The recent wave of ransomware attacks might give the impression that cyber criminals want their pay-off immediately. However, they often exploit security breaches over the course of months and even years, in covert attacks that can do far more damage to an organisation.

Breaches of security are getting more expensive and it’s often the small firms that are worst affected. Larger enterprises are no less vulnerable though. A lone hacker that took down British Airway’s website for one hour caused a £100,000 loss. It doesn’t take much imagination to factor in the reputational damage of such incidents.

The good news is that all businesses can improve their ability to identify attacks early and substantially reduce possible damage, with quite straightforward activities.

Install updates

Our own research based on 80,000 European websites found that 80% are vulnerable to cyber attacks and the main reason is a simple failure to install the latest updates. So, patch or update all software.

Use threat detection services

As most organisations struggle to detect threats in the first instance, this type of service is vital in reducing the likelihood of experiencing a catastrophic breach in your business.

Train your employees

The biggest cyber security weakness in an organisation is the people. Keep your team trained, including non-technical staff. Keep everyone up to date with the latest cyber security threats.

Monitor security alerts daily

Attack traffic usually has a very specific pattern and hacked business systems can be detected quickly if security alerts are being monitored across the business.

Learn from the past to predict future attacks

Cyber criminals certainly do like to strike in the same place twice – and often by the same methods. Preemptive action and monitoring based on past attacks can lead to quick identification of a security breach.

Organisations that follow these actions will also reduce any potential damage, financial and reputational, by showing they have been proactive in their approach to tackling potential cyber attacks.

Source: Business Matters