Technology creates new opportunities and options for your business. Most of these are good; some aren’t. In today’s marketplace, businesses must be prepared for cyber threats. Here are five you should watch out for:
- Hacktivists-These tech pros are on a mission to make a political point or embarrass your company. Their actions can range from benign to seriously damaging.
- Criminal hackers-Not to be confused with hacktivists, criminal hackers are trying to accumulate funds illegally. Think of them as online thieves. Their hope is to find a way into your system to siphon your funds.
- Intellectual property threats-Hackers may seek out technical plans, blueprints, patents, or other secured information. This intellectual property gives them access to sensitive information at a great cost to your business.
- Terrorism-These hackers aren’t looking for monetary gain, and they definitely aren’t playing an embarrassing prank. Terrorists may want to steal information that aids in a physical attack.
- Disgruntled employees-The other four types of cyber threats are all external; this one operates from the inside. An unhappy employee has access to passwords and other insider information and can use his or her insider status to inflict damage on your company.
Stop hackers in their tracks
To protect their companies and their employees, business owners must be prepared for these threats. However, it’s not about trying to avoid being hacked. You should expect these cyber threats to happen; no one can avoid them entirely. The goal is to make breaches as small as possible, and to act quickly to minimize damage.
Business owners should realize they can stop a hack in progress. Strong security and careful scanning can alert you to hackers’ activity. Hackers’ reconnaissance missions are often lengthy; on average, 240 days pass before they’re noticed. Try to spot them early to begin identifying who they are, what systems they’re in, and how you can cut them off.
Contain and act quickly
Once the hackers are ensconced, you need to implement a predetermined plan to handle the attack. It’s essential to have analytics and legal teams at the ready to intervene; if a plan is not already in place before a cyber threat happens, the proper resources cannot be moved quickly into place to handle the issue.
Something else to keep in mind is focus. Too often, companies and legal teams are worried about potential litigation later on. The initial focus must be on surviving the current threat.
Being aware of these potential threats can help business owners understand their vulnerabilities and prioritize protective measures. Because these attacks are nearly inevitable, company owners must take steps to prepare on all fronts.
A key part of your preparation is cyber insurance. These policies cover liability for data breeches, and they’re essential. Without insurance, a nasty cyber attack could bankrupt your company and destroy all you’ve worked for. Discuss cyber insurance with your commercial insurance agent, who can help you select the coverage that’s best for your company.