and disguising IP addresses, and guarantees speed and efficiency.
Through cloud computing, employees can access files and applications at high speed, regardless of location, boosting connectivity and productivity without compromising security.
3. Multi-Factor Authentication
As the name suggests, multi-factor authentication requires employees to verify their identity before accessing work systems. This often comes as a single-use code sent through email or text message used as a ‘secondary password’ to gain access.
Multi-factor authentication can prevent hackers from seizing control of your services because even if the original password is compromised, the hacker would need access to two or more secondary devices to log in successfully.
Moreover, additional authentication can be an excellent detection tool, as employees are alerted if someone else tries logging on to their account, giving them time to change their passwords and report the incident.
4. Update Regularly
New cyber threats emerge to exploit older software and security systems daily. You must keep your software, operating systems, and drivers up-to-date with the latest protection. This includes any devices your employees might use during the work day, including personal computers, smartphones, and tablets.
Finally, one of the best defenses against cyberattacks is to adjust your budget and invest accordingly. Making a cybersecurity budget is an excellent way of ensuring you’re appropriately resourced and proactive against cybercrime.
Although many businesses are tightening the price strings on budgets, reports suggest that investing in cybersecurity will protect your profits and help you keep costs down.
Consider short and long-term needs, identify critical cyber assets, and have incident response protocols in place in the event of an attack. That way, you’ll always have resources to deal with the attack quickly, and staff will know how to limit further damage.