Nearly every business or government organization today is vulnerable to cyber attack. Through email, social media, ransomware, or a simple website hack, malicious actors can gain access to your company’s data in a number of ways, costing you hundreds of thousands of dollars and seriously damaging your firm’s reputation.
You can do several important things to protect your business or organization from a cyber attack. Taking these steps can dramatically reduce your risk profile and protect your valuable data.
Cyber Attacks Are on the Rise
It’s not a secret that cyber attacks are on the rise. According to the 2021 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, the percentage of firms that suffered from cyber attacks increased from 38% to 43% over the past year. More than 15% of those firms were victims of ransomware — and more than half of them paid up.
Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that, over the course of 2021, a cyber attack will occur every 11 seconds. That’s more than double the rate in 2019 and 4 times what it was in 2016. The danger is definitely increasing — so your firm needs to be doubly prepared for a potential attack.
7 Ways to Prepare for a Cyber Attack
How can your organization best guard against cyber attacks? Here are seven things you can do to prepare.
1. Conduct a Cybersecurity Audit
Start your preparation by conducting a cybersecurity audit. Assess what data you have, where it’s stored, how valuable it is, and how vulnerable it is. Consider all possible means of attack and how well you’re currently prepared for one. Determine your cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses — and then work on fixing those weaknesses.
2. Back Up Essential Data
The strongest cybersecurity in the world won’t stop malicious actors from trying to breach your system. If you can be attacked, you will be attacked. Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst by backing up all your critical data regularly. Keep one backup on site and create another backup offsite or in the cloud. This protects you in case of ransomware attacks or if a cyber attack damages your data.
3. Improve Your Password Security
If your organization is like most, your employees practice lax password security. For example, a Google/Harris poll reveals that two-thirds of all Americans use the same password for multiple accounts. You should require your employees to use complex passwords, to use different passwords for each account or service, and to change their passwords regularly. You should also consider employing two-step authentication for an added layer of security.
4. Update All Devices
Many cyber attackers break into protected systems via connected devices that haven’t received the latest security patches. To protect against this, keep all your devices — printers, computers, and personal devices, like mobile phones — regularly updated with the latest patches.
5. Train Your Employees
It’s important to imbue your employees with the proper cybersecurity mindset, which you can do with regular training. They need to be aware of all cybersecurity best practices, including being on guard for phishing and other social engineering attacks. Unprepared or careless employees can be the weakest link in your cybersecurity defenses.
6. Create a Cyber Incident Response Plan
What will your organization do if you experience a cyber attack? Plan ahead so that everyone in your organization, from IT on down, knows the proper responses to different types of cyber attack. Your cyber incident response plan needs to lay out, in step-by-step detail, how you will respond to DOS attacks, ransomware attacks, data breaches, and more — and who’s responsible for what. If and when an attack occurs, all you need to do is pull out your response plan and follow the instructions there.
7. Employ Encrypted Communications
The final step to guard against cyber attack is to switch to a communications platform that utilizes end-to-end encryption. Communications between employees, especially remote employees, are particularly vulnerable to interception and attack. This kind of unauthorized access can cause sensitive information to leak and can provide a backdoor into your corporate network. If you encrypt all communications from start to finish, any malicious actors gaining access won’t be able to view or hear anything but garbled nonsense.
Let Wickr Help Your Organization Guard Against Cyber Attack
Wickr is a secure B2B communication and collaboration platform that can dramatically reduce your exposure to cyber attack. The Wickr platform uses military-grade end-to-end encryption to minimize the risk of malicious actors intercepting employee-to-employee text, voice, and video communications. Contact the communication experts at Wickr today to learn more about securing your communications — and providing another level of security for your organization.
Contact us today to learn more about Wickr’s secure communication platform.