Introduction

More and more businesses are moving away from physical media, instead deciding to move data and operations online, taking advantage of the cloud and other software.

This is a good thing. Offloading data to the cloud saves a company time and effort. However, storing data in the cloud opens a business up to cyber-attacks, the bane of any business in operation. But what could a cyber-attack do? Let’s take a look.

5 Ramifications of a Cybersecurity Breach

1. Losing the Business

Worst case scenario: you lose your business. According to recent studies, many small businesses hit with a data breach or cyber-attack end up out-of-business only months after the initial attack.

2. Suffering a Data Breach

Data breaches involve cybercriminals hacking into a business’s system and stealing whatever data they have lying around. The data stolen varies by a breach, but it usually contains confidential information about customers.

3. Loss of Trust Amongst Customers

Suffering a data breach has more consequences than losing data; a data breach can ruin your reputation. While massive corporations like Equifax are fine due to their size and influence, smaller businesses risk losing the trust of their customers, especially if located in a small town.

4. Downtime

Once you or your employees realize the business has been hit with a cyber-attack, it’s time for the business to go into repair mode. This may mean allocating resources for emergency fixes.

This doesn’t too bad, but it does mean a loss of efficiency AKA profit. Speaking of profit…

5. Paying Legal Fees

There are tons of fees involved in a cyber-attack, number one being legal fees. If your business experiences a data breach, you’ll be stuck dealing with lawyers and legal teams to cover your business and catch whoever was behind the attack.

5 Ways to Prevent Security Breaches

Now that we’ve laid out the various consequences of a cyber-attack on your business, let’s discuss the ways you can avoid such a fate.

1. Using a VPN

Many cyber-attacks start at the network-level, so it’s imperative you secure your network. One way to do this is by using a network VPN during work hours. A VPN encrypts any and all data traveling to-and-from devices on the network, making sure no one can observe the activity of anyone on the network.

2. Using a Password Manager

Weak passwords give hackers easy access to employee accounts, which then can lead to data breaches. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you need to create strong, unique passwords and keep up with all the passwords.

A password manager makes this easy, generating passwords for you. Using a password manager can save you a lot of time and frustration.

3. Checking for Vulnerabilities

Without knowing the weaknesses that lie within your network, it’s difficult to take the steps necessary to secure it. And if you don’t wipe away these vulnerabilities, there’s no telling when a hacker will take the opportunity to hack.

Using something like a vulnerability scanner will allow you to assess the situation and help you figure out which parts of your network need to be improved.

4. Keeping Devices Up-to-Date

After you tighten up security network-wise, begin taking a look at your hardware’s security. Hardware hacks are on the rise once again, so it’s vital you do everything possible to secure your devices.

One way to do this is to regularly update them. Many software updates come with security fixes and patches, so keeping them updated is vital.

5. Training Employees

But every fix in the world won’t matter if you and your employees don’t practice proper cybersecurity etiquette. All it takes is one mistake by anyone to ruin the security of a network and make it susceptible to data breaches.

Think about holding a cybersecurity training seminar for your employees. At the very least, shoot them a quick email detailing proper cybersecurity behaviors.

Conclusion

Business owners have near-unlimited options when it comes to securing their business. From encrypting data with a reputable VPN to training employees on what proper cybersecurity looks like, they need to take every step possible.

No business should suffer from a data breach or loss of reputation. Make sure your business is as secure as can be.