7 Risk Prevention Steps Every Small Business Should Consider

Ignoring cyber risks can be fatal to your business. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to understand basic cyber attack patterns, develop a cybersecurity plan and purchase cyber liability & data breach insurance. 

Your sales process and related data are crucial to your firm’s success. Imagine a hacker placed malware on your computer that hijacked your sales application and locked you out of access to your prospects and customers. Studies have revealed the average size of a data breach compromises up to 25,575 records, and cost up to $150 per lost record. How long would your small business survive without new revenue?

Understanding that an ounce of prevention is worth millions in mitigated risk, preparing for such an attack is essential today. According to a Gallagher U.S. Cyber Practice white paper, companies should focus on four key risk-mitigation strategies:

  • Address internal vulnerabilities
  • Reduce vendor risks
  • Assure data compliance
  • Deploy cybersecurity tools, testing and best practices

According to Gallagher cybersecurity experts, companies tend to underplay internal cyber threats and overplay external attacks. In reality, employees represent one of the most serious cyber vulnerabilities to businesses today, especially with the advent of remote work.

How can companies reduce their internal cyberrisks? Gallagher recommends taking seven key steps:

  1. Lock down home offices. Ensure your employees are scanning their home networks for botnet and command/control traffic, using unique SSID names and varied, robust passwords to protect home Wi-Fi networks and securing or patching their routers.
  1. Properly configure remote desktop protocols for employees using them from home. Security staff should install all software patches as soon as possible.
  1. Install antivirus software on all employee devices. This includes laptops, phones, tablets, USB drives and more.
  1. Deploy dual-factor authentication to prevent theft of valuable company and customer information. Authentication should be based on user names and passwords (something employees know), phone and security codes (something they have in their possession) or their biometric data (something they are).
  1. Deal with credential stuffing. Start by understanding your employees’ email risks on the deep/dark web, the threats of credential-stuffing attacks, the use of encrypted password safes and privileged access management. 
  1. Advise employees to shrink their privacy footprints. Teach discretion with how much they share on social networks and delete risky social-media applications.
  1. Consider employee family members as a part of the cybersecurity puzzle. View anyone connected to an employee’s home network as someone in need of cybersecurity training and security applications.

It can take up to 279 days to identify a breach in data. At the end of the day, addressing internal vulnerabilities will require company leaders to further raise their cybersecurity awareness. Are you protected?