Threats are everywhere. Look left and there’s a hacker trying to worm his way into a bank’s internal system. Look right and there’s a malicious intruder extracting customer data from a point-of-sale system. Cyber incursions vary in size and type, but the end goal is almost always the same: Make money, regardless of the damage done in the process.
The monetary focus of malicious incursions means that all enterprises need to equip themselves with defensive strategies to protect against an attack. ITBusinessEdge recently pinpointed some of the enterprise security measures that businesses can take:
- Get a team together. Enterprise security encompasses far more than just the IT department. In the business-computing world of today, companies must also equip themselves with legal experts, PR people and others who can help both to prevent an attack and, if one does happen, deal with the fallout. One of the reasons small and medium businesses are targeted in such high numbers is because they often neglect the crucial step of forming a fully-equipped security team. While SMBs may point to budgetary constraints as the reason for not having such a team, that’s no excuse. Getting experts together should be at the top of every company’s priority list.
- If a breach happens, tackle it quickly. It doesn’t take much for a single malicious incursion to metastasize and cause significantly more damage than it would if it were stopped early on. That’s why companies need to take swift action if they detect the presence of an imposter within their cyber walls. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t heed this advice and instead either spend time in denial that a breach is actually happening, or postpone a direct response because of a perceived need to talk it out with the PR team. But the message from ITBusinessEdge couldn’t be clearer: “Investigate first, talk later.”
- Listen to experts. It’s not uncommon for a company to bring in an outside expert to discuss, say, strategies for boosting second-quarter revenue. In order to be better prepared for and even possibly prevent an attack, organizations need to focus that same energy to amassing outside expertise when it comes to the issue of enterprise security. Imagine this: Once a month, a small business holds a meeting for all its staff in which it invites a security expert to discuss various cyber defense issues. With this kind of event in place, a company guarantees that its staffers will be more prepared to practice the kind of secure computing that will keep intruders at bay..
The Need for Defensive Measures Applies to Small Businesses, Too
It is a concerning misconception that breaches are mainly confined to big enterprises. Just because the incursions that make headlines are the ones against services like eBay, Facebook and Twitter doesn’t mean SMBs aren’t being impacted at an alarming and growing rate.
A recent security report found that between 2012 and 2013, instances of attacks on small and mid-sized firms experienced a 61 percent increase, according to InformationWeek. The average attack also expanded from four days to eight, meaning cybercriminals aren’t only breaching companies more — they’re also enjoying more time on the inside.
The virulence of malware has also increased, with threats like ransomware strains circulating and promising to be a major headache to any company that falls into their clutches. According to InformationWeek contributor Henry Kenyon, SMBs don’t seem to be taking the same proactive measures as their larger counterparts, which in turn opens them up to attack.
“Large companies … have improved their IT defenses and security procedures,” he wrote. “Attackers seeking intellectual property and economic data have shifted to the smaller contractors and suppliers subcontracting under the larger firms.”