Cybercrime is estimated to have cost businesses some $6-Trillion every year. Most breaches affect small businesses with a year-over-year increase. Many are afraid to disclose the details of a cybersecurity breach with the public, for fear of losing customers and/or investors.
Your typical cyber-attack can cost businesses $80-140k+ in real and unrealized damages. It’s not hard to imagine big businesses suffering 10x losses, or outright collapsing from cyber-attacks due to legal repercussions, government crackdowns, and IP theft.
There are a few, basic security protocols many businesses have adopted providing some semblance of security — these include:
- User management
- Hardware and software firewalls
- Privacy and security protocols
…but businesses are a long way from creating the walled garden they so desperately seek. Read on and learn some of the expanded virtual security actions one can take to protect business and user assets.
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, provide anonymous web access. The app’s usage is predominantly understood as a way to bypass content locks for typical users accessing blocked sites and content. However, VPN has also shown incredible promise for businesses for the very same reasons.
Upgrading to business-class VPN providers like TorGuardprovides unlimited speeds compared to free and low-tier services. These business-class VPNs also include thousands of more server nodes, dedicated managers, and stronger cybersecurity.
Consider these other benefits:
- Protect from data leaks
- Encrypted file transfers
- Cross-platform security
Ultimately, this tool keeps business data secured no matter its access point. This includes core features like robust email security, but also unlimited access to third-party, secured services like CRMs, cloud backup solutions, and file transfer tools.
It’s a crucial investment for businesses operating globally, featuring team members and operations around the world in remote positions.
Encrypted Email and Messaging
Email continues its dominance as the primary means of communication for businesses. In fact, email use is expected to increase by 3%year-over-year. This increase demands increased cybersecurity to protect sensitive business files and conversations.
Several encrypted email providers have taken up the challenge:
These, combined with VPNs and proxy servers, can add a much-needed layer of protection when discussing important business matters. And, sharing client information especially in the medical fields.
Encrypted messaging has also become a focal investment for businesses.
Instant messaging provides real-time communication and reporting — an essential element of an efficient business. Yet, it’s not uncommon these messaging platforms becoming the target of cyber attacks.
As expected, many options are now available:
- Slack (Encrypted options)
These encrypted messaging apps are ideal for businesses leveraging user device policies and integrated, cross-platform applications.
Business Security Systems
IBM found 60% of cyber attackshappen in-house through leaks, competitor’s moles, and fraud. This also includes several instances of unintentional damages caused by natural disasters, unwitting employee hardware & software interactions, and relaxed security protocols.
Business security systems dial precautions to an appropriate extreme — via:
- Security clearances and tags
- Video and workstation monitoring
- Physical deterrents
These features prevent malicious intent from physical attacks via third-parties leveraging phishing techniques. They also help to maintain smooth operations with employees when combined with strong security policies and auditing.
Does your Small Business Need Big Security?
The security features discussed in this article carry a high-end use case. But, these are as important to small businesses as large, multinational corporations. Most cyber and physical attacks happen to small businesses — many fail to notice, nor report them.
What can an owner do, right now, to improve business operations while curbing attacks?
- Audit security protocols and identify weak points (including employees)
- Invest in VPN, encryption, and physical security features
- Practice safe data handling through permissions and policies
The basics, of course, are to be expected (firewalls, antivirus, and policies). It’s worth its while to explore the higher-end features — especially as they’ve become affordable to a small business budget.
Your turn, how would you protect your business from cyber attacks?