In 2020, cybercrime increased by 600% due to the pandemic. In 2021, ransomware has become a national security issue in many countries. The big question is, what can companies do to protect their profits, data, and peace of mind?
First and foremost, it’s important to protect your business before an attack occurs. After all, it’s not a question of if you will be attacked, but when it will happen. The facts will speak for themselves:
– In 2021, the hackers who attacked Colonial Pipeline’s oil company received more than $90 million in bitcoins (Business Insider, 2021).
– The average downtime for a company after a ransomware attack is 21 days (Sophos, 2021).
– Ransomware attacks are estimated to occur every 11 seconds in 2021 (Cybercrime Magazine, 2019).
Five Steps to Cybersecurity
Integrity has developed a set of five best practices to help small and medium-sized businesses protect their systems from attack, identify vulnerabilities, and plug holes in their security processes.
- Conduct a cyber audit of your readiness to understand cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Hackers often attack secondary targets, such as medium-security devices. These could be printers, home networks, or links in your supply chain, for example. They indeed say your company is only as secure as your weakest link.
- Promote a culture of cybersecurity among your employees! Educate both employees and customers. Often people don’t use proper security measures. Implement best practices such as multi-factor authentication. Train employees to recognize email phishing. Make sure both groups have strong passwords. Then test their security yourself.
- Replace outdated cyber defenses with end-to-end artificial intelligence-based protections. While this type of protection can’t 100% stop an attack, it can help significantly reduce losses. Traditional antivirus protection is not capable of handling all threats. Use dedicated threat detection and response systems without the need for human intervention.
- Enable multi-factor authentication. Cybercriminals have become adept at stealing login credentials. Even the savviest employees still sometimes get hooked by clicking on phishing links or attachments. Enabling multi-factor authentication will make it harder for cybercriminals to do their jobs.
- Don’t forget to keep your security systems up to date. Most cybercrime is avoidable. Not immediately responding to security updates is like leaving the door to your house open, knowing there are thieves nearby. While security updates may seem routine, they’re not. They mean that a company like Microsoft has discovered a security vulnerability that could put your business’ servers and data at risk. The sooner you install this important security patch, the safer your business will be.