Keeping your business safe from cyberattacks

This content is sponsored by TD Bank. 

Do you think your business is safe from cyberattacks? Think again. Cyberattacks against businesses have become so prevalent that many believe it is no longer a matter of if, but when a business will come under attack. It is estimated that a ransomware attack occurs every eight seconds. FBI director Christopher Wray has indicated that the FBI is tracking over 100 different types of ransomware and described the threat and challenge to be similar in scale to that of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. On June 2 Anne Neuberger, the deputy assistant to the President and deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology recently published an open letter from the White House to companies urging executives and business leaders to take steps to protect against cyberattacks. The subject: What We Urge You to Do to Protect Against the Threat of Ransomware.

While it is entirely possible that you have safeguarded your business from cyber criminals, you want to be sure. A single event can wreak havoc on a business and may even put a business under. There are many steps every business leader should take to defend against cybercrime.  The most important is to take the threat seriously and deliberately control the things you can.

Practice great cyber hygiene:

  • Don’t use public Wi-Fi to conduct business.
  • When the computer or phone says it’s time for an update/upgrade, do it.
  • Don’t open attachments or links that you are not certain are safe. Ask, “Do I know the sender of this email? Does this sender typically send me attachments or links like this?”
  • Train employees on cyber risks, email and phone scams and limit employee access to only those functions they need to have in order to do their jobs.

Authenticate anyone requesting information or changes to your records:

  • Double check suppliers or vendors that call or send emails requesting that payments be redirected. They might be imposters.
  • Conduct background checks on all employees, full time part time, contractors, etc.
  • Know this! Banks will never ask for online banking passwords or other credentials. Any email or call from “the bank” requesting such information is fake.

Get informed and stay informed. There are countless resources available online to learn about and stay current on cybersecurity. A good place to start is at cisa.gov, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the U.S. government.

Make “risk management” a part of your business model. Think about it as much as you think about growing your business and serving your customers. Assume the criminals are planning an attack on your business, and act with urgency.

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