Over the last decade, data breaches have become a major concern for businesses of all sizes. With data now being considered a commodity, hackers are continually working on ways to profit by stealing it from company devices, databases, and other storage media.
The average cost of a data breach rose by 6.4% in 2018 over the prior year, to $3.86 million. The average cost per each lost or stolen record containing sensitive information rose 4.8% to $148.00 each.
Not only are data breaches costly when it comes to IT and compliance costs, the harm to a company’s reputation can sometimes be irreparable, and many small businesses never recover from a data breach incident.
Prevention is key when it comes to protecting your data from a breach, which is why Technology Visionaries offers free security assessments to New Jersey companies. It’s our goal to help small businesses grow and flourish and stay protected against security issues and breaches.
What are the key cybersecurity risks that you need to be aware of to keep your company safe? We’ll go through those next, along with solutions to address them.
Protect Your Company by Being Cyber Aware
There is no single solution when it comes to good cybersecurity practices, a multi-layered approach is the best way to address multiple risks. Here are the top data breach risks you need to know about so you can keep your network and data safe.
Email remains the most popular delivery method for all types of malicious malware and viruses designed to allow a hacker to breach your network. They’re generally delivered either through a malicious attachment or a disguised link to a dangerous website.
Phishing accounts for 90% of data breaches.
Phishing emails have become cleverly disguised, using the fake logos and signatures of well-known companies or an emotional response tactic (like fear or the offer of a purchase order) to get unsuspecting users to click.
Solution: Both user training on how to spot and handling phishing emails and a good anti-phishing and spam preventionsoftware can help you avoid falling victim to a phishing attack.
Not Keeping Devices Updated
It’s a common occurrence in any office to have users put off installing updates because they’re in the middle of something and don’t want to be interrupted. But if you multiply that times how many different updates there are (operating system, firmware for peripherals, applications) and the number of employees you have, and your network can be open to any number of security risks.
Updates often include important security fixes for found vulnerabilities, and if they’re not applied, that vulnerability can be exploited by a hacker.
Solution: You can automate the update process by getting a managed IT service planthat takes care of all your updates for every device, so you and your employees don’t have to worry about them.
Humans can be prone to mistakes, especially when things get busy. Human error contributes to a significant amount of data breaches. These can happen due to:
- Not properly safeguarding data
- Using weak passwords
- Not leaning or following company security policies
- Choosing convenience over best security practices
Solution: You should provide ongoing employee cybersecurity training regularly and your business should also have a manual of security policies that detail how data is handled, how logins should be done, and all other facets of data security.
Inadequate Network & Application Security
Too many small businesses think that they can just put an anti-virus app on their computers and they’re protected from breaches. But that’s only one piece of a strong IT security plan. Security breaches can come from unsecure endpoints as well as cloud-based applications without proper settings for security in place.
Solution: Use a multi-layered approach that includes security features like a nex-gen firewall and device protection against malware and viruses, and check cloud-application security settings to ensure they’re set properly to keep your data protected.
Unsecure Mobile Devices
Smartphones and tablets are being used to do more of our office work every year. That flexibility can bring significant security risks if you’re not properly managing employee mobile devices and their access to your company applications and data. Mobile devices are also just as susceptible to viruses as desktop computers, but often not safeguarded in the same way.
Solution: A mobile device management program can help you keep track of all devices that can access your data. They also have important security controls such as:
- Remotely lock a device
- Remotely wipe a device
- Revoke device access at any time
- Reporting on mobile app usage
Lack of a Cybersecurity Policy
If you don’t have a written down cybersecurity policy that you can put in a manual for employees to reference, then no one is going to know what they should be doing when it comes to things like taking a credit card over the phone or setting up strong logins that aren’t easily hacked.
Solution: Put together a thorough cybersecurity policy and review it each year for anything that may need updating. When your team has a clear plan on how to handle IT security, they’re much more likely to avoid any inadvertent actions that can result in a data breach.
Get Your Free Security Assessment Today!
Aren’t sure where your company is when it comes to data breach risks? Technology Visionaries can give you a full assessment of your IT security and let you know of any weak spots.
Schedule your security assessment online or call us at 732-587-5960.