If you have been following cyber security news lately, you might have noticed that a major chunk of news stories are related to data breaches in large scale enterprises. Organizations are struggling to keep their digital assets safe from cybercriminals, who always find new ways to target your network and database. Even though, cyber security companies and professionals are doing their bit but it seems that hackers are one step ahead of them.
Cybercrime is growing at a rapid pace and it is now one of the fastest growing crimes in the world, costing businesses $6 trillion by 2021. Think from a business standpoint. There is nothing worse for a business than hackers breaking into their network, stealing their sensitive data and flee away without leaving a trace. Thankfully, businesses can prevent that from happening by taking precautionary measures and developing resilience against cyber security attacks.
In this article, you will learn about steps you can take to increase tolerance level against cyber security attacks.
1. Take a Proactive Approach
First thing is first. Take care of system hygiene. Create a systematic process that ensures system hygiene. Next, follow a proactive approach instead of reactive one when it comes to cyber security so you are not surprised and don’t know how to react next time your business comes under a cyber attack. Educate your employees and follow the best cyber security practices across the organization to minimize the risk of cyber security attacks. By educating your employees, you can reduce the risk of phishing attacks.
2. Have a Plan
Build a cross functional team that includes senior managers from different departments and cyber security experts to devise a cyber security plan for your business. Your cyber security plan should take risks you might face in the future. It could be anything from malware attacks to technical failures, natural disaster to accidental damages to hardware such as cheap dedicated servers or employee negligence to misconduct. Your business should be able to handle all types of risks.
There are three main pillars of an effective cyber security plan.
- Understanding of cyber security policy
- Use of right tools
- Disaster recovery and business continuity plan
3. Study Cyber Attacks
The easiest way to develop resilience against malicious cyber security attacks is to study cyber attacks. Analyze the cyber attack patterns and identify different attack modes hacker use. This will help you to develop a mechanism to protect your company’s assets against cyber attacks. Additionally, you can implement security steps that best suits your business needs and help you protect against attacks that target your business. Map out the risk profile so you clearly know about the type of attacks you should guard against.
4. Monitor and Measure
When you are studying cyber attacks or analyzing the patterns, make sure you rely on estimates and rough figures. The reason I say that is because it is very difficult to get precise data about it. Avoid analysis paralysis at all cost. Keep an eye out for any warning sign and suspicious activity taking place in your network. Raise red flags as soon as you identify any malicious design so that you can take immediate action and prevent any damages. It is quite unfortunate to know that most businesses manage to identify data breaches and security attacks after the damage has been done.
5. Mitigate The Risk
What will you do if your business comes under a cyber attack that poses a risk to your business even after strong monitoring and security measures? That is where risk mitigation comes into play. There are four effective ways to mitigate risk and you can use one of them to minimize the damage it can do to your company’s digital assets.
- Risk Avoidance
- Risk reduction and control
- Risk transfer
- Risk Acceptance
Depending on the nature of risk and how much threat it poses to your business, you can avoid risk, transfer it, minimize its impact or accept it.
6. Invest In Cyber Insurance
If you are not capable to keep your digital assets safe from cyber criminals, you can invest in getting cyber insurance for your business. It will give you access to contingent capital and assistance from industry experts during the cyber security attack.
According to Cost of Data Breach study, an average stolen or lost record will cost you $148, which takes the overall data breach cost to a whopping $4 million. According to ZDNet, the average cost of a DDoS attack is $2.5 million. Invest in DDoS attack protection to prevent against DDoS attacks as it can pose a big risk to the financial stability of your business.
The cost of cyber insurance might seem a little daunting to some businesses but when you factor in the losses your business will have to incur after a successful cyber attack, cyber insurance seems like a good investment.
Lastly, you should implement the cyber security plan you have made and execute it to perfection otherwise; it will kill the purpose of devising a cyber security plan in the first place. Don’t expect to see great results overnight as it might take years for your cyber security strategy to mature. You will have to face some opposition from employees and other stakeholders when implementing your cyber security policy as they might have to do more work.
For instance, if you have implemented two factor authentication, it might need an extra step login which some users might not like but you will have to tell them that it is in the interest of the business. Same goes for VPN, password expiration, data deletion and more. This will make things more cumbersome for staff but it will make your digital assets safe too. If you can get past this hurdle, you can easily protect your assets against malicious attacks.
How do you make your business more resistant against cyber security attacks? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.