Decades have passed since the phenomenon called the internet, cybersecurity is still very much a threat to businesses and individual users alike.
Considering how much money cybersecurity companies invest to bolster their solutions, you would think that cybersecurity threats would be a thing of the past by now. Unfortunately, the craftiness of hackers also seems to know no bounds in terms of adapting to progressing technology.
In 2018, the global cost of cybercrime reached an all-time high of $600 billion, which is the equivalent of 0.8 percent of the global GDP.
Still, many companies are complacent when it comes to the protection of their infrastructure.
Their usual mindset?
“My company is way too small to be targeted by cyber-attacks.”
While it makes sense on paper, this false sense of security has led to the demise 60 percent of small businesses — six months after a successful data breach.
But that’s not the only reason why you should invest in robust cybersecurity solutions right now.
1. The Rise of Zero-Day Attacks
According to statistics, zero-day malware rose by 167 percent by the end of 2017. This accounted for 46 percent of all new malware infections during that time period.
A zero-day attack is when hackers take advantage of unknown security loopholes before cybersecurity companies and software vendors become aware of them. It’s the best case scenario for cybercriminals who’d rather not spend days or even weeks slipping through the cracks of existing security systems.
71 percent of IT security professionals also agree that zero-day attacks are the most serious type of online threat.
As a business owner, zero-day attacks are a real threat that you can never really prepare for. That is, unless you put AI-driven solutions into the mix.
A managed SIEM service, for example, utilizes machine learning algorithms powered by data streams from the internet and private sources to protect against the latest threats.
Short for Security Information and Event Management, SIEM platforms work by monitoring your company’s network around the clock for security events. Most service providers also bundle their products with a lineup of cybersecurity features, like data loss prevention, intrusion detection, and a dedicated incident response team.
2. Cybersecurity as a Ranking Factor
If you’re familiar with Search Engine Optimization or SEO, you’d know that it depends on a multitude of factors found both on-page and off-page.
The use of SSL certificates on a website is one of the known on-page factors that search engines use to determine its rank worthiness.
In simple terms, an SSL certificate enables the encryption of the information communicated between users and websites. It’s also used to authenticate the identity of any online entity that attempts to initiate a secure connection.
You may be familiar with how browsers tell users that they’re dealing with an SSL-secured website:
It may seem easy to overlook, but for online-savvy consumers, an SSL certificate is a must-have before they purchase from a website.
This leads us to the next reason why you need to upgrade your cybersecurity.
3. Increase Online Conversions
Security companies sometimes provide you with a “security seal” that can be showcased on your landing pages to build buyer confidence.
Keep in mind that online conversions live and die by the level of trust that customers have on a company.
It’s not rocket science: if a customer is having second thoughts due to concerns about payment security, chances are they won’t push through with a purchase.
Apart from SSL certificates, security seals also give them the reassurance they need that their sensitive information are safe when transacting with a website. Payment gateways like PayPal also offer security banners that can help you earn the trust of your prospective customers:
Of course, a holistic approach to cybersecurity also means protecting against Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attacks as well as other breaches that could harm the user experience. This, in turn, guarantees that the sales performance of your business is at peak levels.
4. Developing a Security-Conscious Company Culture
In a hyperconnected world, cultivating a security-conscious company culture is more important now than ever.
After all, you never know what hackers will do with the compromised social media accounts of your staff.
In January 2019, hackers have exploited an old Twitter security loophole that granted them access to dormant accounts. These were then used to spread pro-terrorist propaganda across the platform with some accounts having tens of thousands of followers.
It’s also worth noting that 92.5 percent of security incidents and 84.7 percent of breaches are due to human error. It could be due to misdirected faxes, phishing scams, the accidental leak of billing records, and so on.
That said, it’s important to invest in employee education if you want to keep your organization protected against all sorts of security breaches.
Below is a short list of topics you need to prioritize:
- BYOD Policy
As much as possible, avoid a Bring Your Own Device or BYOD policy without a secure IT management platform in place. Solutions like Cloud Management Suite should help you secure every endpoint through automatic patch distribution and real-time process tracking.
- Password Hygiene
As ridiculous as it sounds, a number of people — professionals included — still use unsafe passwords such as “letmein,” “admin,” and “12345.” Such a practice leaves your company vulnerable to brute force attacks, which involve generating hundreds of password guesses to gain access to an account.
- VPN Use
If you hire remote employees, see to it that they connect through a Virtual Private Network or VPN. This keeps them protected against hackers who may intercept their connection and, in some cases, use Transmission Control Protocol or TCP streams to distribute malicious data.
If the reasons detailed above don’t convince you to upgrade your cybersecurity systems soon, nothing else will.
Bear in mind that the costs of a cyber-attack could easily cripple a new business before they even get a foothold in their market. A little preparation could really go a long way if you want to ensure the sustainability of your business — and the tips in this post should be more than enough to help you with this.