Why cyber criminals attack your business’s cyber security
You might think a cyber attack will never impact your business, but there has been a rise in the number of businesses and organisations attacked, with even the smallest and suspected-least-likely seeing breaches. In the past year alone, 47 percent of small businesses experienced a cyber attack – and out of those, 44 percent experienced more than one.
It’s clear why it’s important for large companies and businesses to invest in cyber security. However, SMEs have become potentially low-hanging fruit for criminals looking for a low-effort, high-reward attack.
Here are the 5 main reasons why it’s important businesses invest in cyber security and arrange comprehensive cyber insurance.
1. Stealing user data
All businesses hold large amounts of valuable user data. From large conglomerates to SMEs, it is your duty of care to keep secure customer client and employee data. Information such as contact details and account information is necessary for businesses to keep on file, it is also a goldmine for hackers. Cyber attackers are looking for any data that can be sold or used to breach other accounts or help them to make fraudulent purchases.
In this regard, SMEs are ideal for attackers. With their lack of security, there requires little effort for significant reward, which is much more appealing than spending time and resources trying to hack sophisticated systems put in place by experts. Don’t let yourself be an easy target.
What to do: User data needs to be protected by admin accounts and strong passwords. Ensure your passwords are not written down or in full view. Password managers are useful for organising your company passwords over many accounts.
Businesses should ensure all data is regularly backed up and all computer systems are password protected. Use a long, strong password that contains a random mix of characters.
2. Slack security
However big or small your business, make sure your staff and volunteers are trained effectively. Everyone working at your company should know the dangers of a cyber attack, and should know where to avoid falling for scams or phishing attempts. Phishers prey on employees in hopes they will open pop-up windows or other malicious links that could have viruses and malware embedded in them. That’s why it’s important to be cautious of links and attachments in emails from senders you don’t recognize.
With just one click, staff could enable hackers to infiltrate your network and private information.
The biggest threat to your business is your employees, so follow simple steps to make sure your employees don’t fall foul of an attack.
3. Unsecure Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi that isn’t secure could lead to personal information being stolen. Many businesses offer free Wi-Fi to customers and visitors. This needs to be made secure.
Businesses should use different passwords for accounts, and have a separate Wi-Fi network for customers, staff and also your POS system. Only ever provide the ‘Guest’ Wi-Fi code that gives members access to the ‘Guest’ network only, and make sure this password is regularly changed.
Encourage guests to use VPN (virtual private networks) if they’re going to work with sensitive data as some hackers are using open Wi-Fi to trick guests. VPN’s are excellent for encrypting and protecting user information.
4. Regulatory action and negligence claims
As well as commercial losses and compromised data, attacks will expose your business to reputational damage and legal consequences. Regulatory sanctions and fines will be awarded to your businesses if you are found to have accidentally or deliberately compromised your customer’s data. And if you are judged to have not deployed appropriate security measures, you will be prosecuted and will result in a reduction in profits.
To act to defend yourself as well as minimise the impact of cyber attacks, effective reports and assessments need to be administered regularly. For advice, see out your qualified business broker here.
5. Fraud and sabotage
Cyber attackers defraud or mislead people to share information with them, often by posing as an authoritative figure. This authoritative figure maybe a duplicate of someone from your business, putting your business and reputation in jeopardy.
If a fraudulent person does get hold of your account or your staff member’s account, they may abuse this by making purchases. The best way to mitigate against this risk is by incorporating dual authentication. This will double check all payment transactions, ensuring purchases require two pairs of eyes. There should always be someone verifying transactions to avoid risk of scamming.
The importance of cyber insurance for businesses
Research suggests the cost of a cyber attack in 2021 was £2.9 million per incident. The cost of recovery and the ransom payment could stretch the overall damages into the tens of millions. Cyber Insurance is crucial to a business’s welfare.
Romero Insurance Brokers will ensure you have an expert handler who can keep your covered, day and night. While our insurance will help avoid a financial fiasco, you should always consider risk management too. We offer sound advice, risk assessment checklists, and full free consultation for all our clients. For more information, or to speak to our risk management team, please get in touch.