How to Avoid the Risk
of a Cybersecurity Attack
Businesses of all sizes and industries face the risk of cyberattacks. And just last year, the world seemingly entered a new era of online business. According to the financial professional & investment firm Nation Wide, 55% of small businesses have experienced a data breach and 53% had multiple breaches in 2020.
The first step to avoiding an attack is understanding cybersecurity and the risks your business faces. If you do not follow the right steps to avoid an attack, you will face:
- Loss of productivity.
- Loss of income.
- Negative customer experiences.
- Reputation damage.
- Data loss with permanent damage for your company.
Individuals and organized hackers take advantage of lax security measures. But with simple actions and precautions, it is possible to avoid the most common mistakes that many organizations make.
Cybersecurity is the use of technology, plans, and practices to protect an organization from cyber-attacks. Having cybersecurity in place prevents damage caused by attacks or unauthorized access to information. Its main focus is to protect private networks, devices, data, and software from security breaches.
In conclusion, every business needs a cybersecurity section in its risk management plan to protect the entire company.
According to CISCO, an American multinational technology conglomerate, “Cyberattacks are usually aimed at accessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information; extorting money from users; or interrupting normal business processes. Implementing effective cybersecurity measures is particularly challenging today because there are more devices than people, and attackers are becoming more innovative.”
Now more than ever, it is important to know how to protect your organization from a cyberattack.
How to Avoid a Cyberattack
The first step toward Cybersecurity is taking stock and knowing your company’s vulnerabilities. This way, you can plan ahead for a guaranteed attempt by hackers to infiltrate your system. This is the best way to thwart hackers.
Also, it is important to understand that cybercriminals are not always looking for monetary gain. Cybercriminals are looking to breach data. If successful, losing data results in a loss of trust from your clients thus making you lose money.
No matter the reason for a cyberattack, your business will lose money when a successful one occurs. So, it is important to have a plan in place to avoid an attack.
Here are some questions that will help you create your own risk management plan:
- What cyber risks is my organization facing?
- What would you say are the weak links in your organization’s security?
- What damage is going to result from an attack?
- Do you have a strategy in place to avoid an attack?
- How can you minimize the impact of a cyberattack?
- Where can you use risk transfer?
By asking yourself these questions and finding the answers, you are on the way to avoiding a cyberattack.
Steps to Follow
Now that you have a risk management plan in place, remember that there is no guarantee that your organization will not face an attack.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued guidelines in its risk assessment framework that recommended a shift toward continuous monitoring and real-time assessment, a data-focused approach to security as opposed to the traditional perimeter-based model.
Our team at SmartCompliance suggests the following steps to help boost your risk management plan and get the entire organization on board.
To stand a chance against warding off cyberattacks, the entire organization must be on board. This means educating every employee on cybersecurity. You should not leave cybersecurity up to your IT department on their own.
Hackers know where to go when planning an attack. Because of this, you need to make sure employees who are less knowledgeable about cybersecurity know what to look out for.
Some chores are easier to put off, like uninstalling outdated software from your computer. No matter how small these tasks may seem; they are important for your organization’s cyber safety.
Set a daily routine to follow to make sure you are keeping your organization safe. This goes for all employees and is something they should do from the start.
Hire a Consultant
Some companies decide to hire an outside consultant to help their IT team review and update their cybersecurity plan. A fresh set of eyes uncovers risks your organization is facing that you were unaware of.
According to Digital Guardian, the most difficult challenge in cybersecurity is the ever-evolving nature of security risks themselves. “Traditionally, organizations and the government have focused most of their cybersecurity resources on perimeter security to protect only their most crucial system components and defend against known threats. Today, this approach is insufficient, as the threats advance and change more quickly than organizations can keep up with. As a result, advisory organizations promote more proactive and adaptive approaches to cybersecurity.”
Why You Need Cyber Insurance
Having a cyber risk management plan in place is important for your organization’s safety because you cannot avoid all risks only by following best practices. Sometimes, the best way to avoid risk is by transferring it!
You can transfer cyber risk with a cyber liability insurance policy. This policy works in union with your risk management plan, here’s how.
Your risk management plan does an outstanding job of protecting your organization from cyberattacks, but there is a hole in your plan and a hacker got some outdated data. Even though this data is outdated, your organization is still facing financial repercussions.
Because of the attack, your organization must keep software up to date. With your cyber liability policy, you have coverage for the software under first-party liability.
Now, what if the data the hacker stole is related to customers? Here, third-party insurance kicks in and helps you with any client lawsuits or damages.
Besides legal fees and expenses, cyber insurance typically helps with:
- Notifying customers about a data breach.
- Restoring the personal identities of affected customers.
- Recovering compromised data.
- Repairing damaged computer systems.
Cyber liability insurance covers a lot, and we only discussed a small part of it. Check out our blog to learn more about cyber liability insurance and other policies to protect your business.