You’ve invested heavily in a security system for your business, and every day it gets locked up tight. But the biggest threats could already be inside. Today’s businesses have to look out for security threats all around, including in their virtual spaces.
Owning a business is not for the faint of heart in many regards, and security is one of them. Below is a look at the top threats that businesses face and how to protect yourself from expensive, sometimes ruinous, security breaches.
Virtual Security Attacks
Network security and virus protection are growing issues as the number of virtual bugs increase year after year. In 2014 alone, almost 1 million viruses were unleashed on the Worldwide Web every day.
Although hackers are getting more sophisticated, the majority of the viruses used today (90%) are revamped versions of old bugs. But the problem is hackers move quickly – more quickly than most companies. The easiest solution is to use virus protection software that blocks viruses and alerts you immediately if one sneaks through. The software needs to be all-inclusive, covering mobile devices and servers as well as computers. Even one small crack is enough to let a virus in that can take everything down.
Malware is another serious cyber threat. Ransomware, in particular, has become the weapon of choice for hackers. This is malware that will lock you out of your computers and cloud-based storage. The perpetrators then demand a large sum of money from the business in exchange for removing the malware.
Experts at McAfee Labs believe that mobile phones are going to be the biggest target in coming years. Hackers are now learning how to tap into phones using Wi-Fi networks and cloud-based apps to lock them up. This can be particularly dangerous for businesses if employees are using their phones and tablets for work.
It turns out that when trade secrets are stolen an employee or partner is almost always to blame. A study conducted by the law firm O’Melveny & Myers found that 85% of the time the owner of the trade secret knows the thief, who often is someone that’s working alongside them.
Sometimes it’s not the trade secrets that an employee steals but customers and clients. Every day businesses around the country have to deal with employees that leave and try to take business with them. Non-competes, non-solicit and non-disclosure agreements are a necessity that keeps your business protected in the event that an employee decides to strike out on their own or work for a competitor.
Employee theft of actual goods is also on the rise. A recent survey from Data-Label found that nearly 20% of employees admitted to stealing from their workplace. The vast majority of the time it’s something very small, like food or stationary, but the petty theft adds up over time.
Less Than Secure Partners, Employees and Third Party Vendors
Anytime you work with another vendor, choose an SaaS, or partner up with another business, their security infrastructure has to be taken into consideration. They’ll potentially be accessing your systems and storing your information. Even if you take every precaution possible, if they don’t you’ll end up being affected.
The same goes for your employees. If they download software or share information without regard for security, your business could end up paying the price. Businesses have to create security protocols that employees must read and acknowledge with a signature. This will help to impress upon them how important security is for everyone’s livelihood.
Failing to Have a Reaction Plan in Place
Management can make security issues worse by failing to create a plan for handling breaches before they happen. Whether the security threat is online or offline, quick response is necessary to minimize the damage and hopefully catch the criminals.
It’s easy to fall into the “it’ll never happen to me” mindset, but the truth of the matter is that millions of people have their identities stolen every year. Thousands of businesses fall victim to hackers. It can definitely happen to your business. Try to imagine every possible security threat your business may experience and then create a simple action plan that outlines how to handle the problem immediately.