Dennis Underwood
Published on
March 14, 2023

How To Prevent Cyber Attacks: A Guide For Employers

Did you know that internet crime causes roughly $4.2 billion in yearly losses? Whether you're worried about the financial or PR repercussions of cyber attacks, there's good reason to want to prevent them. But how do you go about doing this? 

In this guide, we'll walk you through everything you need about cyber attack prevention as an employer. 

What is a Cyber Attack?

A cyber attack is a way for cybercriminals to exploit your systems and networks using coding that’s designed to cause harm. The objective of a cyber attack can vary from criminal to criminal. Sometimes it might be to leak sensitive information to the public. 

Other times, it might be to hold your data for ransom until you pay for it. Others might attack you to disrupt your service or compromise your systems and data. There are many different types of cyber-attacks out there. Some of the common security issues include things like:

  • Identity theft
  • Fraud
  • Extortion
  • Malware
  • Phishing
  • Viruses
  • Stolen hardware
  • Denial-of-service attacks 
  • Distributed denial-of-service attacks
  • Breach of access
  • Password sniffing
  • System infiltration
  • Website defacement

It's important to note that every business is susceptible to cyber-attacks. It doesn't matter how small or large you are or what your industry is. You need to invest in protection. 

Related: Top Network Attacks and Security Issues to Look For In 2023

A man using his laptop to work

How to Prevent a Cyber Attack

Cyber attacks can devastate even the largest corporation. The fantastic news is that there are things you can do as an employer to prevent these types of attacks. 

Create Strong Passwords

Having a weak password is likely walking around with a sign on your back that's asking for a cyber attack. 

Creating a solid password involves walking the line between having one that's easy to remember but next to impossible to guess. If you want help making a strong password, check out this resource provided by the IRS. 

Implement Multi-Factor Authentication

Did you know that most cyber attacks can be prevented with multi-factor authentication? Despite this fact, many businesses and organizations refuse to use it. Indeed, the login process can sometimes be a pain. 

But isn't a little annoyance worth preventing a potentially devastating cyber attack? 

Related: Why Aren't Security Tools Stopping Ransomware

Use An Identity Theft Prevention Tool

Did you know that the Identity Theft Research Center found a 68% increase in data compromises last year? Identify theft is on the rise. That means you need to invest in tools that specialize in it. 

Please make sure you go with options that actively prevent it, like Cyber Crucible. All too often, the software tries to catch the criminal after the fact. But, by then, they've sold all your passwords online to other criminals. 

Regularly Update Your Operating Systems

You can think of your operating system as the brain for your computers, mobile devices, and databases. That means that if a cybercriminal gains access to your OS, they'll be able to exploit all your data and workstations. 

Regularly updating your OS ensures that security fixes are applied to the systems. Make sure you turn on automatic updates so you never miss one. 

Regularly Backup Your Data

Ransomware is by far one of the most notorious types of cyber attacks out there. A criminal will gain access to your system, then encrypt all of the data inside. In order to get it back, you need to pay them a ransom. 

If cybercriminals target the correct type of data, they can stand to make millions by giving access to it back. However, backing up your data takes the profit out for the criminals. 

If you have a backup, either a hard drive or cloud data, you can simply reboot your system and restore it to the backup. However, this only works if you regularly back up your data. That's why you should also be vigilant about this type of disaster recovery

Also keep in mind that hackers usually target backups and disaster recovery data. That’s why it’s vital to consider hosting your own data. 

Control Access to Your Systems

Cyber attacks aren't just virtual. Someone can enter your business, plug in a USB drive, and infect your entire network. That's why it's essential to control access to your systems. Consider investing in security to ensure that no hostile party has access to your data. 

Additionally, you'll want to create layers of access in case you have insider threats to your organization. 

Have any questions on how to control access to your systems? Contact us today, and we'll answer any questions you might have. 

Ditch the Post-It Notes

As we mentioned, you can't rule out the possibility of an insider threat. This is especially true if the data your company handles could be valuable. It's easy for employees or even clients to see this info and take advantage of it. 

Because of this, you should never leave post-it notes around with important information, like passwords or account numbers. 

Train Your Staff

Employees are one of the ultimate weak points for cyber attacks. Often it doesn't take much to target them. It might be a fraud email that gets them to click on a link to malware. Or, it could be someone disguised as a client requesting sensitive data. 

If you don't train your staff to be aware of these common threats, you can't expect to get mad at them if they're targeted. So invest in some basic cybersecurity training. There are plenty of free resources online. Or, you can pay an instructor to go over an entire course. 

Wifi Security

It's possible for wifi devices to become infected when they connect to public networks. Then, when that individual relates to the business wifi, they infect the entire network. 

You can prevent this by hiding your wifi from the public and making sure it's secure against these types of threats. 

Related: Malware vs. Ransomware: A Complete Guide For Business Owners

Use Behaviour-Based Prevention

The quicker you can detect a cyber attack, the faster you can react to it and minimize damage. Sadly, many cyber attacks, like ransomware, go undetected until it's too late. By then, the files are encrypted, and you're at the mercy of the cybercriminal. 

That's why you should consider software that's behavior-based in its prevention. Software like this is able to use the behavior of past cyber-attacks to determine when there's a threat. That way, you can shut the attack down before the files are encrypted. 

Want to learn more about how CyberCrucible utilizes behavior-based prevention? Read more about our product to discover how we do it. 

Keep Your Company Safe From Cyber Attack

Sometimes it can be hard to justify the expenses of preventing cyber attacks. Remember that a small investment now is preferable to be caught unprepared for a cyber attack. 

However, as long as you follow the advice in this guide, and invest in the five pillars of cybersecurity, you should be able to reduce some of the risks related to cybercrime. 

About the author
Dennis Underwood

Dennis Underwood is a veteran, cybersecurity leader, inventor, and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience. He is an expert at cryptography, intrusion discovery and analysis, having discovered multiple previously unreported intrusions to clients throughout his career. Currently, he is leading a team of like-minded experts delivering next generation intrusion discovery and ransomware response automation tools to consumers.

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