Both small and large businesses are being increasingly impacted by cyberattacks, but an attack can be especially devastating for a small business. Cybercrime Magazine has estimated that 60% of small businesses fail within six months of a cyberattack, and a high majority of those attacks could have been avoided. Too often, criminals gain access to a company’s computer network due to the negligence of an employee. To help keep your computer system safe and secure, make sure your employees understand their responsibilities.
Malware is one of the major culprits behind cyberattacks; it is malicious software created to infiltrate a computer, locate confidential data and, in many cases, steal it. Among the different sorts of malware are spyware, viruses, worms and other forms of malevolent code. If it takes hold, malware can enable hackers to access the personal and sensitive customer information in your possession.
Don’t assume your employees know best practices for avoiding or recognizing risk. Talk to them about the importance of avoiding unfamiliar links and attachments. According to the U.S. Government’s Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, “90% of successful cyber-attacks start with a phishing email.” CISA recommends making sure employees allow their devices to automatically install updates, which often contain security enhancements. It may also be prudent to provide comprehensive education on other ways to protect your organization’s data.
Employees should not use company computers for personal purposes. You may want to require them to refrain from checking their personal e-mail accounts, using social media channels or surfing the Internet on the company’s computers.
You should also caution your employees to make sure they are securely accessing your network while outside the office. When they are not in the office, they should never leave their devices unattended. They should password-protect their cell phones or tablets and log off or lock the screen each time they leave. CISA also stresses the importance of two-factor authentication. This process of verifying one’s identity twice before entering an account can hugely diminish the chances of a hacker getting to confidential information.
By equipping staff with the knowledge they need, businesses can make sure their frontline defense –their employees – is well-prepared for any potential cyberattack.
Unfortunately, no matter how diligent you and your employees are, the risk of a cyber attack still exists. Join our next webinar to learn more about preventing cyberattacks, and visit our website to learn more about how we can protect your organization with AppGuard.