What are cyber threats?
Cyber threats are a risk of doing business in our digital world. They include everything from rogue tweets made by employees that cause reputational damage, to hardware or infrastructure failure resulting in data loss, and even malicious malware and viruses that leave your digital systems crippled.
How they affect your business
When a cyber threat finally affects you it becomes a cyber event, bringing with it immediate and often devastating consequences. The effects will vary depending on the event you're faced with, but in all cases a cyber event can have a major impact on your business. The financial losses can be significant and for many small businesses the losses can be hard to sustain. It can take weeks to recover data or find the cause of a breach, you may lose revenue if you can't trade and have to carry the cost of losing important files or intellectual property. Your business' reputation can also be damaged, particularly if customer records are compromised, and this can have a long term impact. Below are some of the most common cyber threats that businesses are faced with today.
Protecting your business online
All businesses should adopt a system of regularly backing up all files and data. This should be kept well away from your main network server, ideally somewhere which is not permanently connected to your system such as an external hard drive. Depending on how often you create or access important or sensitive data, you may need to back up fortnightly, weekly, or even daily.
Educate and plan
Cyber security affects your entire business, so all employees should be aware of how to prevent attacks and minimise damage. Leaders should understand the issues and play a role in getting the business prepared for an attack. Assigning someone to oversee preparedness and report on updates to the team, as well as making all employees aware of the ways an attack could occur will help reduce your exposure to risk. Lastly, keep software up to date across your entire system to minimise known errors that hackers use to infiltrate systems.
Cyber events are inevitable so it's important to prepare for them, just as you would for any other emergency. Consider who in your team is responsible to alert your IT or cyber security expert, whether the police need to be involved, whether it's necessary to discuss the issue with the media, and how to find the source of the breach.
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