No one thinks about security until a major breach occurs.
But breaches like the Equifax breach in 2017, or the Marriott International breach in 2018, or the Yahoo breach in 2013, remind us that our customer data is not as safe as we had hoped it was.
Most companies have some form of security in places such as passwords and anti-virus programs, but is that enough to future proof your business?
Is that enough to keep hackers out of your company records?
If passwords and anti-virus programs were enough, the major breaches mentioned above wouldn’t have occurred.
Most passwords aren’t even strong enough to keep a hacker busy enough to make them want to look elsewhere.
If you want to know if your password is strong enough, visit this website and put your password in. It will tell you how fast your password can be broken down to the second.
Most passwords are this simple too! What kind of passwords are your employees using to protect YOUR data?
In fact, those million/billion dollar companies had dedicated security teams working diligently to keep their customers’ data safe - and they still failed.
So how can you keep your data safe if a major company like Equifax or Yahoo couldn’t keep theirs safe?
Well, for starters, you need more than some passwords and an antivirus program to keep hackers out.
Hackers tend to look for LARGE payloads. Equifax and Yahoo both have huge user databases, with TONS of information.
Even so, hackers will still attempt to break into any system that isn’t protected properly.
Which is why you need to take the time to secure your systems now, rather than throw your future away after a data breach exposes all your customer data records to the Dark Web.
Reasons Why It’s Possible You’ll End Up Losing Your Customers’ Data
While you hope that you’ll never be in the news for a data breach, it’s possible.
And unfortunately, it’s probably because you didn’t do enough to keep your customers’ data safe in the first place.
Here are a few reasons why it’s possible you’ll end up losing your customers’ data.
You Believe It Won’t Happen To You
Breaches like Equifax won’t happen to your business. No one is interested in your customers … right?
You Fail To Maintain Software Updates
The Equifax breach happened become someone didn’t update the open source software to fix a vulnerability that was known. Do you stay up-to-date on all of your software?
You Don’t Test Your System For Vulnerabilities
Is it possible that the Equifax hack could have been prevented if someone in the company had tried to use the known exploit to get it?
What about your company? Is anyone trying to find any vulnerabilities that aren’t patched?
You Trust In Anti-Virus Software To Do Everything
Companies like TrendMicro and Avast market their software as an all-in-one security software solution. And they do work … to an extent.
But they are not very effective against zero-day vulnerabilities or an active hacker.
A determined hacker can easily bypass these all-in-one security software suites in a matter of minutes.
So, what can you do?
What You Can Do To Protect Your Business’s Future
Now that you see the importance of a cybersecurity plan, what can you do?
Implement A Cybersecurity Plan Or Team
First things first, implement a cybersecurity plan or team in place. Figure out what you need to do from strengthening passwords, closing down open ports, implementing a stronger firewall.
Keep All Your Programs Up-To-Date
Equifax could have avoided their data snafu by simply updating their open source software. So learn from them and update ALL of your programs as soon as you can.
Monitor Your Employee Activities
No one likes to be the “big brother” company, but your business’s success depends on your ability to protect your customers - not your employees.
Stay On Top Of Security Breaches And Other News
Subscribe to the major security newsletters and blogs. If a new vulnerability is detected, be willing to test your systems.
Of course, this is a LOT of extra work that requires a lot of attention. Can you truly add more to your expense report?
Would it be worth it?
Is there a better option?
You could outsource your cybersecurity needs...
Outsource Your Security Needs
Third-party cybersecurity companies can take the stress out of protecting your customers’ data, along with other aspects such as Vulnerability and Penetration testing, DDoS Prevention, and more.
While you may not want to do this, it makes the most sense. Paying an in-house team (not a person) requires a lot of capital. Not to mention insurance costs, employee benefits, etc.
Cybersecurity companies have plenty of employees, all staying up-to-date on the newest vulnerabilities and system weaknesses. If they aren’t successful in keeping you safe, it’s their reputation on the line.
This is the best course of action most companies can take. It is the most cost efficient, time-effective solution that ensures you’re protecting your customers and your future.
Too many companies just like yours get trapped in the mindset that it will never happen to them.
Or, they get stuck in the mindset that they’ve paid good money for some antivirus/firewall solution such as TrendMicro or Avast.
What they don’t understand is that hackers will find vulnerabilities in any antivirus/firewall solution, and they’ll exploit it over and over.
You might not even notice it for quite some time - until the damage has been done.
Unfortunately, you’re risking your business’s future every hour that you don’t have an effective cybersecurity plan or team in place.
Most companies don’t have the time or resources to have their own in-house cybersecurity team. Some even try to offload the extra responsibilities on to their developers (a.k.a. the nerds).
Not only are you slowing down their development time, but you’re also requiring them to learn even more about something they are probably limited in - again, risking your business’s future.
The best option is to find a reliable cybersecurity provider that can monitor everything for you. A provider that can do their own penetration tests and scan for new unpatched vulnerabilities.
Either way, you cannot continue to risk your business’s future on a weak or nonexistent cybersecurity plan.
All it would take is one major breach to completely crush your business’s future.
Are you willing to take that chance?