Cyber security is a hot topic for many in today’s business landscape as companies are realizing the dangers that could lie right around the virtual corner.
A 2016 cyber security poll conducted by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association in conjunction with the RSA (Rivest, Shamir and Adelman) Conference found that 82 percent of respondents felt as though their board of governors were concerned or very concerned about cyber security. In the same poll, 74 percent expected some kind of cyber attack to occur in 2016. These numbers back up the tense burden cyber attacks bring to businesses, large and small, across the world.
With the impending threats, there are some strategies organizations can leverage to help alleviate some of the concern.
- Train Employees: Many experts suggest employees are the first line of defense in staving off cyber attacks. With timely training, employees can help identify outside risks in their email boxes or across the Internet. Failing to educate employees raises the chances of one of them walking into a phishing scheme or malware attack. This has the potential to result in a sizable loss of data or funds, with the potential to hit the brakes on the upward direction of your business.
- Vet your Partners: In the data breaches experienced by Target and Home Depot in 2013 and 2014, respectively, hackers gained access to these companies through third-party vendors. It’s not uncommon for third parties like vendors and customers to be granted access to a network housing a lot of important data. However, before granting access to anyone, it’s important to understand how they view and handle cyber security. Sharing similar concerns and having a plan in place should be an important part of any business relationship.
- Plan for Off-Site Workers: More and more employees, with plenty of access to company networks from computers and mobile devices, are working from home or on the road, which poses a cyber threat to businesses. According to a 2015 Wells Fargo report, the best way to handle off-site workers is “evaluate your mobile device management, procedures and requirements and employ multi-level verification to ensure that only authorized people have access to data and systems.”
- Remain Up-to-date and Educated: Each year, experts are identifying new cyber threats to businesses. For example, McAfee Labs produces a Threat Predictions Report annually, identifying new problems cyber security personnel need to keep on their radar. While it seems as though hackers can be three steps ahead of IT professionals, it’s possible to close the gap by keeping apprised of new threats and continually updating and maintaining the security solutions keeping your company safe.
- Add a security blanket: According to the 2016 cybersecurity poll from ISACA and the RSA Conference, 30 percent of respondents experienced phishing attacks every day. It’s nearly impossible to halt all of the attacks, so it’s important to have a backup plan in place. Cyber insurance has become a booming business, and a lot of corporations are seeking it out. The insurance covers some important factors, providing funding to deal with the implications of an attack.
With most companies operating their business at least partially online, protecting data, resources and capital is of extreme importance. Having a solid cyber security plan in place is a great step in helping to mitigate the risk of cyber attacks.
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