Cyber Threats: Protecting Your Business’s Data from External Threats

It doesn’t matter how big your business is, it could still be facing the growing threat of cyber attacks. In fact, the cost of cyber crime is expected to reach a whopping $2.1 billion by 2019, which is a huge increase on the $400 billion it cost in 2015.

But what can you, as a business owner, do?

Cyber Attack Insurance

This modern-day solution is providing some business owners with peace of mind because it offers coverage for things like crisis management, business interruption, media liability and credit monitoring. At present, there are only a small number of companies offering this type of insurance, and you will find that the coverage available varies significantly with each one.

However, unfortunately, the policies that are available can be pretty expensive. With premiums reaching as much as $35,000 for $1 million worth of coverage. For SMBs, this often isn’t even an option, which is why putting preventative practices in place are the best way forward.

Here’s what you can do:

Establish a Firewall

Firewalls come in two forms – software (internal) and hardware (external). They help to control the data coming out of and into your computer, preventing any unauthorized access from getting into your network. Some operating systems will have a firewall built into it, but, even if it already does, it’s also worth adding another layer of protection.

Furthermore, some networks, e.g. SD Wan are securely encrypted, which will also provide you with additional security.

Regularly Change Passwords

Even though changing your passwords regularly can be incredibly irritating, especially if you start to lose track of them, it’s vital when you’re trying to keep your business data secure. You should aim to change your passwords every two months, encouraging each employee to do the same.

It’s equally as important that strong passwords are being created every time. Make sure they’re a mix of letters, symbols, and numbers and are at least eight characters long. Don’t use any personal information within them, e.g. your date of birth, partner’s or kids’ names, and never share this password with anyone.

Train Your Staff

To make sure your staff are following all of the correct procedures, create a written policy about data security and have all your employees read it. Make sure they’re trained in all the best practices and security basics required, even going over the best ways to use emails and to browse the Web. For example, employees shouldn’t open an email attachment unless they know who the sender is and they shouldn’t visit any websites that have a suspicious URL.

Don’t forget to educate them on what information is confidential or sensitive, too, being sure to cover what their responsibilities are for protecting this data.

As the threat of cyber attacks grows at an alarming rate, don’t avoid this issue. Start with the above simple tips to improve the security of your business, while also taking a look at your business’s insurance policy to check for any potential gaps.

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