In the past, businesses mostly concerned themselves with securing their physical premises from physical threats. This usually involved hiring a security company, installing detectors at the entrance and exits of the business, and installing surveillance cameras. While these are still important ways to protect and secure a business, even virtual businesses now have a new and constant threat: cyber breaches.
An AT&T report showed the far reach of the issue when it revealed that 62 percent of the businesses surveyed experienced breaches in 2015. With such a common and devastating threat looming overhead, what can a business do to protect itself, its partners, and its clients?
Be Open and Communicative
One of the big mistakes companies make after a breach is staying mum, hoping they can resolve the issue before media learns what happened. This course can backfire when hackers publicly out companies, by bragging online, or posting the stolen information on public websites for all to see.
When companies react immediately to let customers and partners know what happened, people can start protecting their data, and reduce the likelihood of the breach’s effect on them. Even if hackers already reached their information, customers usually express gratitude for the heads-up, as opposed to only finding out in the news after the fact.
Call in the Damage Control Team
While remaining open and communicative, companies should also take care what they communicate and how. The most innocent statements can become misconstrued to mean something malicious, which was not initially intended. As a result, companies should call in public relations specialists to guide them through the difficult process, and assist with rebuilding reputation.
PR specialists may set up, update, and monitor proper communication channels, while also dealing directly with the press. Through social media campaigns and partnerships with major publications, they can share the brand’s more favorable account of – and justification for – what happened, and what they’re doing to resolve the issue.
Set Up Proper Cyber Security Measures
Reacting quickly and efficiently is great, but companies should try to prevent cyber security breaches from happening. One of the best ways to do this is to install proper firewalls and other security measures, as well as hiring a cyber security firm for ongoing or regular support.
Cyber security firms usually check for vulnerabilities, while also monitoring real-time threats to the organization. Even in instances where the breach has already taken place, hiring a cyber security firm can help companies find out how, where, and why the breach occurred, and more importantly, how to prevent it from happening again.
Educate Employees on Data Security
The most sensational breaches in the media involve high-level hackers who sneak their way into security systems to steal or manipulate data. However, the easiest way to get past even the highest levels of security is the lower level employees. Even the janitor could compromise the security of your company.
So, employees at all levels should receive education on best practices for data security. Companies should train them on what information they can give out to who and why, how to create complex passwords, how to remember passwords without storing them anywhere, and how to spot potential security breaches.
These are just some of the ways companies can protect themselves from the threat of a cyber breach, and its aftereffects. And even small businesses and bloggers need to keep these tips in mind, as websites are also frequently hacked and held ransom for large sums of money.