Expert advice you need to keep your business data secure from cyberattacks
No matter what the size of the company, it’s safe to say that these days, owners, senior executives and managers are busier than ever before. Overseeing business development, client and customer relations, operational effectiveness, HR and so much more means that company leaders have a full plate in keeping their businesses profitable and running smoothly.
In the digital era, technology and data is a part of day-to-day operations. Today, most companies have a sizeable digital footprint and data management—and security is a part of day-to-day operations. Cyberattacks are a serious threat that companies, both big and small, must guard against. More and more, we hear about serious attacks that cripple a company’s ability to do business and cost them millions. Protecting your data—which is a key business asset—from the ever-increasing threat of hacks, scams and cyberattacks (reports show that there is a marked increase in cyberattacks worldwide) may feel overwhelming.
“Many of the recent cyberattacks have had a profound, business-stopping impact,” says Joel Abramson, the CEO of the Vancouver-based, full-stack IT services firm Fully Managed. “Cybersecurity plays an integral role in keeping our client environments safe, secure and operational.”
Protecting your business from a cyberattack requires expertise, effort and resources. And making sure that your data is secure provides an unparallelled return on investment. Many companies turn to external professionals for their IT and cybersecurity services because they receive world-class expertise in these areas that can’t be found in-house.
How to make sure your business is cybersecure
According to Abramson, implementing cybersecurity measures for your business can be done via three important pillars. They are:
1. Enterprise-Level Software
In the case of cybersecurity, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is accurate.
As a first line of defense, the use of enterprise-level software is key. This includes anti-virus software, appropriate firewalls and other security software necessary to create as many roadblocks as possible for potential cyberattackers.
2. Backup and Restoration Plans
While preventive measures are often successful, professional hackers and cyber criminals are extremely smart, tech-savvy and nimble. There are times, due to unforeseen events, that they can find their way around firewalls and other protective elements. When this happens, it is essential to have a disaster recovery plan in place. To start, whether your IT team is internal, external or a blend of both, your business data must be regularly backed up and stored in a secure manner.
If an attack is successful and you find yourself with your data locked up and being held hostage, a comprehensive recovery plan in place means that you can quickly restore your data and keep your business operational.
Most people think that a cyberattack is something that only happens to other companies. The fact is, business owners should look at the potential of a cyberattack as a when, not an if. IT management and an external services provider can help front-line employees understand what an attack looks like (like those pesky phishing scam e-mails). Once they know some of the early signs, they will know what not to do (such as clicking on links and accepting requests from people they don’t know on social and business media sites) and can let the IT team know when something suspicious lands in their inbox. In addition, you can choose to engage a professional IT service firm which, as a part of its contract, can undertake training seminars for your employees on what to look for when it comes to ransomware, social hacking and other forms of security attacks. As a part of their service offerings, Fully Managed sends out fake phishing e-mails to clients’ employees and then records and reports back to the client on the results, ensuring that any weaknesses or vulnerabilities are addressed.
“It’s no different from being a little guarded when you’re entering your PIN at an ATM,” Abramson says. “It’s important to be aware of the risks. For a company, employees need to be educated to be aware that someone may be looking to understand your organization so that they can infiltrate it.”
Abramson also advises that if you want to bring in an external company to examine your cybersecurity and address any vulnerabilities, make sure they are well-versed in the latest forms of attacks and how to prevent them. The experts in this field, such as Fully Managed, are dedicated to ensuring that their team is always on the leading edge.
“What we’re doing is bridging that gap between technology and the people using it,” says Abramson. “We’re helping people to understand, manage and utilize technology in their business in the most effective, efficient and secure way possible.”