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Cybersecurity: 5 Ways Businesses Can Protect Data

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck|May 5, 2016

The Internet has become the lifeline of business. It is as crucial for communications and R&D functions as it is for tracking transactions and data management.

Cybersecurity: 5 Ways Businesses Can Protect Data

The Internet has become the lifeline of business. It is as crucial for communications and R&D functions as it is for tracking transactions and data management.

This is particularly true now that more and more devices are able to access a company’s network, which has pushed Cybersecurity to the forefront of priorities for a business. In fact, according to IBM Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty at the IBM Security Summit last year, the problem is even bigger than many companies think.

protect data

“We believe that data is the phenomenon of our time,” Rometti argued. “It is the world’s new natural resource. It is the new basis of competitive advantage, and it is transforming every profession and industry. If all of this is true – even inevitable – then cybercrime, by definition, is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.”

Cybercrime: The impact it can have on your business

Last year, Lloyd’s, the British insurance giant, released a report cited by Cyber Insurance magazine that cyberattacks cost businesses up to $400 billion per year. According to Forbes contributor Steve Morgan, many media outlets project that number to hit as high as $500 billion annually.

A Juniper report supported these findings by illustrating that cyber crimes quadrupled from 2013 to 2015. This is a trend that is expected to continue because by 2019 there will be four times as many cyberattacks expected to hit companies globally. As a result of rapid digitization of enterprise records and consumer data, Juniper research projects more than $2 trillion worth of damage to businesses worldwide.

What is clear is that as technology continues to evolve and be adopted by the business world, the potential cost of cyber crimes will grow with it. To prevent and mitigate the damage caused by cyberattacks, the State of New Jersey and the federal government have passed legislation to come down harder on cyber crimes.

However, that is only half the battle businesses face in preventing theft of data and online IDs, unlawful access and data harvesting, illegal account entry and hijacking, fraud, cyberterrorism, illegal downloading and file sharing, email account intrusions and various cyber crimes. All affected parties – to include consumers, financial institutions, regulators and the government – need to prioritize cybersecurity in order to create a safer environment.

That’s why listed below are some ways that small and mid-size businesses can ramp up their cybersecurity efforts.

Becoming familiar with evolving cybersecurity risks

Cybersecurity preparedness starts with collective accountability. This involves understanding the vulnerabilities – internal and external – that may adversely affect a business. It also means that businesses need to know how hackers can potentially gain entry into their systems and what types of threats they face. That can include everything from phishing, spoofing, social engineering, malware, systems hacking, pharming and an endless number of other threats. Most importantly, though, it is crucial that businesses keep their technology, software and antivirus security applications up to date.

Cybersecurity policies that are a significant part of company culture

Defining and implementing cybersecurity protocols is one thing, but employees must adhere to the policies. Furthermore, every process and decision needs to be affected by these policies so that it is as much of a priority as business development, R&D and customer service. These cybersecurity policies are a value-add for small to mid-size businesses because it is a selling point of their strategies and operations.

As such, it is necessary for employers to provide everything from education on safe practices and responses, to using unique passwords and encryption codes to protect their proprietary data.

Use phone contact to verify transaction information

Any type of transaction should be completed and verified over the phone, according to Forbes contributor Frank Sorrentino. The verification of financial requests is necessary to confirm exact details involved in a customer, vendor employee or bank transaction. This process simply adds a layer of protection onto data governance practices.

Implement incident response plans with periodic practicing and testing

These plans should be treated as emergency response plans like a fire drill. Response is as important as detection with cybersecurity protocols. All employees need to be well-versed in executing these plans down to the most minute details after a cyberbreach.

Bottom line

As cyber crimes continue to evolve, protection and preparedness are paramount. Businesses, especially smaller companies, need to ensure that their cybersecurity protocols will improve their abilities to combat mounting threats.

Cybersecurity: 5 Ways Businesses Can Protect Data

Author: Scarinci Hollenbeck

This is particularly true now that more and more devices are able to access a company’s network, which has pushed Cybersecurity to the forefront of priorities for a business. In fact, according to IBM Corp. Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty at the IBM Security Summit last year, the problem is even bigger than many companies think.

protect data

“We believe that data is the phenomenon of our time,” Rometti argued. “It is the world’s new natural resource. It is the new basis of competitive advantage, and it is transforming every profession and industry. If all of this is true – even inevitable – then cybercrime, by definition, is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world.”

Cybercrime: The impact it can have on your business

Last year, Lloyd’s, the British insurance giant, released a report cited by Cyber Insurance magazine that cyberattacks cost businesses up to $400 billion per year. According to Forbes contributor Steve Morgan, many media outlets project that number to hit as high as $500 billion annually.

A Juniper report supported these findings by illustrating that cyber crimes quadrupled from 2013 to 2015. This is a trend that is expected to continue because by 2019 there will be four times as many cyberattacks expected to hit companies globally. As a result of rapid digitization of enterprise records and consumer data, Juniper research projects more than $2 trillion worth of damage to businesses worldwide.

What is clear is that as technology continues to evolve and be adopted by the business world, the potential cost of cyber crimes will grow with it. To prevent and mitigate the damage caused by cyberattacks, the State of New Jersey and the federal government have passed legislation to come down harder on cyber crimes.

However, that is only half the battle businesses face in preventing theft of data and online IDs, unlawful access and data harvesting, illegal account entry and hijacking, fraud, cyberterrorism, illegal downloading and file sharing, email account intrusions and various cyber crimes. All affected parties – to include consumers, financial institutions, regulators and the government – need to prioritize cybersecurity in order to create a safer environment.

That’s why listed below are some ways that small and mid-size businesses can ramp up their cybersecurity efforts.

Becoming familiar with evolving cybersecurity risks

Cybersecurity preparedness starts with collective accountability. This involves understanding the vulnerabilities – internal and external – that may adversely affect a business. It also means that businesses need to know how hackers can potentially gain entry into their systems and what types of threats they face. That can include everything from phishing, spoofing, social engineering, malware, systems hacking, pharming and an endless number of other threats. Most importantly, though, it is crucial that businesses keep their technology, software and antivirus security applications up to date.

Cybersecurity policies that are a significant part of company culture

Defining and implementing cybersecurity protocols is one thing, but employees must adhere to the policies. Furthermore, every process and decision needs to be affected by these policies so that it is as much of a priority as business development, R&D and customer service. These cybersecurity policies are a value-add for small to mid-size businesses because it is a selling point of their strategies and operations.

As such, it is necessary for employers to provide everything from education on safe practices and responses, to using unique passwords and encryption codes to protect their proprietary data.

Use phone contact to verify transaction information

Any type of transaction should be completed and verified over the phone, according to Forbes contributor Frank Sorrentino. The verification of financial requests is necessary to confirm exact details involved in a customer, vendor employee or bank transaction. This process simply adds a layer of protection onto data governance practices.

Implement incident response plans with periodic practicing and testing

These plans should be treated as emergency response plans like a fire drill. Response is as important as detection with cybersecurity protocols. All employees need to be well-versed in executing these plans down to the most minute details after a cyberbreach.

Bottom line

As cyber crimes continue to evolve, protection and preparedness are paramount. Businesses, especially smaller companies, need to ensure that their cybersecurity protocols will improve their abilities to combat mounting threats.

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