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Cybersecurity Practices That Shield Your Small Enterprise

August
10, 2020

4 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

Success makes you proud. Unfortunately, valuable possessions also attract thieves. Entrepreneurs believe that a lack of customers, poor service, and limited capital are what cause bankruptcy. Try to become a victim of cyber crime.

A 2019 report by insurance company Hiscox found that 60 percent of companies that are victims of a cyberattack go out of business within six months. The average loss is $ 200,000. That's a substantial sum for startups, most of which have already been hit by the virus outbreak. Right now, 15 percent of small businesses don't expect to survive the recession, which means a cyberattack would have devastating consequences.

Here you can find cybersecurity practices that will protect your business.

Training employees in security protocols

While large companies get all the media attention, hackers are also taking advantage of smaller organizations. Part of this is because criminals know that small businesses have fewer IT security resources. A 2019 Accenture study found that 43 percent of cyber attacks target small businesses, but only 14 percent are willing to defend themselves. Another McAfee study found that only 30 percent of employees receive annual cybersecurity training.

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With startups on a leaner budget, it is important to implement the right security protocols that will mitigate most of the risk. Employee training should be high on the list. Experienced employees make it difficult for fraudsters to gain unauthorized access to networks, files and banking information. Business owners or a security professional should train staff to back up data regularly. Update software; Avoid suspicious websites and links. and ignore or report unwanted requests.

Through training, employees know how to use multi-factor authentication on devices and accounts. Finally, trained employees reduce the risk of social hacking, in which criminals pose as legitimate customers or vendors in order to obtain confidential information. Business owners and owners should keep abreast of ongoing threats.

Make your devices and platforms hacker-proof

According to analytics firm Whale Alert, fraudsters stole $ 24 million worth of Bitcoin in the first half of 2020. That's a small amount on a large scale, but cryptocurrency theft has grown in importance since the recent Twitter hacking of Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Elon Musk, and other VIPs. In addition to harming victims' wallets, cybercrime also damages the reputation and credibility of billions of dollars.

In the Twitter hack, criminals stole cryptocurrencies by posting wallet addresses on celebrity accounts and asking for donations, supposedly for charity. Scammers posted ads on YouTube and other social platforms falsely claiming that billionaire Musk had given away 5,000 bitcoins. According to Whale Alert, such scams can net criminals more than $ 130,000 a day.

"Digital money theft will continue to increase as fraudsters use sophisticated methods to access devices, email, social profiles, keystrokes and even two-factor authentication codes," said Ruben Merre, CEO of blockchain security company NGRAVE. "As adoption increases, overall more funds flow into the room, and therefore the attractiveness for fraud practices also increases. In certain situations it is better to take valuable items offline and minimize online connection options, as these are all potentially attack vectors for hackers or scammers. "

How do criminals steal multi-factor codes? You can replace a phone's SIM card or install malware that tracks keystrokes on a device and / or monitors an electronic screen. Hackers have mistakenly described apps as coronavirus-related functions designed to trick users into downloading malware. Criminals have recently targeted hospitals because their quick access to COVID-19 data makes them more likely to have to pay ransom when that data becomes inaccessible.

Install anti-virus and anti-malware software

As mentioned earlier, small businesses have limited budgets and often lack IT expertise and resources. Inexpensive, big impact solutions are the way to go.

Business owners should install the latest anti-virus and anti-malware software that can be used to find and identify threats. You can also enable Microsoft and Google security features like firewalls, browser verification, and file encryption to keep data safe. Encryption renders data unusable for unauthorized individuals, and fraudsters are more likely to target potential victims who are less resistant.

Related: 6 Cyber ‚Äč‚ÄčThreats That You Should Not Ignore

Finally, your software and operating system should be kept up to date. Run a full scan weekly. Another inexpensive solution is a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN hides your IP address so you can surf the internet anonymously. It's harder for criminals to hack your hardware or accounts if they can't track you. And delete any unnecessary apps and software clogging your phone and laptop.

Crime is evolving and entrepreneurs should adapt to the risks they face.

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