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11 Ways to Minimize Risk of a Security Breach

password-704252_960_720Identity theft – Security breach – We’ve been hacked.

These are phrases that no one wants to hear – especially if you are a business owner! However, some recent statistics show that:

  • Sixty percent of all online attacks in 2014 targeted small and midsize businesses.
  • Cybercrime is a multibillion-dollar racket that affects corporations and individuals alike.
  • Hackers have stolen billions of dollars from American companies by impersonating CEOs in an email scam — and the loot gets wired to banks in China and Hong Kong 83% of the time. Between October 2013 and February 2016, the FBI got reports from 17,642 companies that lost $2.3 billion this way.
  • PwC conducteda survey in 2014 and asked over 9,600 IT executives globally whether they’ve experienced hacking in the past year. According to the survey, 41% of the respondents had experienced at least one security incident during the year. In the UK, the number of security incidents that year had increased by 69%, with global increases close to 25%.

With just these numbers in mind, now is the time to be proactive in protecting your business against hackers. After all, it is much better to be proactive than be reactive. If you are in charge of your company’s cyber security, then you should take these preventative measures against a security breach.

Preventing a Security Breach

  • Use passwords with at least 14 characters that cannot be found in the dictionary. Be sure it contains letters, numbers, and symbols, preferably put together in a random sequence. Then to make it easier to remember your password(s), use a password manager that can securely store all of your passwords for your various accounts. Then you only need to come up with one really strong master password.
  • Use the two-factor authentication option, as this will help protect the account even if it is hacked.
  • Regularly update your software. The older your company’s system is, the easier it will be to hack.
  • Be sure your employees know to never open an email that looks suspicious – you never know when a virus could be unleashed on your company’s computer network.
  • Be careful about outsourcing or off-shoring access to your computer systems. Be sure to do your due diligence on the companies. Talk to other business owners and find out whom they recommend.
  • Put somebody 100% in charge, then make sure that person has someone who can step in should there ever be an emergency.
  • Limit contractor access to sensitive data.
  • Take time to educate your employees about phishing schemes, scams, and hacking. If necessary, bring in an outside expert. If you need to know of area cyber security specialists, talk to local police, state authorities or even talk to your area’s IRS office.
  • Design systems that will actively search for any sign of a security breach. Consider a computerized behavioral analytics program.
  • Hire a penetration-testing firm to see just how secure your company’s cyber system is. This will let you know of areas that need to be strengthened.
  • Have a plan in place for what to do in the event of a breach. This will allow you to react quickly should a hacker ever get through.

Don’t be caught with your guard down by hackers. Be diligent in your fight against a cyber breach by implementing these actions. If you have questions about how you can improve cyber security, talk to a pro and take a stand against being a victim.