Cybersecurity: The Winner’s Playbook for off-Site Businesses

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It is a common occurrence that organizations of all sizes suffer from cyberattacks, evidenced by the well-publicized data breaches experienced by companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Uber and Cathay Pacific in recent years.

Somewhat ironically, millions of accounts, emails, and even passport information were stolen.

It is often overlooked that, on a daily basis, small businesses are subjected to a staggering four thousand cyberattacks. According to a study conducted by IBM, over sixty-two percent of all cyberattacks arise from these sources. Astonishingly, a report from the University of Maryland has indicated that a cyberattack can occur as often as once in every thirty-nine seconds.

Small and medium-sized businesses can be an attractive target for cyber criminals, due to the fact that they often lack the resources or knowledge to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves from cyber threats. Furthermore, some of these businesses may not even be aware of the risks of operating without the appropriate cyber security measures in place. This can create an environment in which cyber criminals can take advantage of the lack of security and access confidential information or disrupt business operations.

The 2023 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report, which surveyed 4,000 businesses across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, has revealed that the majority (73%) of these companies are not adequately prepared to respond to a cyberattack. This statistic shows that there is an urgent need for organizations to review and update their cybersecurity measures.

A recent study undertaken by the US National Cyber Security Alliance has revealed the astonishing statistic that, of those small enterprises that experience a cyber attack, a staggering sixty percent cease to exist within a six-month period. This sobering reality serves as a stark warning to all businesses of the importance of maintaining up-to-date cyber security measures.

It is highly improbable that a security breach at a small business would attract any significant media attention. Nonetheless, the financial and reputational damage caused by such an incident could be devastating, with costs potentially reaching up to seven hundred thousand dollars and a range of other, more serious, consequences.

It is not only the lack of a centralized command and control structure that makes small businesses today vulnerable; their decentralised structure with personnel located around the world also contributes to this.

That’s a huge plus in our books. However, this does need bolstering your company’s defenses.

In order to ensure the safety and security of your remote company, we will be exploring the topic of cybersecurity and how it can benefit your team. During this discussion, we will consider the various kinds of attacks that could pose a risk to a remote team, the reasons behind why they may be vulnerable, and the measures that can be taken to protect against them.

In the next instalment of this series, we’ll discuss a data security strategy that will shield your firm from hackers.

Common causes, issues, and origins of cybercrime

Although some cyberattacks may be the result of human or technological mistake, the most majority are launched intentionally.

That might lead to a host of issues for a small firm, including:

  • User data, including credit card numbers, is what the attacker is after.
  • disclosure of trade secrets and internal memoranda
  • Take advantage of employees’ trust by committing insurance or tax fraud by stealing their personal information
  • It has been found that seventy-six percent of assaults are deliberately perpetrated with the aim of causing financial damage, such as flooding, delays, or disruption of systems that would result in economic loss.
  • The adversarial group is being attacked is being attacked by an agent acting on their side.

Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly common and can have a wide range of damaging impacts, depending on their form and target. In recent years, some of the most commonly seen types of cyberattacks are:

  • The vast majority of cyberattacks are phishing and spear-phishing.
  • Almost two-thirds of malware assaults are aimed at small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Subversion by eavesdropping
  • Denial-of-Service
  • Attack using SQL injection

In this article, you may find a more comprehensive catalogue of assault kinds, along with descriptions of each.

Any vulnerability in your distributed systems is a potential entry point for cybercriminals, but the most common attack vectors are:

  • Avoid opening emails from unknown senders or their attachments, particularly if they have a Microsoft Office file extension.
  • Mobile malware assaults are on the rise, with a 54% increase predicted for 2023.
  • There are two main sources of mobile malware: grayware (which seems innocuous but really shares private information) and third-party applications.
  • Connected, but insecure, employee gadgets at work
  • Internet of Things gadgets are simpler to hack and integrate into a larger network.

Business, systems, goods, people, location, etc. all have a role in determining the kind of assaults to which your company may be subject.

For example, when an organization holds assets, data or information which may be of interest to malicious attackers, or when there are visible security weaknesses in the existing infrastructure, the company is then more susceptible to potential breaches.

  • Acquire and maintain information about your clients, including contact details and financial information.
  • Only 38% of small and medium-sized businesses frequently update their software.
  • Data should not be encrypted.
  • Do not pry into the business’s credit card or other spending records.
  • Refrain from implementing a uniform password policy
  • Lack coverage for cyber risks

Perform a cyber risk assessment to acquire a better grasp. We’re offering this helpful checklist at no cost to you.

In the following post, we’ll show you how to put up a data security strategy based on the findings of the risk assessment. Watch this space!

Cybersecurity policies and practices for remote workers

No matter how comprehensive your data security protocols are, they will be rendered ineffective if your employees do not take the necessary steps to protect sensitive information. Therefore, to help you bolster your cyber safety strategy, we recommend you to consider the following points:

  • Build and publish a policy for remote cybersecurity that everyone follows.
  • As part of the onboarding process, all new hires must be informed of the relevant regulations and it is important to ensure that your staff remain up-to-date with the latest industry knowledge. To facilitate this, you should encourage staff to attend regular training webinars such as CyberSecure My BusinessTM created by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA).
  • The same (degree of) security measures should be applied to all devices used by remote workers. If not, we must shut them out.
  • If you are hiring remote workers, it is important to ensure that they have the necessary equipment to do their job effectively. Providing them with laptops or requiring them to maintain two separate laptops for business and personal use is a good way to do this. It is also advisable to give your organization access to the administrative settings of the laptop, so that you can make sure that the equipment is being used appropriately.
  • Disallow any removable media from being used on the company computer. Let me explain.
  • Malware often propagates through maliciously-infected emails. As a precaution, it is recommended to implement a filtering system that marks all incoming emails with attachments from unknown senders as spam or blocks them outright. Additionally, emails sent to personnel should be securely encrypted.
  • The implementation of a Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) software solution can provide invaluable insight into what tasks personnel are undertaking, which tools they are using, and where the data from those tools is ultimately being stored. It is important to be vigilant and raise a red flag if any unusual activity is detected, such as data being exported from the system without any clear rationale. Although this may initially feel like a cause for concern, it is important to remember that remote IT administration is becoming increasingly commonplace, particularly with the rise of telecommuting.
  • Make it clear what they can and can’t post about active initiatives on social media, since doing so might open the door to hackers.
  • Send your employees weekly reminders to perform things like instal security updates and avoid using public Wi-Fi, which are all too easy to forget.
  • Force remote workers to report security issues on their devices to you or the IT department promptly.

Finally, it is essential to find workers who are reliable and can be trusted to meet the company’s values and standards. Every remote developer employed by us is knowledgeable about the importance of data protection and security. We urge you to contact us as soon as possible.

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