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How To Protect Yourself From Online Cyber-Attacks At Work?

Cyber crimes have recently been on a rapid rise. Last year was a pretty frightening year for many. Some of the giants like Facebook, Yahoo, and Equifax found themselves amidst the deep waters. Even company’s like Norsk Hydro found them to being crosshairs of cyber attacks.

In such dire circumstances, it is better to stay protected. Now you all must be in line with the cliché moves such as:

•    Abstaining from attaching unknown drives to computers

•    Locking down systems before moving away from desks.

•    Refraining from opening anonymous emails and suspicious links.

However, there is much more to cybersecurity then these mainstream practices. This guide is prepared to ensure your safety from cybersecurity at work specifically. It gives you an overview of:

•    Ways a cyber attack can cost your company

•    Common types of cyber attacks to beware of

•    How to be safe online at work.

Ways cyber attacks can cost your company

Cyber attacks are getting difficult to maneuver with time. With the advancements in technology, the attacks are also significantly increasing. The hackers are working up various ways to find loopholes within systems and exploit them.

If your company ever becomes a victim of a cyber-attack, there is much damage it can undergo. A company can suffer financially as well as it can tarnish its reputation. Here the following ways it can bring down your company:

1.    Financial damage:

As most hackers practice cyberattacks for money, so the likelihood of economic harm due to these attacks is uncanny.  In a cyber attack, the hackers target and borrow bank account information to steal money.

Apart from that, a cyber-attack may also result in the business being massively disrupted. There are chances that the activities stop or get hindered. It can cause much damage economically.

2.    Tarnished Reputation:

In a cyber-attack, mostly the customer information, as well as the loss of customer money, can tarnish a business’s reputation miserably.  As trust is the most crucial element in a company set up, so being a victim of a cyber-attack can severely damage its reputation.

A company that becomes a victim of cyber-attacks can result in the loss of customers as well as sales. Apart from that, the possibility of further gaining more customers can also be in the backdrop.

Four Common Types Of Cyber Attacks To Beware Of:

Many companies are often a target of cyber attacks. These attacks may be done by rivals or just by hackers looking for ways to earn money. Here are the four most common types of attacks a company may suffer from:

1.    Hacking:

This attack is as evident as it is. A hacker hacks into the system or the network of the organization. As most of the things nowadays are digitalized companies store most of their data on computers and devices. It allows hackers to infiltrate and steal data.

2.    Malware:

An attacker or a rival company may infiltrate your digital network with malware. Malware is software that infiltrates and destroys digital data. It can be used to disable, corrupt or damage computer devices.

3.    Ransomware:

These attacks are most commonly defined as the digitalized form of kidnapping. A cybercriminal infiltrates into a system and encrypts off the data present there. He then drops a message to the user demanding payment for the decryption code.

4.    DoS (Denial-of-service) Attacks:

These attacks feature overloading of a network and system with traffic to leave a service unusable.  Criminals often use this profit or to render websites useless. They then demand payments from the victims to withdraw the attacks.

How To Stay Safe From Cyber-Attacks At Work:

The fact that cyber-attacks are most definitely causing us harm is not something to overlook. Now that we are aware of their existence and their function, the main question that comes is what to do?

We can’t just sit back at giving ourselves out to be a victim. We have to protect ourselves from every possible attack. Here are some of the safety measure you can go through to keep yourself secure.

1.    Be in the loop with all the security software:

The first and the foremost strategy to stay secure is to plain out opt for security software.  Having an updated and running antivirus/antimalware system is bound to keep you secure from cyber-attacks.

It is also essential to keep this software in touch with the latest updates and patches to ensure safety. Most of the cyber-attacks occur due to the unpatched vulnerabilities found in the system.

It is better to have this software on automatic updates to refrain from the hassle of manually updating them. Apart from that adding up a firewall to the system further allows you to stay safe.

Firewalls are a great tool that prevents hackers, malwares, and viruses from entering a network. They serve as a barrier against them. However, it is crucial to have the firewall always active for it to serve its purpose.

