According to experts, cybercrime is expected to cost the globe more than $10.5 trillion per year by 2025. That’s a lot of money by anyone’s standards, and it’s not just a problem for large businesses. Businesses of all shapes and sizes are at risk, and entrepreneurs can’t afford to look the other way or feel they’re too little to become targets for cybercriminals.
However, the data shows that small businesses are not prepared. Although 88 percent of small business owners told the US Small Business Administration that they felt threatened, they were equally perplexed about protecting their data, employees, customers, and reputation.
When you’re one of the numerous entrepreneurs and CEOs seeking to stop cybercrime at its source, you have options. Why did you implement a few of the following safety precautions as a nod to Data Privacy Day on Jan. 28? They may help you feel more secure about the data moving out and in your system.
1. Create a zero-trust framework supported by AI and machine learning.
Have you ever thought of putting your IT security in the shape of a “fortress and moat” model? That is, you just remember to check the id of everyone who attempts to log into your system, but once they’re in, you grant them complete access to walk about freely? This is a common approach to security that might leave you vulnerable to a cyberattack.
Many cybercrimes are “inside jobs,” which is a problem. All a lawyer needs to do is get access to your internal system. After a single breach, all of your related methods are suddenly vulnerable.
Embracing the notion of a zero-trust framework will help you close many of the gaps that might be putting your team and its data at risk. Vats Srivatsan, president, and chief working officer of ColorTokens, outlines the potential of zero-trust principles in an essay for CISO Magazine. “By definition, they enable companies to rapidly block out emerging threat vectors and unexpected interactions rather than allowing time for such interactions to emerge,” he adds.
How will you incorporate zero-trust thinking into your processes? Provide consumers with just the access they need. Many employees have more access than they need. Although it may seem that this may slow productivity, you can restore efficiency by combining zero-trust approaches with AI and machine learning. According to Srivatsan, the system will use this strategy to generate “narrowly delimited belief zones,” which will allow for efficient and quick procedures.
2. Switch to a two-factor authentication system.
Two-factor authentication may seem an extra step, but it’s worth it for the improved security. Having two “gates” is far better than having only one. Consider the castle example again: Isn’t a stronghold with two walls more secure than one with just one?
Passwords aren’t exactly secure. Skilled hackers easily breach password gates, and once inside, they may cause havoc. You’ll probably want to explain to your crew members why they shouldn’t rely only on their passwords for protection.
It may take some time to set up two-factor authentication across all of your methods. You may also need to check with your software provider to see whether two-factor authentication is available. You aren’t out of luck if it isn’t. The Verge published an article exploring the possibilities of employing authenticator apps as a two-factor authentication solution.
3. Educate your employees on the principles of cybersecurity.
The average employee at your company may not be well-versed in cybersecurity. Sure, employees may have heard of sophisticated, well-publicized phishing or ransomware attacks that have made headlines all over the internet. However, even a modest-scale breach may be difficult for a small business to overcome.
Rather than merely telling your team members what to do, like with two-factor authentication, educate them on the “why” behind the deployment. Giving them a deeper grasp of the real-world cybersecurity issues they face daily pushes them over to your side of the desk. They learn to think like homeowners, which means they begin to recognize risky behaviors when they encounter them—including in their departments.
Does it require a lot of effort, time, and money to train everyone to have a working knowledge of cybersecurity? Completely. However, it may serve as a large safety net. You may need to spread training across verticals to make the process easier on you and your wallet because they surf from so many places; your remote advertising and gross sales team members, for example, may be the most vulnerable to data breaches. As a result, guiding them in short spurts could be a good place to start.
Simply make sure you don’t utilize fear tactics to compel compliance from your audience. The concern may be motivating, but it doesn’t have to be the driving force behind your cybersecurity training. Employees should leave meetings and training sessions feeling empowered, not fearful of bringing your brand down.
You couldn’t have a huge company (but!). However, this does not rule out the possibility of erecting significant barriers for anybody concerned with cybercrime.