Businesses have gone digital for good reasons, but that has also exposed them to cyberattacks. The intensity and sophistication of these attacks has warranted the need for companies to rethink their cybersecurity.

A recent survey on successful cyberattacks on businesses found that:

  • Attacks on small businesses tripled from four percent in 2015 to 12 percent this year.
  • Midsize company attacks doubled from 10 percent in 2015 to 20 percent this year.
  • Large business attacks increased, from 19 percent in 2015 to 33 percent this year.

What does cybersecurity mean?

Cybersecurity is the protection of IT systems, networks, and programs from attacks. The attacks can be in the form of theft, unauthorized access, damage, destruction, disruption, or extortion.

Types of cybersecurity attacks are:

  • Phishing is the most common type of cyber attackers. It involves the practice of sending fraudulent emails that look like emails from reputable sources. It’s usually a scam used to get sensitive data like your credit card number or passwords.
  • Ransomware is software that encrypts files and data on your device. The hacker will then demand a payment for you to access your data. However, payment never guarantees the recovery of your data.
  • Malware is a type of software used to gain unauthorized access or to cause damages, like a virus, to a computer.
  • Social engineering is a form of cyberattack that hacks the individual rather than the IT system. Humans are simple to trick over protected IT systems; they can unwittingly reveal sensitive information to hackers. Social engineering can be used together with other types of cyberattacks and result in the individual clicking on malicious links, downloading malware, or reveal information to a malicious source.

Don’t only big corporations get hacked?

No, anybody can get hacked. Hackers don’t care whether you are big or small; what matters is how easy it is to fool you. A report found that hackers prefer to attack small businesses so much so that 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses.

So what does this mean for your company?

Not having an effective cybersecurity strategy can be detrimental to your business. The impact will be felt in your bottom line and can even result in your business shutting down. Some effects of cyberattacks to your business are:

1.Your data can be lost entirely or damaged.

2.Productivity will be affected if your machines are infected.

3.If technology drives sales, then your business will suffer income loss.

4.Data and privacy regulations have made it costly for businesses to lose or compromise customer data.

5.Downloading ransomware can result in extortion losses.

6.Cyberattacks can damage both your reputation and brand.

Stay protected

To protect your business from cyberattacks, it is crucial to focus on your staff, processes, and technology. You can keep your business protected from cyberattacks by:

1.Ensuring that your team is aware of cybersecurity protocols, procedures, and best practices. This requires training and constant awareness.

2.Your business must have a framework to identify attacks, protect systems, detect, and respond to threats, along with recovering from successful attacks. This entails making backup copies of essential business data and information, controlling access computers and network components, securing your Wi-Fi network, limiting staff authority to install software, along with regularly changing passwords.

3.Finally, it is essential to have the right technological tools to protect networks, routers, the cloud, and endpoint devices like computers or smartphones. This involves installing antivirus, protection against ransomware, and antispyware software on your devices. Protection software, operating systems, and applications must always be up to date. It is also essential to use a firewall to protect your internet connection.

Secure your business’ future

IT administrators and business owners have to not only up their game when it comes to cybersecurity, but they also have to stay up to date with it. The hardware, software, and networks that make businesses more profitable are also weak points if not appropriately managed.