Not too long ago, the premise of protecting data and practicing cybersecurity would have been the least essential aspect of running a business. Back then, business owners left the technological aspect exclusively to the IT department.
Needless to say; however, times have changed- quite drastically. Bearing witness to the digitization of enterprises is the fact that a staggering 60% of all small businesses are targeted with cyberattacks, including the likes of social engineering and phishing attacks.
Perhaps even more surprising is that in spite of accounting for 13% of the cybersecurity market, small businesses are likely to spend less than $500 on cybersecurity. The difficulty in understanding the high stakes, combined with the growing sophistication of cybercrimes, often leads to business-owners finding themselves at a loss in the instance of a cyberattack.
Also, cybersecurity risks have increased exponentially with the rise in the number of connected devices, and the use of cloud computing. A survey conducted by IDG found that 28% of all enterprises use private clouds as the backbone of their IT infrastructure. Moreover, an analysis conducted by Cisco revealed that a whopping 83% of all traffic would rely on the cloud within three years, hence increasing the need for cybersecurity in enterprises even more.
Why Is Cybercrime At An All-Time High?
Although it might seem pretty obvious, the primary reason for the rise in cyberattacks is due to widespread digitalization of enterprises, that came along with the incorporation of technology into business.
As mentioned above, the rise in computing cloud services which have made file-sharing a piece of cake, have opened a horizon of new criminal possibilities for hackers all around. On one side of the spectrum, we’ve got ‘petty’ hackers that attack individual computers with ransomware, in hopes of making some cash. On the other end, however, some experienced hackers use an arsenal of criminal tactics to launch cyber warfare, on businesses as well as entire governments.
To demonstrate the devastating impact that cybercrimes have had, one need only take Facebook as an example, which had over 540 million users data exposed on Amazon’s cloud computing services.
With that being said, we also need to consider the hacks and breaches that don’t get reported, particularly when we bring into consideration that a whopping 4000 ransomware attacks happen daily.
Why is cybersecurity so essential for businesses to function?
A lack of dealing with cybercrimes effectively can eradicate businesses entirely, as seen with 60 percent of small businesses, who go out of business shortly after being struck with a cyberattack.
Moreover, a severe shortage of cybersecurity personnel haunts business owners in the event of a cyberattack. Estimates suggest that almost 3.5 billion jobs in the cybersecurity market will be vacant due to the massive gap between the skill sets in prospective employees and the industry requirements. Other reasons why enterprises need to focus more on cybersecurity include:
Perhaps the fatal consequence that follows cybercrimes is the prospect of sensitive information being leaked. Regardless of the size of the enterprise, most businesses contain and collect a multitude of data- with everything from customer satisfaction surveys to the most futile and meaningless emails sent between employees.
A key reason behind the implementation of specific cybersecurity tactics is the protection of said data. The most apparent step an enterprise can take to protect sensitive information is to restrict the data being put out on a public domain.
Other ways to secure the handling of sensitive information deals with limiting the number of contacts who have access to the company email, and using a ‘burner’ email account instead.
Protection against ransomware attacks
As we already mentioned above, 4000 ransomware attacks happen daily, and the most common victims happen to be business organizations.
A typical ransomware attack results in a business’s data pool being hacked and encrypted, until a hefty ransom is paid to the perpetrators. The only tangible reason that comes to mind for the rise of these ransomware attacks is the fact that more and more enterprises are storing their data on the cloud.
Based off on the misconception that the cloud is somehow safer, hackers need only sabotage the computing cloud server to gain entry into the entirety of the enterprise.
The most fundamental way that enterprises can minimize the threat that ransomware attacks pose is by backing up valuable data in multiple places. This way, the business owner won’t need to worry about paying a ransom, since all valuable information would already be stored.
Without a clear-cut purpose in mind, fighting against cybercrimes can become a massive challenge. This challenge can double in difficulty when an organization is faced with an advanced social engineering attack, including the likes of phishing scams.
Since many enterprises collect necessary user information, an advanced phishing scam can reveal sensitive user information, including but not limited to emails, financial credentials, etc.
The easiest way to sway off any phishing scams is to train business owners and employees not to open any unwanted links or email attachments.
How can enterprises combat the threat?
If there were as dire circumstances as the ones facing enterprises today, the importance of cybersecurity would no longer be a raging topic for debate. However, as unfortunate as it may be, enterprise owners often wonder if investing in cybersecurity is worth it in the end.
To put it concisely, cybersecurity risk is a business risk. As a business owner, you need to evaluate all aspects of your IT infrastructure and look for ways to mitigate the focal vector of the attack as soon as possible.
Some ways in which enterprises can combat the ever-growing threat of cyber crimes and attacks include:
Although it might seem a bit redundant at this point, the most exceptional cybersecurity advice businesses can instill within them is to remain in the know-how regarding data breaches and cyberattacks.
Keeping in mind that most cyberattacks originate from employees clicking on shady email attachments, and opening suspicious links, it is imperative that business owners and employees share awareness on common scams and vulnerabilities, along with the proper training to bypass them.
Get your business insured
Another essential step to minimize the destruction caused by data breaches and attacks is to get cybersecurity insurance for your enterprise, regardless of how big or small your business is.
Contrary to popular belief, insurance wouldn’t just abate your financial losses; instead, it would also have businesses evaluating their flow of data, particularly where and how sensitive information is being stored.
Often times, insurance policies specified towards cyber breaches have enterprise owners working with data specialists for proper backup and recovery tactics in the instance of an attack.
At the end of the day, the little cautions business owners exercise go a far way in practicing cybersecurity.
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