2.    Encrypt and back up your data:

Data breach attacks are another thing to be vigilant. Even if a hacker manages to penetrate your system past all your security software, then it’s better to prepare for the worst. Encrypting your data is one way to ensure safety.

Once your data is encrypted, it will be unrecognizable to anyone and everyone unless the one with the encryption key. This way it becomes useless for whoever steals it. Therefore, it is better to encrypt all the sensitive information such as:

•    Employee information

•    Business data

•    Customer information

•    Latest project works

For this purpose, several full disk encryption software is available along with the operating systems. This encryption software works to encrypt your data once the device is on rest. However, it is crucial to update this software regularly.

3.    Rise stakes on password protection:

Passwords are the key to stability and safety. It is essential to ensure that your company has a strict password protection setup. Therefore, it is particularly crucial to ensure that the employees have a strong password to everything work-related.

One way out is to work up with professionals and come up with stringent password policies. Also, it is better to eradicate the use of mainstream passwords.

The strategy is to use complex passwords that are a mix of characters, upper case and lower case symbols as well as numbers and symbols. Furthermore, it is better to ask employees to change passwords regularly.

Companies can also opt for a multiple factor authentication systems. These systems work by sending a code to the smartphone or the email of the user after he enters the password. The user can access once he puts in the code.

4.    Keep a close check on employees:

Employees are an integral part of the company. They are the key aspects as they have an insight into the running operating systems. An employee’s disloyalty or mistake could cost a lot to the company which is why it essential to keep them motivated and loyal.

Restricting the employee’s access to information is also another way to avoid data leaks. Only providing access to the data, they need to work on can help ensure security. Apart from that, it is crucial to keep a close watch on the employees working on sensitive data.

Another step can be to carefully monitor the messages exchanged amongst employees to find out moles if there are any. Furthermore, keeping their passwords protected from unauthorized access and closely monitoring their password usage can also aid to safety.

5.    Invest in cyber crime insurance:

Cybercrime insurance is a great way to ensure your safety and to stay protected from loses. There are several out there offering cybercrime insurance. These companies cover up the loss of even the basic cyber-attacks such as:

•    Threats from hackers

•    Malware infections

•    Virus infiltration

An additional advantage of getting an insurance system would be that it would make you aware of the risks involved if you fall victim.  It would allow you to be furthermore vigilant regarding the security details of your company.

6.    Be smart and back up data:

Another step that could aid in safety is to back up all of the company data. At times a company may be a target of ransomware attacks. In these attacks, the attacker encrypts all of the data and demands ransom for decryption.

Another attack that can occur is that the hacker may infect a system with a virus or malware. In this, the data present is erased. Now the ideal defense against these attacks is only to back up all of your data.

It is better to have a scheduled back up and store it in a separate place with limited access. This way the data can be appropriately protected. Also, possible losses to the company can also be prevented.

7.    Safeguard company’s hardware:

Most people have their emphasis on working up ways to step up the software security game. They work up ideas to ensure protection and privacy by adding up antimalware/antiviruses. Within this, they tend to overlook hardware protection.

Safeguarding the company’s hardware is as crucial as software protection. At times the data breaches may occur due to stolen equipment too. One way to avoid it by ensuring that the company equipment remains within its premises.

The emphasis on attaching computers to desks can reduce theft risks. Furthermore, installing “find my device” software on company devices can also help ensure quick recovery of stolen equipment.

8.    Educate your employees:

As mentioned above employees are the critical part of a company. Educate them regarding cyber-attacks, their working and prevention could help aid in cybersecurity. Holding seminars is one way of training.

Training the staff of at least the most basic cyber-attacks in particularly crucial. It is essential to enlighten them on:

•    Ways to create strong passwords

•    What different cyber-attacks may look like

•    How to stay secure from cyber attacks

These necessary steps may help ensure the company’s safety. Furthermore, it could also help avoid overburdening the IT staff and save the company from possible losses.

Ending Words:

A data breach or malware/viral attack can cripple your company and make it useless. Now that you are in the loop regarding it, and have complete knowledge regarding the safety measures it is better to stay protected!

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