Cyber-attacks are on the rise. And when you consider the potential reputational damage, legal costs, and lost productivity, the price tag can be even higher.
Cybersecurity professionals have been warning about this trend for years, but many organizations still haven’t taken the threat seriously enough to implement effective cybersecurity measures.
A recent survey by the Ponemon Institute found that only half of all companies surveyed had a formal process in place for responding to a major cyber-attack. This means that if a company does experience a breach or other form of cybercrime, it may not know how to respond effectively.
In addition, less than one-third of respondents said their organization has adequate policies and procedures in place to prevent future breaches.
The result: Organizations are ill-prepared to respond when a cyberattack occurs, which could lead to significant losses.
Cyber incidents cause financial losses:
– The average cost of a cyber incident is estimated at \$4.5 million ( ).
– In the US, the total direct and indirect costs associated with cybercrime are estimated to be between \$445 billion and \$1 trillion annually.
– According to a study conducted by Verizon, the average business loses approximately \$3.6 million due to IT security failures.
– A 2015 study from IBM found that businesses lose as much as \$17 billion every year because of poor cybersecurity practices.
– Cyberattacks are often used to steal money. For example, the WannaCry ransomware outbreak caused hundreds of thousands of computers around the world to become infected with malicious software.
Once infected, users were told to pay up to receive access to their files again.
As a result, criminals made off with \$140 million dollars.
Cyberattacks impact employee morale:
Employees are concerned about the safety of their personal information and feel anxious about the possibility of being targeted by hackers.
According to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, nearly two-thirds of employees worry about having sensitive information stolen by hackers.
And more than half say they’re worried about losing their job over an online mistake.
This anxiety leads to lower productivity and increased turnover, both of which hurt the bottom line.
Cyber incidents affect customer trust:
If your customers find out about a cyber incident, it could negatively impact your brand reputation.
For example, a 2014 study by the Ponemon Institute showed that 93 percent of consumers would stop doing business with a company after learning about a data breach.
So what should you do?
It’s time to take action.
You need to start implementing comprehensive cybersecurity services today.
The good news is that there are steps businesses can take now to increase their chances of surviving a cyberattack.
The best practices to avoid cyber incident damages
Here are some best practices that will help your business avoid becoming collateral damage in a cyber incident:
1. Assess Your Cyber Incident Risk
Before you can begin to address any vulnerabilities within your own infrastructure, you need to first identify where your organization stands with respect to cybersecurity.
This includes understanding what kind of threats you face, as well as identifying areas where you can improve.
For example, you might find out that you don’t have a clear policy in place around employee use of mobile devices at work. Or perhaps you’re aware that employees aren’t properly trained on email phishing scams.
If you’re not sure where to start, here’s a checklist that can help you assess your current state of readiness.
2. Implement Security Controls
Once you’ve identified the risks your business faces, it’s time to develop a plan to mitigate those risks.
To do so, you’ll want to make sure that you have a strong set of security controls in place. These include things like firewalls, antivirus software, and encryption technologies.
You should also ensure that you have processes in place to monitor these systems for signs of compromise.
3. Build Trust With Employees
Finally, you’ll want to build trust among your employees.
That means making sure everyone understands why they must follow established security protocols.
It also means ensuring that they understand how to spot and report suspicious activity.
And finally, it means setting up regular training sessions to reinforce these concepts.
4. Keep Up To Date On New Threats
As new threats emerge, it’s important to stay ahead of them.
There are several ways to keep track of emerging threats. For starters, you can subscribe to newsletters from leading industry experts.
These publications often provide information on new malware, hacking techniques, and more.
Another option is to hire a cybersecurity professional service.
These teams typically offer remote support and tools designed to help you stay informed.
5. Use Technology Wisely
Technology can be used both to protect your business and to enhance its performance.
However, technology alone isn’t enough. You’ll also need to implement proper policies and procedures to ensure that the right people are using the right applications at the right times.
6. Be Prepared When A Crisis Occurs
When a crisis does occur, you’ll want to be prepared to deal with it effectively.
To do this, you’ll need to know what kinds of events will trigger your response plans.
In addition, you’ll want to establish who will respond when a crisis occurs.
7. Have An Emergency Response Plan
Finally, you’ll need to have an emergency response plan in place. This includes knowing what steps to take if there’s ever a breach or attack.
8. Monitor Your Business Continuity Plans
Business continuity planning (BCP) involves developing strategies to maintain operations during a disaster.
While most companies already have some form of BCP in place, it’s still important to regularly review and update it.
9. Maintain Good Documentation
Documentation is one of the best ways to ensure that you remember all of the details of your security program.
This includes everything from the types of equipment you have installed to the policies and procedures you use.
10. Train Staff Members
Training is another way to ensure that your staff members understand their roles within your organization.
This helps to prevent mistakes and ensures that they’re able to detect any potential problems as soon as possible.
11. Know What Information Is Being Collected
If you don’t know what information is being collected about your company, you won’t be able to determine whether it’s necessary or not.
12. Create Regular Security Audits
Regular audits are essential to keeping your system secure.
They allow you to identify weaknesses in your current setup so that you can make improvements before anything bad happens.
Do you struggle to keep cyber incidents away from your organization?
ExterNetworks is here to help. Our team of experts has years of experience in helping organizations like yours prevent attacks and respond quickly when they occur.
Our approach is simple – we work closely with our clients to understand their business needs and design solutions that fit those requirements.
We’re not just another vendor; we are an extension of your IT staff.