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How to Protect Your Firm from Cyber Attacks

The global cyber security landscape has become quite a hot topic in recent years. With the rise of technology and the increasing connectivity of our world, cyber threats have been on the rise as well.

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly didn’t help matters. As businesses around the world quickly adapted to remote work environments, it created a perfect storm for cyber criminals to take advantage of. In 2020, malware attacks increased 358% compared to 2019. 

According to a report, the average cost of a data breach globally reached $4.35 million in 2022. That’s a 2.6% increase from the previous year when the average cost stood at $4.24 million. These

These numbers may seem staggering, but they reflect the immense damage that can be caused by a single breach. From legal fees and regulatory fines to reputational damage and customer churn, the consequences are far-reaching and can have long-lasting effects on businesses.

What is a cyber attack?

It is like a targeted assault on your digital infrastructure. Hackers or malicious individuals use harmful software to break into your computer systems or network. Their ultimate goal is to cause harm by either stealing sensitive information, disclosing confidential data to the public, or locking your data and demanding a ransom for its release.

Some examples of cyber attack and data breaches are malware, ransomware, identity theft, phishing, system infiltration, intellectual property theft or unauthorized access, private and public web browser exploits, and more.

Given the increasing prevalence of these incidents, it is vital for every organization to take proactive measures to prevent such incidents from occurring. 

Here are some ways you can do to protect your organization from cyber attacks:

Implement security policies and practices

Safeguarding your company with security and policies and practices against cyber attacks is vital in protecting your organization’s valuable assets from potential threats lurking in the digital realm. You need to establish rules for password creation, access controls, and data sharing.

Having a robust data protection plan helps you to be well-prepared in the event of a data breach. This plan should lay out the steps you need to take to minimize the impact, like promptly notifying affected customers and the right authorities. When you have a well-defined and well-practiced response plan, you can limit the damage caused by a breach and rebuild trust with your customers.

Make sure your Wi-Fi is protected

When it comes to your Wi-Fi network, it’s important to make sure it’s hidden and password protected. This means that your network’s name (SSID) should not be broadcasted publicly, making it harder for potential attackers to find and target your network. 

Additionally, setting a strong password ensures that only authorized individuals can connect to your Wi-Fi, reducing the risk of unauthorized access to your sensitive information.

Install a firewall

Putting your network behind a firewall is indeed a smart move. Think of a firewall as a shield that stands between your network and the outside world, monitoring and controlling the incoming and outgoing traffic. It acts as a barrier that filters out unauthorized or potentially harmful connections.

A firewall has the ability to identify and intercept such malicious activities even before they have a chance to wreak havoc. By effectively fending off these brute force attacks, a firewall serves as an additional safeguard for your network and systems, providing an extra layer of defense.

Put in place a disaster recovery plan

Having a well-thought-out Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) is like having a safety net for your organization. It prepares you to respond swiftly and efficiently in the event of a cyberattack or any other unforeseen disaster.

An important aspect of a comprehensive DRP is having a well-defined escalation path. It helps ensure that the right people are informed promptly, enabling them to take immediate action to mitigate the impact of the incident.

Train your employees

If your employees have a good understanding of cyber attacks and how to protect against them, they’ll be in a better position to keep your business safe.

By providing comprehensive training, you can empower your workforce to identify and handle potential cyber threats effectively. It’s important to educate them on spotting suspicious emails and links, and emphasize the importance of creating strong, hard-to-guess passwords. 

Remember, data security is a team effort, and with your employees as vigilant allies, you can stay one step ahead of cyber threats.

Setup browser and email filters

Besides teaching your employees about data security best practices, there are technological measures you can put in place to enhance your company’s protection against cyber threats. Email and web browser filters are valuable tools that can act as an extra line of defense against hackers and unwanted spam.

While it may seem like common sense to avoid suspicious websites, it only takes one employee to make a mistake and unknowingly visit a risky site.  Hackers are often adept at disguising malicious content or tricking unsuspecting users into accessing dangerous web pages.That’s why implementing web filters adds an extra layer of protection to help prevent employees from stumbling upon harmful sites.

Update your operating systems and software regularly

Software vendors are constantly working to improve the security of their operating systems (OS), which means they regularly release updates and patches to fix any known vulnerabilities. It’s important to install these patches as soon as they’re available because they act as a shield, protecting your network from attacks that target those vulnerabilities.

But it’s not just the OS patches you should focus on. It’s equally important to keep your applications up-to-date. That includes web browsers, office suites, and any other programs your employees use regularly. Staying on top of these updates is like building a strong fortress around your network, making it harder for cyber threats to find their way in.

Implement safe password practices

Passwords play a significant role in keeping our sensitive information safe, but unfortunately, many data breaches occur because of weak passwords.

To enhance security, establish a practice of regular password changes. By automatically prompting employees to change their passwords every 2-3 months, you create a proactive approach to password management.

By emphasizing the importance of password protection, you’re taking proactive steps to protect your company’s sensitive data and maintaining a strong security posture. 

Back up all your data regularly

Regularly backing up your company’s data is another crucial step in protecting your information. Imagine the devastating consequences of losing all your data due to a cyber attack.

By setting up automatic backups, either on a daily or weekly basis depending on your company’s level of activity, you increase the chances of recovering your data in case of an attack. It’s like creating a safety net to catch your important files and documents, ensuring they’re not lost forever.

When it comes to security, Cloudstaff is your best partner

At Cloudstaff, data security is a top priority. We go above and beyond to protect both customer and employee data with a comprehensive set of measures in place. We also have a dedicated team solely focused on ensuring compliance, business continuity, and information security.

We take the time to understand each customer’s unique needs and tailor their security measures accordingly. This personalized approach ensures that every client receives the level of security that is perfect for their specific requirements.

Want to learn more? Talk to us today!