In the United States alone, there were more than 668 million intrusions and data breaches. We are seeing a 15% annual increase in the number of attacks since 2013.

Companies that collect and store sensitive information are constant targets for cyber attacks. Even though threats can come from a variety of sources, there are certain steps that can lessen cyber threats. Cybersecurity should be considered a primary aspect of any modern business. When businesses fail to protect their own data as well as their clients’ data, they are at risk of monetary loss and reputational damage. It is critical to understand and identify the different threats and weaknesses of your business. This is especially true for those areas related to your IT.

What is at Risk?

Your assets, such as hardware, software, and information are all a part of your IT infrastructure and may be vulnerable or at risk of cyber-attack. You should identify the primary types of information that your business handles and identify what should be protected. Recognize where this information exists within the organization, such as on laptops, servers, phones, or workstations. Consider using a 1-5 rating scale to rate your information asset list and rate the threats that each top-rated information asset faces. You should align your security spending and focus on tackling the areas that are at most risk. By classifying and rating your assets, you are able to identify the amount of harm that might be done if the information were altered or disclosed. You can then prioritize the most important breaches and how to stop them from occurring.

With the landscape of computer security rapidly evolving, it is essential to stay informed on threats and vulnerabilities. Unfortunately, no industry is safe and sectors, such as healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing, are counting the cost. Clearly, challenges continue to grow and organizations must be proactive rather than reactive. There are multiple security alerts and advisories to help you keep your products up to date. In addition, information on the latest security trends and threat information is available on several news sources. By running regular vulnerability scanning tools and repairing software vulnerabilities, you can quickly fix security gaps. In the event of a breach, it is important to detect the source of the attack and respond appropriately and quickly.

Build a Culture of Awareness

Business owners, employees, customers, and even vendors can all be assets in helping to lessen potential emerging risks. It is important to engage and educate any and all business associates on cybersecurity. As a team, you should be prepared to make necessary adjustments by incorporating new monitoring tools and techniques. Strive to build a culture where all employees work to reduce security vulnerability. If employees are comfortable approaching management with security issues, they are more likely to do so. Policies should mirror the mentality of modern workers and emphasize regular training and compliance.