Cybersecurity 101: How to Protect Your Business

hacker in the city cybersecurity

Iconic heists have made and destroyed fortunes. They make great scenes for exciting movie plots. Think of Butch Cassidy and his gang blowing up train tracks and fleeing on horseback with $50,000 in cash. Or consider a thief walking out of the Louvre with the most famous painting in the world.  

These physical heists seem exciting, but they don’t measure up to the ill-gotten gains possible through cyberheists. One ring of Russian hackers recently stole over a billion dollars from banks using malware and phishing. This group, whose leader was arrested last year, is just one example of the threat that cybercrime poses to world financial security.

Today, cybersecurity is more important than ever – especially to business owners.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity protects internet-connected computer systems and networks from unauthorized access. Cyberattacks pose a threat to business operations because they often aim to alter or destroy digital information or threaten financial integrity.

Just how much of a threat is cybercrime? Consider this: In 2017, there were more than 300,000 complaints, totaling more than $1.4 billion in cybercrime losses reported to the FBI.

You wouldn’t leave your office doors wide open when you head home for the evening. And you shouldn’t leave your digital doors open, either. This is why you should make cybersecurity a priority. Cyberthreats can wreak havoc on your business in many ways:

  • Attacks confidentiality. Have you ever received a notification that your credit card number has been compromised? How did that make you feel? You don’t want your customers to feel that way. You must inspire trust in your customers by protecting their data and their privacy.
  • Attacks integrity. We all need to send and store sensitive communications. No one wants that information to be intercepted by a cybercriminal. Make sure you’re protecting your company and your integrity with sturdy cybersecurity.
  • Attacks availability. Would your bottom line suffer if your entire network crashed for a day or a week? What if you had to rebuild the entire thing? You worked hard for your success. Guard it with cybersecurity so that some hacker can’t tear down what you’ve built with a few strokes of their keyboard.

How is Cybercrime Carried Out?

Cybercriminals use computers, mobile devices, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and other devices to attack unsecured businesses in many ways, including identity theft, fraud, and theft of credit card numbers and customer data.  

Cybercriminals use social engineering to trick victims into revealing confidential information. Then, they carry out attacks using methods that grow more sophisticated every day, including:

  • Phishing. Phishing involves sending an official-sounding email – such as a notice from a court, bank, or the IRS – with malware hidden in its attachment. Once you click that attachment, you’ve stepped into the cyberhacker’s trap. Sometimes, the email redirects you to a fraudulent official-looking site. From there, it prompts you to enter confidential information such as your bank account or social security number.
  • Advanced persistent threats. This involves someone gaining unauthorized access to your network and hiding out like a mole. From there, hackers learn everything about your company’s confidential material. As the name indicates, it can take a long time to detect this threat, which is why it poses a significant threat to your company.
  • Unpatched software. A software patch improves the security of a computer program. Yet many users neglect to update security patches, leaving their network vulnerable. Hackers thrive on systems that have not been updated. In fact, nearly half of American adults have fallen victim to cybercrime.
  • Social media threats. Social media users share scores of personal information, but what happens when their profile is compromised? Hackers gain access to intimate family photos, embarrassing commentary, and even information about location and travel itineraries.

What are Cybersecurity Solutions?

You don’t have to build a bunker and live off-grid to protect your assets. With a comprehensive security assessment, you can identify weak spots and fortify them against cybercrime.

Look for vulnerable places and build layers of security with a variety of cybersecurity solutions, including:

  • Network security
  • Cloud security
  • Mobile security
  • IoT security
  • Endpoint security
  • Web application security
  • Email security
  • Identity and access management
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity
  • Cybersecurity awareness training

Sound overwhelming? The Federal Communications Commission offers a few simple suggestions for increasing your company’s cybersecurity:

  1. Create multi-factor authentication for each employee, such as requiring a password and a fingerprint for login access.
  2. Train employees in secure access protocol.
  3. Make backups of important files.
  4. Secure your office Wi-Fi connection and access.

Who needs cybersecurity? Businesses just like yours. These steps can provide a starting point for strong cybersecurity. To find out what other cybersecurity measures you need, conduct a security assessment. Outsmarting the criminal mind takes work – but protecting yourself, your customers, and your company is worth the effort.

You don’t have to figure it out on your own. Function4 is here to help by conducting a security assessment on your company, providing security awareness training to your employees, fortifying your security across all channels, and providing backup hosting. Contact us today.