Cybersecurity 101: Stay Aware
Every business struggles to keep up with technology changes. It seems there’s always a new cybersecurity threat wreaking havoc on seemingly secure computer networks.
One common scheme is a file-locking software known as ransomware. This malware prevents the victims from accessing files until they pay a “ransom” to the perpetrator. According to Beazley Breach Response Services, about 70 percent of ransomware attacks last year targeted small businesses, with an average $116,000 in ransom demanded for victim companies to regain access to their own files.
Not surprisingly, the leading cause of corporate cybersecurity breaches is hackers infiltrating corporate computer networks via email. The most common breaches are due to employees clicking a link that unleashes a malicious, infiltrating file or clicking a link that leads to a fake website where they unwittingly provide their credentials.
While there are many additional areas to address when it comes to avoiding cyber breaches, simply addressing the company’s email protocols significantly reduces the threat:
Ongoing reminders: Cybersecurity training is not “one and done.” Busy employees need to be frequently reminded to be aware of email phishing schemes and cautioned about clicking links.
Password hygiene: Despite warnings, many people use the same password for most of their accounts. Criminals know this and exploit it. Employees should not use the same password for their social media and corporate accounts. Doing so puts the company at risk.
Multifactor authentication (MFA): This type of security requires users to have more than one form of evidence of their identity. For example, to sign in, a user may need a password plus a fingerprint or a one-time PIN, typically sent by email or text. Any time a company can use MFA, it enhances the security of network access.
Taking even these fundamental precautions will have an impact. Stay aware!