Cyber attacks are a common problem for companies worldwide. Research shows that there is an increase in international threats, especially from Asian countries. About two-thirds of the organizations attacked by hackers are forced out of business within six months. Nowadays, most companies operate under a constant threat of cyber crime. This problem costs small and medium-sized businesses over $188,242 a year.
Cyber Attacks at a Glance
Some of the world’s largest organizations, such as Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, and eBay, have been hacked over the past few years. It’s not “if,” but “when” that your company will fall prey. Hackers can steal valuable data, credit card information, and intellectual property from your organization anytime. Most attacks are designed to sabotage operations, compromise a company’s position, or simply do harm.
According to Verizon, 92 percent of all incidents that took place in 2014 stemmed from nine types of attacks, such as POS intrusions, cyber-espionage, malicious traffic attacks, Web app attacks, and misuse of computer access privileges. Retailers, banks, restaurants, and hotels are particularly at risk of payment card skimmers. POS intrusions are common among hospitality companies and small retailers.
The best defense against cyber attacks is to learn about this problem and make yourself a difficult target. Many companies have been hacked just because they had poor security or did not protect their Wi-Fi systems with a strong password. Simple things, such as encrypting your data, securing your hardware, and using anti-malware and anti-virus protection, can dramatically lower the risk of cybercrime.
How to Protect Your Business from a Cyber Attack
Most cyber attacks target small and medium-sized companies who fail to protect themselves. Hackers have developed newer, more sophisticated methods to steal data and generate revenue, such as the Crypto Ransomware, custom attack programs, and “Trojanized” software updates. As a result, more and more organizations are hiring IT security experts. Some also purchase Cyber Liability insurance, which usually covers security updates, data restoration expenses, forensic services, and lawsuit defense costs.
If you’ve just launched your business, consider applying for a loan to hire an IT expert or buy insurance. A company like Business Credit and Capital can provide you with the money needed to secure your data and prevent cyber attacks. You can use the funds to assess risks and vulnerabilities, set up proper firewalls, and secure mobile devices used for business purposes. Companies can also prevent cybercrime by installing malware and virus protection software.
Even a minor cyber attack can have dramatic consequences and affect your reputation. An intrusion into the company’s data may lead to password breaches, theft of confidential information, spam, viruses, spyware, and website defacement. Repairing the damage can cost millions of dollars.
If you’re not familiar with IT security, hire an expert. There are many companies that can educate your employees on the dangers of cybercrime, install anti-virus protection, and implement email security solutions. Some also provide password software, mobile device management, data encryption services, and risk assessment. New scams are constantly popping up, so it’s essential that you know the risks and make time for training.