Being a victim of a cybercrime can have a significant impact on both individuals and organizations. Small businesses are especially targeted due to their limited resources and, oftentimes, lack of advanced cybersecurity measures compared to larger businesses.
Falling victim to a cybercrime generally comes with the following consequences:
- Financial impact – incidents can cause severe financial losses due to theft of funds, ransom payments, investigating and recovery costs, potential lawsuits or regulatory fines, and insurance premiums. Due to the overwhelming costs associated with cyber incidents, it would not be surprising to see businesses shut down.
- Business Interruption – Cybercrime can be very disruptive to operations, and in the case of ransomware, a form of malware that can lock-up your data and networks, an organization’s ability to operate normally may be impacted, which could result in income loss.
- Damage to reputation – a data breach or cyber incident can damage the organization’s reputation, leading to loss of customer trust and loyalty. This can also deter new customers.
- Legal issues – legal and regulatory liability may arise from data breaches.
- Loss of IP – a cybercriminal may steal an organization’s intellectual property which could be detrimental to competition.
The above list is disconcerting, but you aren’t helpless. It’s important to take a proactive approach to cybercrime and get ahead of potential threats.
The good news is that the best defense…is offense. Building a strong foundation, educating employees, and having the right coverage are essential to combat these threats. Here’s a quick overview of what steps you can take to protect your organization.
Keep software and operating system updated
Keeping your software and operating system up to date ensures that you benefit from the latest security patches to protect your computer.
Use strong passwords
Be sure to use strong passwords and do not record them anywhere. Or use a reputable password manager to generate strong passwords randomly to make this easier.
Never open attachments in spam emails
A classic way that computers get infected by malware attacks and other forms of cybercrime is via email attachments in spam emails. Never open an attachment from a sender you do not know.
Do not click on links in spam emails or untrusted websites
Another way people become victims of cybercrime is by clicking on links in spam emails or other messages, or unfamiliar websites. Hover over the link to identify its source, or use a URL checker to check the legitimacy of a website.
Do not give out personal information unless it is secure
Never give out personal data over the phone or via email unless you are completely sure the line or email is secure. Make certain that you are speaking to the person you think you are.
Secure your wireless network
Wi-Fi (wireless) networks are vulnerable to intrusion if they are not properly secured. Review and modify default settings. Public Wi-Fi, a.k.a. “Hot Spots”, are also vulnerable. Avoid conducting financial or corporate transactions on these networks.
As always, we are here to help and to answer any questions you may have. Our job is to provide you not only with the coverage and support you need in the event of an incident but to help you avoid these threats all together.