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How to Guard Your Business Against Cybercrime and Data Breaches

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Cyberattacks happen every day all over the world and affect businesses and organizations of all types and all sizes. While some of these attacks have been highly publicized, there are thousands occurring every day that go under the radar.

It has been estimated that in 2015, worldwide cybercrime cost 3 trillion US dollars, and that figure has only risen since. While the technology and finance industries are the most at risk from cybercrime, many small businesses from all industries have been targeted.

Data breaches can not only cost businesses large sums of money but can also potentially open them up to legal challenges around data protection. Ensuring that your security systems are effective and up to date is a vital part of doing business in the modern world.

Prepare Pre-emptively

It is advised that you do not wait until after you have suffered an attack to make sure that your cybersecurity is up to date – instead, you should operate under the assumption that your business can and will be targeted at some point. The specific threats to your business will be largely dependent on what sector and industry you are operating in, but it is best to check with other business owners in your industry and carry out regular research into attacks on businesses in your industry, as well as any potential new threats on the horizon.

Install Effective Antivirus Software

Antivirus software is vital for everyone who uses the internet, and businesses are no exception. There are many different options for antivirus software out there, with free and paid solutions available. As a general rule, the larger and more profitable your business is, the higher the level of security you should utilize. Guarding your profitable business against attacks with a free antivirus solution may save a bit of money in the short term, but you will be potentially risking far greater sums on money if you are successfully breached!

In addition to antivirus software, there are also many network monitoring tools that can help you to monitor your network traffic and identify any potential issues.

Devise a Company Security Policy

An effective company security policy can help ensure that all members of staff are educated in the potential threats that are out there, and trained to carry out procedures that reduce the chances of being attacked as much as is possible. The weakest points in any security system are usually those susceptible to human error, such as weak passwords, opening phishing emails, and sending sensitive information through communications channels that are not secure. You should always ensure that all members of staff follow correct procedures, and it may be worth outsourcing security training or even hiring an in-house Data and Security Manager!

Carry Out Regular Security Audits

The best way to ensure that your security systems are robust is to carry out regular audits. These audits can range from simply checking security software for updates and requesting staff to regularly change their passwords, all the way to outsourcing companies to carry out penetration tests, where ethical hackers attempt to breach your security systems in order to reveal any potential weak points!

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