How Can You Prevent Your Business from Becoming a Casualty of the Cyber War?

Some say the war has already begun, the first shots fired when the U.S. government, in cooperation with the Israeli government, launched Stuxnet against Iran’s nuclear program. And while Iran's response has been weak so far, it is only a matter of time before another nation, such as China or Russia, decide to instigate a crippling cyber attack against our nation’s infrastructure. And with their vastly superior resources, real damage could be done. So, other than direct government involvement through legislation, how can business owners and CEOs protect their company from intrusion and theft of their valuable data?

Realize Your Risk

Company risk managers should realize where their company falls in the grand scheme of things. Unless a company, in some way, can affect the financial or political structure of a country in some way, chances are that the company will be too small of a target for a cyber terrorist. This does not mean that a business is not at risk, as a cyber attack that targeted a power grid would certainly slow down a company’s ability to do business. It means that most often cyber attacks are not directed against smaller businesses, unless the attackers have something to gain, such as valuable propriety information. Regardless, company officials should have security measures in place, but not overspend as this, too, can be counterproductive.

Take Steps to Minimize Risk

Once a business knows where threats are likely to strike, it should work to take a practical approach to shoring up security. This includes such measures as installing and using strong firewalls and enforcing effective password protocols among employees. These strategies can be done with a minimal of cost and should be enough, unless you expect your company to come under attack for a particular reason. In that case, business leaders might have to install stronger measures.

Have a Plan Ready

Just as important as having security measures in place is having a plan of action if, for some reason, your company does come under attack. This includes backing up data at a separate location, or even on the cloud, so that it can be more easily recovered. One such event to keep in mind involves what to do if your business suffers a catastrophic, extended power loss.

Stress the Importance of Security

Finally, cybersecurity measures are only as good as those using it. Employees play a large part in helping protect a company’s data. Often it is the employee who clicks on a suspicious attachment or link on their company computer who allow attackers inside. So, educating employees, and even customers who might use your network, on the proper protocols of doing everyday business safely, goes a long way toward data loss prevention.

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