The average business used to be an unlikely target for a sophisticated cyber breach in recent years. A small brand and fewer finances has, in the past, worked well in its favor to ward off attention. It’s like robbing a trailer home… why take the risk to rob someone that has little to lose?
But That Isn’t The Case Anymore:
The dam has broken for small and medium sized businesses counting on their size for keeping them out of harm’s way. A report reveals that hackers are increasingly focusing on small businesses, which means companies of all sizes must prepare for the unknown so they have the ability to prevent and withstand unforeseen cyber events.
The cloud movement of businesses is also creating new targets for attackers. A survey conducted by the Cloud Security Alliance lists some of the threats facing businesses using the cloud, pointing out the increased risks of cyber attacks geared towards stealing sensitive data. Denial of service, account hijacks, and exposed APIs are some other threats pertaining to the cloud.
Additionally, the rise in bring-your-own-device trend is developing new facets of cyber challenges. While companies acknowledge that staff can be more productive with their own devices in workplace, they often do not take the security precautions, opening up businesses to cyber threats. According to ComputerWeekly, SMEs are struggling to keep their IT infrastructure up to date with the increasing volume of cyber threats and mobile working.
Best Practices For Safeguarding Cyber Identity:
To combat the nuances of cyber threats and newer breeds of vulnerabilities, businesses need to implement solid security practices. Some of these measures will help define the way forward:
A cyber attack on a company’s network can overwhelm its bandwidth, so it’s important for businesses to make sure any traffic increase is solicited. This is possible through business service monitoring as it delivers a single, unified view of server layout within companies. According to OPSVIEW, a monitoring service that includes long-term data retention, reporting and 3D analysis enables better management of cyber security.
Network monitoring will also help in identifying cloud and BYOD usage patterns and locations of access at different times. A sudden increase in traffic from these sources could be a sign of a breach. Internal network monitoring is essential, but not enough to detect threats early or pinpoint the root cause of a breach, so businesses should combine it with external service monitoring for building a solid cyber security foundation.
Shockingly, a majority of cyber attacks in 2013 involved employees playing a key role, especially when it comes to SMEs. The 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study: Global Analysis reveals that human errors along with system errors accounted for two-third of data breaches. Issues include violations of regulations and employee mishandling of confidential data.
Therefore employees should be educated about their responsibility to handle company data securely. They should also be educated on choosing strong passwords, risks of using unauthorized software and dangers of using BYOD approved devices on public networks.
There is likely to be some sensitive data in a business. Once hackers bypass anti-virus, firewalls and other basic security controls set by a company, the information is vulnerable. Encryption makes the data unreadable so there is no threat should it fall into unauthorized hands.
Proper encryption also acts as a safe harbor against regulation penalties pertaining to data loss disclose. Data should also be encrypted before it is stored on removable devices.