How to Defend Your Business Against a Cyber Attack

As technology and society’s reliance on the internet advances, cyber-attack risks increase. So, it’s now crucial for businesses and organisations of all sizes to protect themselves against cyber threats.

No one is safe from cybercriminals, from SMEs to large corporations and government agencies. In fact, studies show that over 50% of businesses experience a cyber attack or data breach, so protecting your company from cyber attacks is crucial.

Read this article to learn how to safeguard your business from the menace of cyber-attacks.

What is the difference between a cyber threat and a cyber attack?

A cyber threat is something that could happen to exploit a weakness in a network or system. In contrast, a cyber attack is an actual attempt to breach your security systems or gain unauthorised access to your network.

To put it more simply, a cyber threat is a warning sign, while a cyber attack is an actual harmful event.

What is the best defence against cyber attacks?

The best way to defend your business against cyber attacks involves a combination of technical measures and user education.

  • Regularly update your business software and systems, use unique and strong passwords, implement multi-factor authentication and encrypt sensitive customer and business data.
  • Educate your employees about social engineering attacks, especially phishing, to help prevent them from falling victim to current scams.
  • Put in place strong cybersecurity policies and carry out regular security audits.

Basically, an effective defence against cyber attacks is rather like building a virtual fortress with many layers of protection around your business. 

How to protect your business from cyber security attacks

In today’s digital landscape, protecting your business from cyber-attacks is crucial. Here are some ways to strengthen your business’s cybersecurity.

Educate your employees

Your employees are at the sharp end of cyber threats. Ensure every staff member is well-informed about current cybersecurity threats and how to stay safe online. 

New cyber threats appear almost weekly, so conduct regular training sessions to keep your employees in the loop.

Use strong passwords

Insist your employees use strong, unique passwords for all accounts, and consider adding multi-factor authentication (MFA) to provide an extra layer of security.

All passwords should be changed regularly to keep one step ahead of hackers.

Update software regularly

Regularly update all your software, including antivirus programs, operating systems and applications. This is critical since these updates typically contain security patches that can protect your network against known vulnerabilities.

Secure your network

Prevent unauthorised access to your network by using firewalls and secure Wi-Fi networks and limit user access to only those employees who need it.

Backup data regularly

Backup your business data regularly and store the backups in a secure, off-site location. That way, if your business suffers a ransomware attack or data loss, you can easily recover the information you need to keep your business up and running.

Enforce a cybersecurity policy

Develop a company cybersecurity policy that provides guidelines on using business systems, accessing sensitive data and reporting security incidents.

Monitor systems

Monitor activity on your company network with cybersecurity software tools that detect unusual behaviour, enabling you to respond to potential threats quickly.

Limit systems access

Only provide access to sensitive data and systems to employees who need it for their job responsibilities, and review and update access permissions regularly.

Encrypt sensitive data

Encrypt all sensitive information to add an extra layer of protection.

Incident response plan

Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that clearly tells employees what to do during a cybersecurity incident or data breach. This can help minimise damage and system downtime.

Work with cybersecurity experts

Consider working with cybersecurity consulting services to improve your business’s online security.

Stay informed

Cyber threats change constantly, so keep yourself informed about the latest developments and adapt your security measures accordingly.

Take out cyber insurance coverage

If your business suffers a data breach or cyber attack, a comprehensive cyber insurance policy can help you quickly get your operation back on track, potentially saving you expensive downtime.

Insurance can also provide protection against legal action by customers and regulatory bodies, helping to protect your business’s reputation.

How to defend your business from an active cyber attack

If the worst happens and you find your business attacked by cyber criminals, you must take immediate steps to protect yourself:

  • Contain the incident by disconnecting or isolating any affected systems from your primary network to prevent malware from spreading. That could mean physically unplugging machines or using network configurations to isolate them. 
  • Identify the nature of the attack, whether it’s a data breach, ransomware, or another cyber threat. That knowledge can help you formulate an effective response.
  • Time is critical, so immediately notify your IT security team and any other relevant employees about the ongoing cyber attack.
  • If you have an incident response plan in place, put it into action and follow it strictly.
  • Contact all relevant agencies and dedicated police cybercrime investigation departments who could assist you.
  • Build trust by being transparent. Keep all your employees, customers and business partners in the loop without disclosing sensitive information.
  • If possible, restore your systems from clean backups to help keep your business running and mitigate the cyber attack’s impact.
  • Once the cyber attack is contained, conduct a thorough analysis to find out how the cyber criminals staged the attack, what data was accessed and what systems were compromised. That information is critical for improving your cybersecurity defences in the future.

It’s essential to learn from the incident, so once the danger has been contained, conduct a review to understand what went wrong, what worked well and how you can improve your business’s cybersecurity in the future.

Protect your business with Cyber Coverage

Be sure to educate your employees about the dangers of phishing and malware attacks, put in place robust security measures to protect your network from hackers and have an incident recovery plan for your business.

In addition, adequate cyber insurance coverage can protect your business from cyber-attacks. If you fall victim to cybercrime, cyber insurance can keep your business trading, recover any losses you suffer, and protect you against fines for accidental regulatory breaches and third-party lawsuits.

Contact the experienced team of experts at Stanmore Insurance today to find out why your business needs cyber insurance coverage.