The Top 3 Cyber-Threats to Business and How to Fight Them
IT threats are scary, damaging and, if IT isn’t your area of expertise, incredibly hard to formulate an effective immediate response to.
22:11 31 January 2018
There are hundreds of articles online explaining what these threats are and how to pre-empt them, but what do you do when that one virus slips through your security? Keep reading to see the top three threats to businesses, and how to effectively react to them.
Data Security Breaches
Data security breaches are crippling. Not only does your business potentially lose valuable data on its clients and operations, it also completely undermines shareholder trust in the business and potentially endangers customers, but only if you handle it badly.
The new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (effective May 2018), which affects any business handling EU citizen data, states data breaches must be reported within 72 hours or a business can be fined up to €20 million. Your first action should be to identify the extent of the breach, and if possible, prevent it from spreading further; this will prevent client speculation and give you some ground to stand on.
Your next step should be to calmly and thoroughly report the situation to stakeholders. The relevant authority must also be informed before you then make an effective and public announcement outlining the full extent of the breach, who could be affected and what you as a business are doing to improve the situation and prevent future breaches.
Continued communication and transparency are key to the effective handling of a data breach, once everyone affected is informed you can work with them to ensure no serious harm occurs while taking steps preventative measures to ensure another breach does not occur.
Server Failures disrupt the day to day operation of a business for your employees and potentially your customers, should they rely on your servers to access your services. In addition to the lost time, the effort and expertise required to diagnose the source of the crash make it an incredibly expensive issue.
Failure can be caused by internal hazards, such as damage to the servers, power outages or software errors, or even external hazards, such as infiltration attacks, viruses or distributed denial of service attacks. And, preventative measures are the first and most important line of defence here. Data backups are incredibly important, and you should consider getting a load balancer, which distributes traffic and provides continuous monitoring to prevent crashes and provide detailed logs when they do occur.
Server failures require a fast and effective response, your first priority should be identifying the cause of the crash and then taking relevant steps fix the issue. Again, effective communication with your staff and clients are integral.
Virus and Malware Outbreaks
Virus outbreaks encompass everything from trojans to crypto-lockers and ransomware. Any iruses encountered should be isolated by disconnecting the affected computer from any business databases. If your installed anti-virus or anti-malware systems cannot get rid of it, the most effective option is to restore the computer to a previous backup.
Steps should be taken to inform employees about the breach, as well as clients if the breach is serious, and follow-up actions should be taken; any remnants of the virus, such as infected emails which may have been forwarded, should be isolated and deleted and policies and guidelines on what to do during an outbreak should be updated from your experience of this one.
Ultimately, effective and fast response and transparent and constant communication are incredibly important in all scenarios. Doing so will distinguish your business and often lead to the best possible outcome of a situation that might otherwise be crippling.
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