by Juan Robin II
What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cyber resilience? The ability to survive a cyber attack?
A security breach can cost U.S. companies almost $8 million. That’s due to lost sales, employee downtime, and the length of time your systems are down.
Your company’s ability to bounce back from such an attack is the essence of cyber resilience. Not only will your employees be able to get back to work faster, but your customers can also visit your site sooner, minimizing lost sales.
If there’s a serious data breach that’s caught and handled right away, your company can quickly regain the trust of customers.
That’s what will minimize the cost of any security issues. Read on to learn how your company can not just survive the next cyber attack but come out thriving.
What is Cyber Resilience?
It’s not a matter of if your company’s systems get hacked anymore. It’s a matter of when. Cyber attacks aren’t just for big companies, either. Small businesses are frequently scammed and hacked out of millions of dollars.
Between 2016 and 2017, cyber attacks increased by four times. Hackers have found them t be profitable, with some attacks forcing companies to part with $500,000.
Cyber resilience isn’t focused on preventing attacks or the measures to respond. It refers to your company’s ability to function during an attack. If critical processes are forced to shut down, your company isn’t resilient at all.
On the other hand, if people can still work, and customers can get to your website to make purchases, that shows a high level of resiliency.
One recent example is the City of Atlanta. The city’s systems were held hostage by hackers who demanded that the city pay $51,000 to restore the systems. The city didn’t pay, and important functions like the courts and police were affected.
Common Cyber Attacks
In order to build a smart defense around cyber attacks, you need to understand how different attacks work. The more you know about them, the more resilient your networks will be.
Malware is one of the most common forms of cyber attacks. They can infiltrate your systems through a bad website or an email link.
One form of malware is called ransomware. This is when your systems are locked up and held for ransom. You have to pay hackers, usually by cryptocurrency, within 24-72 hours or you’ll lose everything.
Your data is either locked up by encryption or the boot files are changed so you can’t access the data at all. Your best protection is a good backup to restore systems immediately.
You can stay on the lookout for malware by using this malware checker tool.
These usually show up in the form of emails that are meant to look legitimate. You may have seen emails that ask you to change your password or enter credit card information. You do, and you just gave hackers access to sensitive data.
Denial of Service
A denial of service attack is a bot or series of bots that drive traffic to your website. The goal is to drive so much traffic, servers are overloaded and your systems shut down.
All of these attacks could result in your customers’ data being stolen, which can be used for ID theft and other fraudulent activities.
Preventing a Cyber Attack
Preventing a cyber attack is the ideal way to go. The cause of most cyber attacks is employees.
You can train your employees about cybersecurity. You can also limit access to critical systems. By limiting access, you have fewer people who can cause a data breach.
What Measures Can Make Your Systems Cyber Resilient?
As you may well be aware, all it takes is one click on the wrong email and you have a host of cybersecurity issues.
Design with Security in Mind
When you’re designing your IT systems and website, you typically design for the end user. That’s a smart strategy, but you’re missing a major component – security.
You have to build your systems with security in mind, otherwise, you’re putting yourself in a reactive position right from the start.
That doesn’t bode well for your company if something happens. Even the UK government recommends designing for security.
Know Your Business
If your business tends to operate in silos, then this is going to be critical for you and your IT department. You need to know how each department functions and operates.
For example, does accounting approve payments via email? Then you’re going to need to train your employees to recognize legitimate emails (Hint: the word kindly tends to be a dead giveaway.).
Having a firm understanding of how your business operates will give you a better understanding of what the most critical functions are. It will also make you aware of potential vulnerabilities.
Know Your Audience
You do need to design your systems with security in mind. You also need to create your systems for your end users.
Too many strict rules and regulations will only encourage employees to find ways around them, which will put your company’s security at great risk.
Instead, try to gamify cyber resilience at your company. Make the rules fun and engaging and easy to follow. Be accessible to answer any questions or address any concerns. You can read more about cyber resilience.
Cyber Resilience Can Save Your Company
Cyber attacks are almost an inevitable part of your business. Someone on your staff mistakenly sends thousands of dollars to a hacker thinking the directions came from accounting, or you get hit with a denial of service attack.
These are just some of the real-world ways businesses are impacted by cyber attacks every single day. Your business doesn’t have to suffer. Your IT staff can implement preventative measures to lessen the likelihood of an attack.
In the event of an attack, a cyber resilience plan can keep critical functions moving along to minimize the impact on your business. That can save you thousands of dollars and your company’s reputation.
Want to know where your company’s reputation stands? Check out our review and online reputation tool today.