Cyber Attacks Are on the Rise: Here’s How to Keep Your Business Safe

The coronavirus pandemic has upended life as we know it in many ways. People are staying home as many businesses operate remotely. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has not only caused a physical disruption, but it has also allowed for a new emphasis on cybersecurity as many businesses have fallen prey to coronavirus-related cyber attacks.

One cyber threat intelligence provider spotted 192,000 COVID-19 related cyberattacks in just three weeks. These attacks include malicious websites with “corona” or “COVID” in the domain name, files with “corona” in their name, and files attached to coronavirus-related phishing emails.

Many businesses have swiftly changed their infrastructure and are adopting new systems in the process without proper training. This leaves companies vulnerable to cyber criminals and hackers. Below are some ways you can keep your business safe from cyber attacks.

Use Proper Security Software/Equipment

Make it difficult for hackers to access your company’s sensitive information by installing firewalls. This security software and equipment can prevent cybercriminals from unauthorized access and can also prevent employees from browsing on malicious websites.

For optimal use, it is better to install and consistently update firewall systems on every company computer, smartphone or tablet. For an added layer of protection, you could install an intrusion detection system.

It’s also important to keep all your technology systems and software updated regularly. These updates usually include new or strengthened security features, and sometimes even install software patches or updates that protect against new strains of viruses or repair specific vulnerabilities.

For sensitive business data, including customer information, employee information, and all business data, full-disk encryption can safeguard your company’s devices. Encrypting data ensures that sensitive data will be useless if it falls into the wrong hands. As an added measure, it’s best to back up all data.

Using email filters is another way to reduce your company’s chances of a cybersecurity breach. Email filters can ward off hackers and prevent spam from congesting inboxes.

A professional company offering Tampa IT services can help you select the proper equipment and measures to protect your company’s security.

Educate Your Team

Human error is the cause for 49% of data breaches, according to a 2019 IBM study.

This is why training employees on what business and personal use is permitted for remote devices, how to treat business information at the office or at home, what cyber threats and attacks to look for and how to identify them, and protocol if a cybersecurity incident occurs is important in keeping your business safe.

Employees should have a clear understanding of what unsecured networks are, where they can be commonly found, and why they should never access unsecured websites on work devices.

The importance of restricting access should also be taught to employees. Password sharing among employees is a cybersecurity breach waiting to happen. Employees should be trained on the dangers of sharing passwords and employers should create temporary passwords for temporary employees or contractors.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, employees should be on the lookout for cybercriminals looking to exploit the coronavirus.

According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, your staff should be wary of phishing threats via email or text message that use the subject of coronavirus or COVID-19 as a lure and malware distribution using coronavirus or COVID-19 themed keywords, as well as domain names that contain words related to coronavirus or COVID-19.

Perform Risk Assessments

The NIST says risk assessments are a key part in effective risk management that help facilitate decision making at all levels of your risk management. For businesses that have transitioned to remote operations, a risk operation is especially essential to assess vulnerabilities that may have opened up as workers have moved to new locations.

Risk assessments are used to identify, estimate, and prioritize risk to organizational operations, organizational assets, individuals, and other organizations your company may work with resulting from the operation and use of information systems.

Their purpose is to inform decision-makers of relevant threats to the organization, vulnerabilities both internal and external, the impact of those threats to all stakeholders, and the likelihood those threats will occur.