Crimes against businesses are nothing new, but cyber attacks have now become a major threat. They are difficult to defend against, with the potential to wipe out financial and digital assets and destroy a reputation that took years to build. To prevent, detect and respond to attacks, it’s crucial to install technological defenses and train personnel at all levels of your business. Our latest report, Are Cyber Criminals Targeting Your Company? takes a closer look.
HOW CYBER ATTACKS CAN HOBBLE YOUR BUSINESS
The average cost of cyber crime has risen 72% over the past five years to losses of $13 million per company.² Every move by companies to protect themselves is met with a more sophisticated method of attack, and understanding what’s at stake is key. For example, data breaches can result in a tarnished brand, loss of trust, regulatory issues and even stock price fluctuations. Malware can cripple your digital operations, while ransomware can freeze data and only release it for a price. An attack can also serve as a conduit for various kinds of fraud, using methods like false invoices or fraudulent emails to try and siphon money from your business to the attacker’s accounts.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR COMPANY’S RISKS
Cyber assaults may come from criminals, company insiders, “hacktivists” (hackers with a political purpose) or even foreign governments. You may have several distinct areas of risk, such as:
- Information technology infrastructure, including all hardware and software.
- Devices and data, as employees may use vulnerable phones, laptops and other personal devices, or connect to unsecured Wi-Fi in public places.
- Employees, who are often the targets of cyber attacks via email or social media, creating a conduit for malware or other threats to your data and operations.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP KEEP YOUR COMPANY SAFE
Effective preventive measures, combined with prompt, efficient responses to cyber breaches, will minimize damage to your company’s operations, reputation, customers and shareholders. Actions you can take include identifying your most important assets, providing your workforce with the education and tools they need, and developing a comprehensive plan that includes all potential points of access for cyber criminals.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?
According to a recent security report,5 the three highest threat categories emerging in the future include managing identity and authentication (ascertaining the identity of the person behind a login);6 phishing; and accidental inside threats (such as carelessness with online credentials or data).7 To keep your company secure, you’ll need to remain resilient, track and understand evolving risks, and work with your employees and partners to maintain and adapt robust defenses.
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