How and why to protect your business from cybercrime

The article “How and why to protect your business from cybercrime” has been updated with the latest information as of November 2023.

Cybersecurity, for both small and large businesses, may seem daunting. With all the possible ways hackers and infiltrators attempt to access company data, protecting your databases to prevent cybercrime is essential.

Why is protecting data so important?

Aside from losing reputation and client trust, falling victim to cybercrime can be costly financially. 

In August 2023, Meta (formerly Facebook) was fined €433 million by the Irish Data Protection Commission for violating the GDPR. The fine was imposed for Meta’s failure to provide users with clear and transparent information about how their data was being processed.

In September 2023, Amazon was fined €725 million by the Luxembourg Data Protection Authority for violating the GDPR. The fine stemmed from Amazon’s use of targeted advertising cookies without obtaining valid consent from users.

These events serve as a prime example to other companies why protecting your business from cybercrime is so important. Although it might seem like an unlikely possibility, it’s better to have protection in place.

Simple steps to prevent cybercrime

If your business is just starting to crack down on preventing a data breach, the simpler steps are the best to start with. Ensure all staff who access sensitive data adhere to basic good practice:

  • Account multi-factor authentification – have your account send you a verification code or ask security questions before you log in.
  • Secure your devices by locking them when they are not in us – make sure your screen is not visible or accessible when you are away from your desk.
  • Be aware of phishing attacks – hackers may attempt to gain your details by requesting your details from a seemingly secure email account.
  • Automate software updates – this ensures your device has the most up-to-date software for preventing malware and viruses.
  • For more information on what your business can do to prevent cybercrime, view the government’s guide to cybersecurity.

    Doing that bit extra for protection

    To go further with your data protection, there are extra preventative measures businesses can take. 

    1. Backing up data 

    Many people with personal devices backup their photos and videos to a cloud to host the images somewhere other than the device itself. f the asset stops working, users can still access these elements. You can perform the same action with business data.

    Instead of storing information solely on a single asset, which is susceptible to theft, breakages, and infiltration, the data is stored through an account on an external server, accessible only by those with an account 

    Backing up data serves as an effective means to thwart cybercrime. If someone steals or loses an asset, it does not affect the data.

    However, it is crucial to ensure the security of login information to the cloud. Weak passwords and the absence of multi-factor authentication may lead to a breach in the cloud, potentially compromising the entire database

    2. Protecting old data from cybercrime

    Protecting your business goes beyond safeguarding current data; it also involves ensuring the security of old data stored on devices and assets. When throwing away redundant assets, a simple factory reset is not enough to ensure your company and client data is unrecoverable

    When disposing of data-bearing assets, have them professionally wiped or destroyed. This eliminates the risk of data extraction and adds extra peace of mind. Along with this, many IT Asset Disposal companies offer a rebate on devices of value if you choose to wipe and sell them, potentially earning you money for an old bit of tech.

    3. Plan for the worst

    Once you’ve put steps in place to minimize the risk of cybercrime, always consider the possibility and consequences of falling victim to a data breach.

    Even after taking all the steps to prevent cybercrime, it is important to have a plan in place in case the worst does happen. Recovering from a data breach as quickly and effectively as possible is crucial to prevent further data loss and reassure customers you care about protecting their data.

    To learn more about how to develop a recovery plan, visit this how-to by converge technology and business.

    There’s always more you can do

    If you’ve taken all the above actions to prevent cybercrime in your business, always reevaluate and revise your measures. With hackers and infiltrators constantly developing new ways to try and break into databases, it is important businesses keep up.

    To check your measures are up-to-date, consider becoming certified by Cyber Essentials. This government-backed scheme helps to guard businesses of all sizes against common cyber threats and provides them with certification to reassure potential and existing customers that they have cybersecurity measures in place.

    Do you have an IT recycling requirement?