Damages from cybercrimes are expected to exceed $6 trillion annually by 2021. Information security costs will exceed $1 trillion before then. In 2017 alone, ransomware damages are anticipated to exceed $5 billion. Dollar values like these belie any descriptions of cybersecurity issues as “small stuff.”Devoting resources to basic cybersecurity practices, however, allows enterprises to worry less about the minutiae. Expending effort on the front end protecting networks and systems from cyberattacks can prevent major back-end damage and expense.
Many organizations spend an inordinate amount of time and energy on technological cybersecurity defenses. But sometimes they do this at the expense of worrying about the human element—often the catalyst for a cyberattack. Writing off human behavior as “the small stuff” is a recipe for cybersecurity catastrophe. This risk factor deserves adequate attention, especially with the rise of Bring-Your-Own-Device policies in many workplaces.
Employee negligenceis one of the greatest cybersecurity concerns for a majority of network managers. Employees accidentally disclose network login credentials, frequently in response to phishing emails that target busy or distracted workers. Disgruntled former employees might retain sufficient information to cause network damage intentionally. Employee laptops and portable devices are routinely lost or stolen. And those misplaced devices further expose an enterprise to data breaches.
So, enforcing good cybersecurity practices and procedures means less reason to sweat the small stuff.It also means more energy and assets to spend on actual cybersecurity solutions. Many network managers choose to carry cyber insurance as a backup to increase peace of mind. This way, even if initial measures fail, organizations will not have to pay out-of-pocket for damages and liability. This coverage also aids companies in getting back on their feet after a debilitating breach. Of course, this is just a complement to strong cybersecurity best practices.
A few regular business practices will instill a sense of cybersecurity awareness among an organization’s staff:
Train and educate employees regularly. Help your staff recognize online dangers, such as phishing scams and ransomware. Remind employees to avoid email links from unknown senders, minimize information sharing on social media, and use complex passwords. These tips will go a long way toward minimizing an organization’s exposure
- to cyberattacks. Training will also increase awareness of risky behaviors likeusingpublic Wi-Fi hotspotsand using personal devices for work.
- Update operating system and application software to install bug fixes and patches as they are released. Hackers rely on the human propensity to procrastinate when they launch attacks against known software flaws. Software developers typically issue patches as soon as a flaw is exposed. But this doesn’t matter if organizations ignore updates and leave the doors wide open for a data breach. You’ll kick yourself if you lag behind on a software update and a hacker slips in during this timeframe.
- Have a plan ready for those times when cybersecurity defenses fail and a data breach happens. A good data breach response plan will include communication protocols that contain both internal and external resources for the cyberattack. It will also designate key personnel who will hold responsibility to make decisions and manage a response. Make sure your plan answers the 5 Ws: who, what, when, where and why.
Businesses of all sizes have enough small stuff to worry about without having to fret over data breach losses and liabilities. Cyber insurance removes one whole set of those worries and allow the organization’s managers to focus on running the business. Meanwhile, streamlining cybersecurity practices up front helps company avoid these tricky situations in the first place. Yes, employee training and software updates take effort up front, but they protect your organization from an unfortunate cyber incident.