Do You Need to Worry About Cybersecurity?




Turning Point HCM is proud to present the following article by Dean Burgess, of Excitepreneur.net. Dean Burgess started Excitepreneur to explore the areas of entrepreneurship that are often overlooked, and share with current and aspiring entrepreneurs the stories and lessons he has learned. He fully believes entrepreneurs will lead us to a more exciting future.

 

Although there is a perception that cyberattacks primarily target big businesses, the reality is different. In 2021, researcher AdvisorSmith reported that 42% of SMEs were targeted by cybercriminals. In fact, hackers can breach up to 93% of company networks.


What Is a Cyberattack?

A cyberattack is defined as an unauthorized attempt to access a computer system with the intent to steal, alter, disable, or destroy information, usually for financial gain but also for malicious reasons. Examples include:

  • Phishing. Bogus communications purporting to be from trusted sources to trick victims into revealing passwords, banking details, and confidential information.

  • Malware. Malicious software allows attackers to steal sensitive information.

  • Hacking. Taking control of computer systems to disrupt the business and extort money.

Your Business Is at Risk From Cyberattacks

Business risks from an unauthorized breach include direct and indirect financial losses, data loss, damaged reputations, and fines under data protection laws. According to the 2021 IBM threat protection index, ransomware was the number one threat responsible for 23% of attacks. On average, ransomware attacks result in 15 days of downtime and the average 2021 payout by midsized companies was $170,000. Data theft of intellectual property, confidential information, and personal data was the next most common form of attack, at 13%.


How to Avoid a Cyberattack

While you may not prevent an attack, there's a lot you can do to mitigate its effect and make your systems secure. One of the best ways is employee education. Work with your HR team to teach employees to look out for suspicious signs like fraudulent links on emails and unusual requests for information. Use secure passwords and two-factor authentication. Make certain sensitive data is well protected and only accessible by authorized employees.


Also, install a secure firewall, and keep operating and business software up to date. Use endpoint protection for laptops and mobile devices. Back up all data regularly and keep multiple copies, so you can recover in case of data deletion or ransomware attack. It’s also wise to use password-protected PDFs to protect sensitive files. For particularly large files, you can use a compress PDF​ online tool to reduce file sizes and make them easier to email.


In conjunction with experts, proactively identify cyber threats and develop recovery plans so you know what to do if you're attacked. Use a third party to discover sensitive company information on the internet and arrange for its removal.


What to Do if Your Business Is a Victim of Cyberattack

If you are a victim of a cyberattack, you must respond quickly to minimize and contain its impact. Key steps include:

  • Containment. Immediately disconnect and isolate critical servers. Take websites offline, and disconnect everything from the internet. Isolate infected computers.

  • Professional support. If you don't have in-house expertise, call in cybersecurity professionals.

  • Report. Be transparent and report the attack to law authorities, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, employees, your customers, your insurer, and anyone affected by the breach.

  • Recovery. Implement your recovery plan and identify steps needed to get back into business as quickly as possible.

Avoid Loss by Taking Cybersecurity Seriously

While it's not always possible to prevent cyberattacks, taking proactive steps to secure your network makes it more difficult for criminals, and having a recovery plan helps minimize disruption.


TurningPoint HCM builds a customized solution tailored to meet our client's objectives while focusing on price, service and doing what is best for our clients. We also offer several different types of self-paced, online cybersecurity training - get started today!