In 2005, the Bureau of Justice Statistics conducted a survey, National Computer Security Survey (NCSS) to determine how common and problematic cyber attacks and crimes against US businesses were. One of the shocking discoveries made through this survey was that of the 7,818 businesses involved, nearly 60 percent of them detected one or more different types of cyber attacks used against them. That was the world of doing business via computer and across the World Wide Web nearly a decade ago.
Things have changed now and even more businesses are finding that cyber attacks are a way of life. Constant vigilance isn’t an option. It’s an absolute necessity. There are things you can do that will help your business present a less attractive target to those who would commit cyber crimes against you and your business.
What Constitutes Cyber Crime?
For many business owners, identifying what is and isn’t a cyber crime is not so cut and dried. It includes cyber theft in the form of financial data, embezzlement, fraud, and intellectual property, spoofing, spyware, adware, phishing, viruses, malware, hacking, and denial of services attacks.
The greater the role of technology in our daily lives and the operation of our businesses, the more vigilant businesses must become to protect against the potential devastation of cyber crimes.
Where are Businesses Most Vulnerable?
In the world of business, employees can be your greatest assets and your greatest risks. Whether intentional or accidental, employees present one of the largest risks employers face when it comes to cyber security. Risks come in many forms, including these:
- Disgruntled employees
- Inventory theft
- Theft of intellectual property
- Failure to follow policies regarding Internet security
You name it, and there’s an employee that has presented that risk to your business. The key isn’t eliminating all risks, but creating policies that reduce the risks and limit your exposure to some of the costliest in terms of dollars, consumer confidence, and the overall health and wellbeing of your business.
Safeguarding against Cyber Crime
Because vulnerabilities to cyber crimes pose a significant (and growing) risk to today’s businesses, it’s vitally important to safeguard your business wherever possible. These are a few of the steps you can take, for the sake of your business, to guard against these crimes.
- Create and enforce policies designed to protect business financial information, secrets, and secrets.
- Change default passwords and force employees to use new alphanumeric passwords frequently.
- Adopt employee-friendly policies throughout your company and work to identify employees who are becoming disengaged before they become completely disgruntled.
- Create policies that promote adequate oversight and frequent audits of all financial matters.
- Invest in adequate business insurance that includes cyber liability insurance.
These things may not prevent cyber crimes from happening in your workplace completely, but they can go a long way towards limiting the scope and frequency of cyber attacks while also mitigating the depth of their damage.