Surefire Ways To Defend Your Business Against Hacking Attacks In 2021

Businesses of all sizes and scales are vulnerable to hacking attacks and data breaches. You may think that your systems, data, and networks are safe, but hackers are much smarter. They have ingenious ways to get through and steal your confidential data. Even worse, they attack suddenly and act stealthily, making them a daunting challenge for a business owner. Such attacks and incidents are up in number in pandemic times when remote work adds to vulnerabilities. Remote or on-site, you need to go the extra mile with cyber defense in 2021.

It is vital to up your cybersecurity game this year because the last thing you want to deal with is a hacking attack. You already have a lot to handle, and a data breach can bring your business and reputation down. Although the situation sounds grave, there are ways to address the concern. You can take relevant measures to safeguard your business against these threats and focus on rebuilding it in post-pandemic times. Here are some surefire steps that can help.

Understand the threats

Before starting with the strategy, you must understand the threats. Employee error is perhaps the most common reason, with technological weaknesses such as poor password practices and unencrypted file-sharing being rampant. A majority of businesses struggle these days because remote employees are more likely to commit such blunders. Workers with malicious intent to steal confidential information can also land you in trouble. Similarly, you may have to deal with corporate espionage with competitors trying to sabotage your reputation. Flawed networks and security policies are some other threats you may have to deal with. Understanding where breaches can originate can help you avoid being hacked.

Know the cost of getting hacked

Small businesses may take things lightly, and large ones may trust their IT teams too much. Either way, you can get into a big fix if a hacking attack comes your way. Knowing the cost of getting hacked is crucial because you will take cybersecurity more seriously. The expenses of data breaches can be devastating for any business. Typical costs include notification and compensation. You will have to notify the affected parties, such as credit card users whose data has been stolen. You may face lawsuits from them or settle through compensation. Further, you can expect penalties from regulatory authorities if the breach happens due to non-compliance. Other implications of hacking attacks include downtime, loss of customer trust, and a bad name for the business. 

Educate your team

Once you understand the gravity of a hacking attack, it becomes vital to educate your team about them. An aware and educated team is your first line of defense against a hacking attack. These employees can prevent the incident from happening in the first place. Further, they provide the warning that something is amiss. It enables you to take quick action and address the issue before it aggravates into a major problem. Run an ongoing cybersecurity training program for your team gives you the best start. You need it even more in pandemic times when at least a part of your team needs to work remotely and face imminent threats. Ensure that they have a copy of company security protocols and follow the rules stringently at all times.

Hire an expert ethical hacker 

You may have a team of IT experts to handle the network and infrastructure, but they have their limitations. You can explore the idea of having an in-house cybersecurity specialist, but they are expensive and can burden your budget. It is best to hire a hacker who works ethically to find flaws in your systems and recommend ideal solutions. An ethical hacker uses the same practices as black hat hackers to penetrate your systems. This process is called penetration testing and helps identify the tiniest gaps that attackers can exploit. A hired resource does not cost a fortune but offers worthwhile services and solutions to safeguard your business for the long haul. 

Upgrade your access controls

Access control is the cornerstone of a robust cybersecurity plan for any business. It becomes even more significant in remote work settings when employees can access data and applications from anywhere. They become the weakest links because they can damage the systems maliciously or unknowingly. The worst you can do is to forget about updating your access controls regularly.  Review your real-time requirements for usernames and passwords, and add and disable users accordingly. Keep track of login attempts to ensure that no unauthorized user can get through. When employees leave the organization, disable their accounts and change passwords right away. 

Update your software

You will probably have more software tools and apps in use right now, whether working remotely or from the office. These could be cloud-based tools, productivity apps, time trackers, and more. It is vital to ensure that all of them are updated and running their latest versions. These are the best from a security perspective because providers have the latest security patches in the updated versions. Set up auto-updates or assign the task to your IT team, but make sure you never run with older versions. Stay on top of these changes, and you can keep your data safe.

Revise your cybersecurity policies

Perhaps the most crucial step to keep your business safe from hacking attacks this year is to revise your cybersecurity policy. It is time to get a clear view of the usual threats and the additional ones prevailing in the current situation. If you have a hired hacker, they can share some helpful recommendations in this context. Consider ramping up your password practices, BYOD policies, and data access rules for remote work. Even if the employees work on-site or on a hybrid model, you will have to establish new rules to keep the business secure. When you revamp the policy, find out more about the current privacy compliance guidelines and cover them too. 

While hacking attacks are more common this year, businesses are getting smarter too. You may have to take some additional initiatives to hack-proof your organization, but they are all worthwhile. 

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