"They couldn't possibly be after MY data," you think, as you start the cyber security conversation with your IT department. Your data is valuable to you but, what could cyber criminals possibly want with a bunch of raw data files about your business, with no context?
So, do you really know if your business is prepared for a cyber attack?As it turns out, the value of data is incredibly high, even if you aren’t certain of how it could be used beyond your brick and mortar building. When dealing with cyber criminals, the best offense is a great defense. Being proactive in understanding the real threats that are targeting small to medium business owners is a crucial first step in making sure you don’t become a target.
Ransomware Reigns Supreme
Cyber criminals have become very crafty and direct in their methods, and creative ransomware attacks are on the rise. Your data may be unimportant to them, but they take advantage of how valuable it is to you. Once a cyber criminal has gotten their grimy little paws past your security and into your systems, they encrypt your files and make sure you can’t access the data. Then they tell you to pay up, or lose your files forever. Paying the ransom to get it back doesn’t always guarantee that you will. The FBI has actually started stepping their game up in an effort to keep up with increasing – and evolving – ransomware attacks.
Are there other threats to cyber security?
Other threats to your data exist, and are worth reading up on. How will you know where the vulnerabilities are in your business if you don’t know what the threats are? Cybercrime is estimated to cost a total of over $2,000,000,000,000 by 2019. That’s 2 TRILLION dollars. It affects everyone from big, global companies to the mom and pop shops down the street that don’t generally invest in cyber security measures.
What can you do to stay protected?
A few common methods for beefing up data security include data erasure, data masking, authentication, encryption and, of course, backups. However, the two best things that you can do to protect your business data are to proactively educate employees on today's cyber threats and implement a disaster recovery & business continuity system. By checking these two items off the list, you are crushing the number one threat to your security (human error) and setting up a fail-safe in the event that security fails.
To learn more, download this eBook from Datto: The Essentials of Cybersecurity Toolkit for SMBs. This eBook will teach you about the different cyber security threats that can affect your small to medium business and how to protect yourself.
Originally published November 1, 2017, updated May 25, 2018