Over the years, our dependence on technology has increased manifold. Acknowledging the vast potential of technology in streamlining business operations, almost every company is now storing business information and data online.

However, while digitalization allows greater efficiency and increased profits, dependence on technology has drawbacks. Cybercriminals see the rise in digital data storage as the perfect opportunity to fulfill their malicious intent. As a result, cyber-attacks have become a bigger threat, putting countless businesses at risk of losing data. Even a single cyber-attack can be detrimental to a company’s success since data loss may lead to bankruptcy and a decrease in reputation. Therefore, it’s crucial to prevent your business from falling prey to the advanced skills of cybercriminals. To help you with this purpose, here are four ways to thwart a cyber-attack.

Train your workers

Cybercriminals not only exploit security gaps in the company’s digital infrastructure to carry out cyber-attacks. But they also exploit naïve employees through social engineering techniques that involve psychological manipulation. For example, cybercriminals can launch a cyber-attack right under the nose by tricking workers into giving away sensitive information through fake emails. This technique is known as phishing. Other social engineering cyber-attacks include baiting, scareware, and pretexting. These methods can force employees to install malware, leading to data loss. Therefore, it’s crucial to train your staff and prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to digital assets. As a result, employees will work more cautiously with technology and quickly identify any social engineering scams while also knowing what to do in the case of a breach.

Keeping your employees up-to-date with the latest hacking techniques is simple in the age of technology. You can train your employees (and upskill yourself) by enrolling in a cybersecurity master’s degree or short course online. This will expedite the training process in a more flexible manner.

Install anti-malware applications

Cybercriminals have developed several types of dangerous malware to infect business systems and steal or destroy valuable data. For example, ransomware can hold company assets hostage and force businesses to pay large sums while overwriting viruses destroy data. What’s worse, modern malware appears as authentic software. Even the most experienced people can easily install it. In such a situation, it’s best to reinforce your digital security by installing anti-malware applications. These applications will check each download on company systems and prevent malware from being installed onto computers, thwarting a cyber-attack. Additionally, anti-malware runs regular scans to check for malware and immediately quarantine it.

Alongside installing anti-malware applications, it’s also essential to ensure a firewall protects your company systems. A firewall monitors incoming and outgoing internet traffic and stops unauthorized access from outsiders. Remember to update your firewall and anti-malware apps to ensure they keep functioning effectively. 

Multifactor authentication

Companies often use insecure passwords, which places their data at risk. Statistics indicate 81% of cyber-attacks worldwide happen because of insecure passwords. However, using secure and unique passwords only solves the problem partially. Gaining unauthorized access to passwords is becoming common because hackers continue to use phishing, fake Wi-Fi, and other methods of stealing them. In such a situation, the best way to thwart cyber-attacks is by using a multifactor authentication system on all company accounts.

With multifactor authentication in place, anyone trying to access company data will have to enter a unique code sent to their smartphone or email, along with the account password. So, even if an attacker steals your account’s credentials, it will be impossible to access company data without having the unique code sent only to authorized persons. Additionally, multifactor authentication also serves to detect unauthorized activity and trigger alarms.

System backup 

With even the most advanced security measures in place, you can never be sure if your data is 100% safe. There will always be a tiny chance of a data breach through a well-coordinated cyber-attack. Therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry and store duplicate data on a separate network or storage device by backing it up. Even if an attacker accesses your business’s data, you won’t have to worry about losing it. Moreover, with a system backup in place, it’ll be easy to prevent the loss of money due to ransomware attacks, which have doubled in 2021. Cybercriminals will no longer be able to threaten you by holding your data hostage.

However, it’s crucial to keep system backup files up-to-date at all times. Otherwise, you will lose some of the recent data in the case of a cyber-attack. More importantly, secure your backup devices with encryption and multifactor authentication.

Conclusion

Cyber-attacks are on the rise as companies continue to store valuable data online. Cybercriminals have developed advanced techniques to gain unauthorized access to sensitive and personal information. However, deploying a robust cybersecurity strategy can help you thwart a cyber-attack. So consider following the tips mentioned above to protect the future of your business.