How To Protect Your Business From Growing Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks against businesses have increased dramatically since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Read on to learn how you can protect your company from this digital threat.

In April, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a five-fold increase in cyber attacks. Internet crimes reported to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) roughly quadrupled from 1,000 pre-pandemic to 4,000 incidents a day as of April. Cyber attacks against businesses and organizations, especially those in the health care field, have skyrocketed since the global coronavirus pandemic started.

In the face of this growing cyber security threat, it has become more essential than ever that businesses and organizations take the necessary measures to protect themselves and their employees from these devastating digital attacks.

In this blog, we’ll address the ways to safeguard your business or organization. To learn more about cyber security, media strategy, digital marketing and other essential communications tactics, please visit AWAKEN PR today or contact us directly.

Limit Employee Access to Information

The primary cause of cyber attacks against businesses is usually traceable. But more often than not, the chain of events that leads to a cyber attack is likely to be attributed to human error rather than the hacking source itself. That is, affiliates of an organization tend to be the catalyst for unwanted digital transgressions, including social engineering, which cyber criminals then capitalize on.

Whether you’re a CEO, a manager or a recent hire in an entry-level position, your access to company information should be viewed as a privilege and not a resource for the public. From client information to confidential records to financial statements, the level of transparency surrounding a business’ information should be limited and disclosed only when necessary, and only to those employees or executives who have a need for it in the first place.

To assist in safeguarding against cyber attacks and other forms of hacking, organizations must adopt and maintain an attitude of proactivity in the concealment of personal and professional information. If a former employee leaves or is dismissed, their login credentials and personal files should be deleted if possible, and at the very least, thoroughly encrypted.

Current staff should only be able to view the data and company information they need to do their job effectively — no more and no less. Even a single email containing company-specific knowledge may be intercepted and used for illicit purposes during its transmission. To minimize the possibility of an unwanted cyber crime, communication channels should be designated for and granted to specific hierarchies and areas of the organization.

Use A Private Network

Not only is it costly for businesses to rely on an ISP (internet service provider) for their web access; the security of these platforms is significantly less effective than that of a private network. No matter the size of a company or the number of its employees, all organizations should consider implementing a VPN (virtual private network) specifically designed and coded for business use.

VPNs are both more economical and more efficient than unprotected office servers. These networks decrease the chance of cyber attacks by encrypting all data while still harnessing the affordability of public Internet access. Even if a company is confronted with a computer-based ambush, it has options to restrict the flow of its vital information. Whether a small business depends upon an in-house IT resource or a large corporation relies on a combination of technology specialists and advanced algorithms, a VPN will provide them with an effective frontline of defense that affords them the opportunity to diversify their digital strategy and secure access to other internal servers before any firewall fortresses are stormed.

Specialize Your Insurance Coverage

Many businesses may not realize that cyber insurance is a widely available form of coverage. Designed to address and protect against cyber risks, this form of insurance is an effective provision against potential digital security issues like software theft, code corruption and data breaches. If your company isn’t already covered by cyber insurance, you are at risk of severe repercussions to your finances and reputation in the event of a cyber attack.

Manage Your Online Presence With Digital Marketing

The negative consequences of a cyber attack should never be the impetus to launch a digital marketing campaign. At AWAKEN PR, we design effective SEO, content and digital marketing strategies to build the credibility of brands on social media and across digital platforms. This way, if a cyber criminal ever does attempt to harm your business’ success, you’ll have a relationship with clients and the public that limits any damage to your reputation.

When your company is established as an industry leader with a vision and a mission, even the most malicious cyber attack can be mitigated with a socially-driven digital marketing and public relations strategy.