If you’re an entrepreneur in the process of starting up your own business, you’re probably plotting out your operational goals and objectives. Cybersecurity should be a primary component, particularly if you’re in a field or industry in which you’re handling sensitive, proprietary data, or financial information. AMA Business Guy is a resource for entrepreneurs, investors, and business students when it comes to accessing reliable tech-related information. Cybercrime is our topic of the day.
The Dangers of Cybercrime
According to Cybercrime Magazine, it’s anticipated cybercrime will cost the world economy more than $10.5 trillion annually by the year 2025. Cybercrime not only results in financial loss, but it can also ruin the reputation of a business and make it difficult, if not impossible, to recover. Unfortunately, some types of criminal activity can be difficult to detect until it has already infiltrated your systems and wreaked havoc. Dangers may come from external sources, or sometimes, internal actors, either by accident or through malice. That’s why it’s important to know what’s at risk, the potential outcome of various types of breaches, and the best path forward.
When it comes to IT security and protecting your future business against cyber security attacks, it can be well worth the investment to hire a professional to help you set up an appropriate system based on your company’s size and needs or, at the very least, invest in cybersecurity tools. This might include specific types of antivirus or spyware detection software that will help protect you against things like phishing scams, data breaches, identity theft, and ransomware. In addition to installing and monitoring your systems and teaching you and any staffers how to utilize them, having an expert on speed dial in the event of a breach can be invaluable. If you’re doing it yourself, PCMag offers annual reviews of some of the best-rated software programs for businesses.
Implement Physical Protections
In addition to putting IT protections in place, it’s also smart to implement physical best practices around cyber protections. For example, The Federal Communications Commission recommends being careful about who has physical access to computers, laptops, and smartphones, using password protection protocols, and locking computers when not in use. Only certain people should have administrative privileges to guard against bad actors. Securing your WiFi networks is also a wise idea. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Homeland Security all have detailed online guidelines about how to create best practices and protocols in your company.
According to Business News Daily, pre-employment screening can benefit a business in a number of ways, ensuring a good fit in your organization. If you’re hiring employees who will work in IT or handle sensitive information, including financial data and customer information, it can be worthwhile to conduct a criminal background check prior to hiring. Not only will you rest assured about their background, but you can also use your due diligence as a selling point when you’re marketing to new customers. Once on the payroll, staffers should be well trained in data protection measures. You should have formal policies in place for creating, maintaining, and changing passwords, as well as best practices on how information is stored, retrieved, and utilized.
Plan for Attack
Part of your cybersecurity planning process should include a recovery strategy in the event that you are attacked. Having a plan in place can help you resume operations quickly and protect your reputation, which can be damaged if customers feel you were negligent in handling their information. An effective data recovery plan will help you identify the applications that need to be recovered first, as well as define time objectives and allow you to pinpoint resources and teams of individuals who will be involved in early recovery efforts.
Communicating internally and externally will be important if you’re the victim of a cybercrime. In addition to helping your employees understand their respective roles and responsibilities following a breach, you may need to reach out to the public and/or your customer base to inform them of what’s happened. You will also need to tell them what the breach means to their personal or financial information, as well as outline your recovery effort and plans to mitigate damage. This falls under crisis communication planning in which employees know exactly what to do in the event something goes awry.
Cybercrime is continually evolving as criminals become more adept at hacking systems. The FBI stays on top of activity and can be an asset when it comes to reporting and recovery in the event the unthinkable happens. As in many cases, when it comes to cybersecurity, your best protection is a detailed prevention plan. AMA Business Guy is dedicated to helping business owners chart a fast route to a successful business with minimal challenges along the way. Visit the site today to learn more or reach out via email for more information.