If, as an entrepreneur, you are as much subject to the risks of cyberattacks as multinationals, you do not, however, benefit from the same means to protect yourself. As a reminder, 69% of companies that are victims of cybercrime are VSEs and SMEs. Despite this high figure, less than one in two companies invest in IT security.
What are the risks that businesses face in terms of IT security?
The IT risk factors that weigh on the company are numerous. Contrary to popular belief, technological equipment is not the only one that can fail you; human error can also lead to serious consequences. A brief overview of the most significant risks that weigh on your information system:
First, errors such as forgetting backups or incorrectly uploading files can leave your system vulnerable. Cybercriminals usually use social engineering to trick their employees. They pretend to be colleagues or a company official in order to obtain login information and gain access to the system. This happens, in particular, through phishing emails. But the threat can come from your staff: a malicious employee can steal and leak sensitive information.
The main technical risks stem from software vulnerabilities. If you haven’t installed the latest security patches for your software, they are real boons for cybercriminals. Once they have been affected by viruses or ransomware, your entire computer system is at risk. The different providers, whether Microsoft, iOS, or Linux, make it easy for you by improving the security of their platforms every day, so don’t run any risk, install the patches. It only takes a few minutes.
Cybersecurity best practices to apply in business
We interviewed the consulting experts at GM Consultant to give you 5 best practices to apply in your company to improve its cybersecurity.
What are the 10 essential measures to ensure your cybersecurity?
- Choose your passwords carefully. Ideally, they should be 12 characters of a different type, unrelated to you, and free of dictionary words.
- Control data access appropriately
- Perform backups regularly
- Secure your company’s Wi-Fi access and avoid public networks.
- Apply computer security rules on tablets and smartphones as well.
- Install an antivirus program on all devices.
- Be vigilant with the use of your email, especially regarding attachments.
- Download programs from official publisher sites and perform application installations on Apple Appstore and Google Playstore.
- Carry out checks on the website before making online purchases.
- Separate personal and professional use on devices.
If necessary, you can also call on an IT expert to help you implement better practices in the company and show your employees how to make them last over time.
Take stock of your exposure to cyber risks.
When attacking, the hacker seeks to compromise the information system via resources exposed on the Internet. Carrying out an inventory of your system makes it possible to identify all of these resources precisely and to check that they are correctly secured.
Concretely, the objective of the inventory is to answer the following questions.
- Know your exposure: what known and unknown resources about my business are circulating on the Internet?
- Identify its weaknesses: do my resources represent a risk for my company? Are they enough to attack me or to be exploited for a malicious purpose?
The goal is, therefore, to assess the risks for your business. First, it is important to assess the security of your systems. Do you have the necessary firewalls and antivirus software to protect your systems? Are your security policies (passwords, data access) sufficient?
Once the problems are identified, establish an action plan. It must include prevention, detection, and response measures to minimize risks and ensure the resumption of your activity as soon as possible. A disaster recovery plan is the first step in building the resilience of your business.
Secure your remote access.
With the recent development of remote working, the number of devices used by a single employee has multiplied, and this creates many management and security challenges. If it is not a question of preventing your employees from connecting remotely, it is necessary to secure access. Indeed, hacking access to a company device is a modus operandi often used by cybercriminals.
To counter this method, there are several solutions:
- Strong authentication: Two-factor or multi-factor authentication requires the person wishing to connect to enter information other than just their password. For example, he will be asked to confirm a code sent by SMS or email.
- The VPN: The virtual private network (VPN) allows you to create an encrypted tunnel between the remote device and the corporate network. This protects data in transit from cyber attacks. The use of a VPN obviously comes in addition to an antivirus. All your devices must be equipped with it, especially those used outside the premises.
- Remote access management tools: These tools allow you to monitor systems and networks by generating alerts in the event of a connection attempt on an inactive account or service. You can also control access remotely and limit permissions based on the user.
Save the data on a medium disconnected from the Internet
Backing up your data regularly is the guarantee of not losing it in the event of a cyber attack. However, it is not enough to just keep them on your computer. It is also advisable to keep a backup on a medium disconnected from the Internet, such as an external hard drive for example. So, if your entire network is compromised by malware, this backup will persist, and you won’t lose anything.
It’s true that constantly updating multiple backups is time-consuming, but the impact of data loss shouldn’t be minimized. This type of incident can lead to a temporary stoppage of your activity and, therefore, to a real loss of earnings.
Subscribe to cyber insurance.
Beyond these technical measures for the prevention and management of cyber-attacks, company managers now have an additional risk management tool: insurance. It makes it possible to pre-finance the incident response plan for an average cost of 3% to 5% of a company’s IT security budget.
Beyond business damage, data loss and theft can mean harm to business customers. The latter can then ask him for compensation or even sue him. It is, therefore, essential to take out cyber risk insurance to protect your business.