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Does your business deter cybercrime?

August 17, 2017

When businesses worldwide were struck by WannaCry ransomware in mid-May, it brought renewed attention to the importance of cybersecurity for many firms. Businesses in the U.S. weren’t hit as hard as in many other nations, but the assault on business systems should serve as a reminder to organizations of all sizes that they need to be proactive and create a culture of cybersecurity.

Although breaches and assaults on large corporations make headlines, small businesses are also vulnerable. Cybercriminals and hackers know that small businesses often have less security, making them more vulnerable to criminal activity. Forty-three percent of cyberattacks target small businesses.* What’s worse, 60 percent of small companies go out of business within six months after being attacked.*

Deter an attack

The following steps can help protect your business from cybercriminals looking to steal customer records, intellectual property and other confidential data.

Put a security plan in place. Develop policies that include requiring employees to use strong passwords and update them regularly; setting business mobile devices to have a password and lock automatically when unused for a certain length of time; and encrypting laptop drives.

Install and update anti-malware software and firewalls. Keep anti-virus and anti-malware software up-to-date on every device that connects to your business systems, including desktop PCs, laptops and mobile devices. Perform regular tests and scan for viruses that could be stealing sensitive data.

Train your employees. Your staff represents both your first line of defense and a point of vulnerability. Be sure employees know your business’ security policies, how to recognize potential threats and what to do when a threat presents itself. Train them with real-world examples and information relevant to their individual roles.

Hire or consult IT professionals. Knowledgeable experts can keep your company up-to-date with the latest security precautions.

Keep all software up-to-date. Regularly check for updates on all software your business uses. Updates often contain patches for known vulnerabilities, so not updating could leave you open to an attack.

Back up data frequently. Ransomware attacks, such as WannaCry, rely on you not having backed-up data. Be aware, though, some ransomware may encrypt your backup, too, so you may need to create an offline backup or a backup on a completely separate, unconnected system.

Consider purchasing cyber liability insurance. No security plan is foolproof, and having coverage for data breaches and other cybercrimes could help your business recover rather than become a victim.

If your business is hit

Taking the right steps if your business falls victim to cybercrime can help you recover and learn how to improve your security to lessen the risk of future incidents:

  • Contact the police and The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
  • Identify the threat — what is it? Determine whether it’s ransomware, a worm or some other type of malware.
  • Contain the threat. Disconnect affected servers or systems, and change passwords.
  • Investigate what happened, which systems were affected and how criminals gained access.
  • Remediate and recover. Restore IT infrastructure once the investigation has been completed and the threat eliminated.

Working toward your success

Business Banking services from PeoplesBank can help your business reach your goals with financial solutions tailored to your needs. We’re here to help!

* Source: Small Business Trends, Jan. 3, 2017.

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