The digital world has made given even small businesses more power than ever before. Where once entrepreneurs were limited to their general surroundings for communication and collaboration, they can now reach out across oceans, working with the best professionals the world has to offer, all from the comfort of their own homes. It’s empowering.
It’s also dangerous.
Access comes at a price. Exposure. Cybercriminals are like mice, needing only very small openings to access a system and start doing serious damage. Staying safe online requires a multifaceted approach to cybersecurity.
In this article, we talk about how you can keep your business safe using data and other techniques.
My business is really (really) small. Do I need to worry about this?
No business is too small for cybercrime. Even if you are operating on a relatively obscure level, you can still fall prey to the many hazards lurking on the other side of a phishing email, or a dicey link. Once the hacker gains access to your system, they won’t just have your information. They may also be able to steal valuable customer data.
For example, when Marriott was hacked, almost half a billion people had private information compromised.
Not only is this bad for them, but it’s also bad for the company that made the fumble. You don’t want to be known as the business that loses customer data. It’s a reputation killer.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that cyber security breaches, even when they are contained to your own information, can jeopardize productivity. It can take almost a year to fully recover from a breach, depending on the scope of the attack.
During that time you lose money, both in wasted efforts and in the material costs of repairing damage. It’s a big deal. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as being too small for cybercrime. If you are a business owner that has a computer (and the fact that you are reading this digital article indicates that you are) you need to take your cyber security seriously.
But what role does data play?
One of the first things you need to zero in on when you are thinking about cyber security concerns is accessibility. Who is able to get into your system and how are they doing it? If you have a staff of multiple people, they will all have the accessibility credentials that allow them to get into your digital network.
Why does this matter?
Well, let’s say that you have a breach. You’ve determined that the incident was the result of an internal security protocol failure. Someone got a little sloppy, and a bad actor was able to find their way in. But who is the culprit, and what exactly did they do wrong?
Well, by taking a look at the accessibility data archive, you can see that Steve logged into your network from an off-campus location. After a little digging and you find out that it was a coffee shop, where he signed in via a guest WIFI network. An unsecured one.
By following your user data, you are able to paint a clearer picture of what happened. Now you have a good idea of when the breach took place, and how it happened. You can use that information to fire Steve.
No. That’s a joke. Steve is a good employee who made a simple mistake. But because you now have a keen understanding of how that mistake took place, you can prevent it from happening again. Your data has empowered you to beef up your vulnerability points.
Data is also used by most cyber security software to recognize the early signs of an attack and respond accordingly. Most firewalls have data-powered detection points that can identify the patterns of malware software in its early stages.
This allows the firewall to do its job as quickly as possible, limiting the impact of the attack and giving you ample time to repair whatever damage has been done.
Data is also used—usually by cyber security professionals—to simulate the impacts of an attack. For example, if you were to hire a cyber security professional, they might use a data-powered simulation program to isolate weaknesses in your system.
This program would operate in much the same way as a hacker, attempting to break in and steal valuable information. These programs are great for identifying weak points without going through the trauma of an actual breach.
Cybersecurity is an Ongoing Effort
It’s important to keep in mind that all the data and firewalls in the world are only as good as the people using them. The same way a state-of-the-art home security system won’t do any good if you leave the front door open, great cyber security is meaningless if you don’t stay on top of protocol.
The best way to prevent breaches is to emphasize training from the top down. Learn the ropes for keeping your systems safe, and make sure that all of your employees are aware of your expectations. Most breaches are the result of phishing emails, bad links, and other simple, preventable mistakes.
Keep your business safe by staying protected against small mistakes with big consequences. You owe it to yourself, your business, and your customers.
Unsure how to make it happen? Consider the services of a professional data security analyst. Cybersecurity professionals including coders, analysts, and forensic specialists are making the world wide web a little safer each day. Find the right specialist for your needs, and use their bespoke recommendations to keep your data safe.