Firstly, what is Cybercrime?
Cybercrime is any crime that primarily takes place online. It can range from security breaches to identity theft. Cybercrime can include cyber-stalking, harassment and bullying, child exploitation and sexual abuse.
Cybercrime is evolving, and new threats surface every year. The different types of Cybercrime striking businesses are staggering. It may feel scary, but there are plenty of ways you can help protect your business.
10 steps you can take to protect your business from Cybercrime:
1. Back up your data
Backing up your business data and website is fundamental in the event of a cyber attack or computer issues. It is essential that you back up your data regularly and use multiple methods.
An excellent backup system typically includes:
- daily back-ups to a portable device and or cloud storage
- end-of-week server backups
- quarterly sever backups
- yearly server backups
It’s great to back up your data regularly. However, it’s essential to check every so often that you can restore your data from your backup. There is no point in backing up your data if you cannot retrieve it when need be.
Make it a habit to back up your data on an external drive. Ensure you do not store any external drives on your business premises. By keeping them separate, you can restore data quickly in the event of a robbery or damage to your business premises.
2. Secure your devices and network from Cybercrime
Installing a security software program on your business computers will help prevent viruses from infecting your network. Ensure the software includes anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam filters.
3. Turn on your spam filters
Spam and phishing emails are tools criminals use to steal your confidential information. When clicked or opened, links or attachments within the email can infect your computer with a virus.
Using spam filters helps reduce the amount of spam and phishing emails your business receives. It helps reduce the risk of you or your employees opening spam emails by mistake.
4. Use multi-factor authentication
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is another layer of security that requires you to provide two or more proofs of identity before you can access your account.
For example, an app or website will first ask you to enter your password. You will then need to enter the code it sends to your mobile device before the website or app will grant access.
5. Encrypt important information
What does encryption do? Encryption converts your data into a secret code before sending it over the internet. It reduces the risk of theft, destruction or data tampering.
If you use public networks often (such as a library, cafe, airport Wi-Fi), installing a virtual private network (VPN) on your device is best. Turning on your network encryption to encrypt data stored or sent online is essential.
6. Manage passphrases
What is a passphrase? A passphrase is a password that is a phrase or a collection of different words. Think of it as a small sentence or statement. They are simple for humans to remember but difficult for machines to crack.
A secure passphrase is:
- long. Make it at least 14 characters long or four or more words.
- complex. Include capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. A good tip is to swap vowels for symbols.
- unpredictable. Never use your children’s, pet or Mother’s maiden name as a password as they are so easy to obtain and easily hacked!
Ensure you always use a unique passphrase for each account. While a simple sentence can make a good passphrase, a group of unrelated words makes a more robust passphrase. A tip is to change specific numbers, words or symbols for each passphrase. It’s a good idea to update your passphrase often, such as when you back up your data.
7. Put Cybercrime policies in place for staff
Develop a cyber security policy to help your staff to understand their responsibilities. It’s essential to have a policy, especially with team members working from home. The policy will help protect your business by setting out acceptable practices for using or sharing data on computers, devices, emails and internet websites.
8. Train staff to be cautious when using the internet
Your staff can be helpful or a hindrance against cyber attacks. So, team members must be able to identify a threat and know the role they play in keeping your business safe.
They must know how to:
- maintain good passphrases
- identify and avoid cyber threats
- take action when they encounter a cyber threat
- report a cyber threat promptly
9. Protect your clients and customers
Clients and customers are vital for business success, so keeping client and customer information secure is critical. If you lose or compromise their data, it could damage your business’s reputation, and you may suffer legal consequences.
Ensure your business invests in and provides a secure online environment for transactions. Keep any personal information you collect secure. Laws specify what you can do with the personal information you collect from your customers and clients. Contact your legal adviser for more details.
10. Invest in Cybercrime insurance
Cyber insurance is a simple way to protect your business, so Clear Insurance recommends it to all business owners. The cost of dealing with a cyberattack is often more than repairing a database, upgrading security or replacing laptops. It can affect your clients and suppliers. A cyber insurance policy can help your business with the financial costs of recovering from a cyberattack.
The internet is here to stay. It’s an integral part of our lives. However, if you remain vigilant and take steps to protect your business, you can enjoy all the internet’s wonders!
For more information on protecting your business from Cybercrime, contact Clear Insurance today for a chat.