A successful cyber-attack can cause devastating losses to your business. It can ruin customer trust and loyalty and affect your bottom line. The impacts of cyber threats can broadly be categorized into three: financial, reputational, and legal implications.
Cyber-attacks lead to substantial financial losses that emerge from:
- Theft of financial information (payment information and card details)
- Theft of corporate information
- Theft of money
- Disruption of business activities (inability to transact)
- Loss of contracts and business
Enterprises that fall victim to cyber-attacks also incur additional expenses associated with the repair and maintenance of affected devices, networks, and systems.
Trust is the gold standard for positive customer relationships. Cyber-attacks can ruin your business’s reputation and erode customer trust. This, in turn, leads to:
- Loss of customers
- Loss of sales
- Loss of profitability
- Business collapse and unsustainability
The effect of reputational damage can also affect your suppliers, or impair relationships with investors, partners, and parties vested in your business.
Data protection laws enshrined in the GDPR require that you protect all the data that you hold – regardless of whether the data belongs to customers, employees, or other partners. If this data is deliberately or accidentally compromised, and you’ve failed to deploy appropriate security measures, you may face prosecution or regulatory sanctions.
4 Ways to Identify IT Risks
How do you detect IT risks before they cause damage to your organization? Nowadays, several forms of security automation can monitor potential and incoming threats without losing productivity.
One of the most important tools to invest in is outsourced security. Outsourced security providers offer complete IT security strategy and analysis, allowing enterprises to protect computers, networks, data, and critical infrastructure. Outsourced IT security can automatically detect malware, ransomware, spyware, and malicious email attacks.
Another way to monitor cybersecurity threats is by leveraging a threat detection log. Cybersecurity platforms offer advanced logging capabilities that detect suspicious activity on your systems and networks. By maintaining and assessing security logs, you’ll have access to a detailed assessment of your network security.
Other ways to detect IT risks include:
1. Penetration Testing
Penetration testing is a simulated attack on your system to assess the strength and alertness of your IT environment. Security experts can scan IT environments for risks and vulnerabilities by thinking the way a criminal would, such as authorization errors, unpatched networks, and unprotected systems and devices. Pen tests show real risks and ensure business continuity by seeking out exploitable areas and vulnerabilities.
2. Automated Monitoring Systems
Enterprises can enhance their cybersecurity posture through automated threat detection mechanisms. Security automation helps organizations by monitoring web traffic, tracking device performance – and notifying security teams when threats are detected. Trusted cybersecurity providers offer automated threat detection software that automates threat detection and patching. With a trusted provider, you get to enjoy a whole suite of cybersecurity services – endpoint protection, patch management, dark web monitoring, industry compliance, and firewall management.
3. User Behavior Analytics
An organization can know what an employee’s behavior would be like by analyzing user behavior. That includes their location, the time they log on to their computers, and accessible data. By looking at user behavior analytics, any unusual behavior will stand out, making it easier for a security expert to know what behavior to investigate.
4. Education and Cybersecurity Awareness
Education and cybersecurity awareness is one of the most effective security countermeasures. Always empower your employees to become a strong defense against cyber-attacks. Employees should never be afraid to ask for guidance whenever they detect something suspicious. The earlier an employee identifies and reports a cyber-incident, the less significant the damage. It’s advisable to educate employees to avoid and prevent suspicious activity on their computers.
To do this, exercise the following best practices:
- Flag suspicious emails (those with sender unknown, emails with attachments, and warning messages).
- Detect suspicious running applications, warning messages, and pop-up windows.
- Be vigilant when browsing pages and sites.
- Ensure websites and landing pages are trustworthy before filling out personal details.
- Limit activities when using public Wi-Fi networks. It’s advisable to use a virtual private network VPN when using public Wi-Fi networks.
Educating employees on what specifically to look out for will increase your company’s ability to avert cybercrime and prevent attacks. Creating awareness will not only help with improving your cyber hygiene; it will also equally help employees secure their data.
Minimizing the Impact of Cyber Attacks on Enterprises
Security breaches can compromise even the most adaptable businesses. It’s crucial to manage risks accordingly. After a cybersecurity attack, an effective incident response plan can help you:
- Minimize the impact of the attack
- Report the incident to the relevant authority
- Clean up affected networks and systems
- Get your business up and running at the earliest convenience
A cybersecurity incident response plan can help you invest in training and education in your enterprise on an ongoing basis. Find out more about cybersecurity practices and how to protect yourself here.
You can also contact Bastionpoint for superior, cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions.
I provide CIO and IT Support Services alongside a mid-sized technical support team of engineers for business. Bastionpoint Technology is a managed service provider for businesses ranging from 1-500 users! We specialize in Legal, Medical, and Professional services, but support so much more. Retail, Finance, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Non-Profits, and you’ve certainly heard of our clients. We offer unlimited on-demand services, with an on-demand price point to meet every client’s needs. Just call on us – we put your business first!