Typically driven by a desire for money, cybercrime has become rampant in the increasingly digitalized world we live in today. It was estimated to have an impact of USD 6 trillion in 2021. To put this in context, this is bigger than all country economies, except the US and China, which are larger.
Effects of cybercrime
Cybercriminals can use sensitive data to extort from companies or steal intellectual property for sale to a third party. Or they can engage in phishing, which means impersonating a website to get personal data from users. A good example of this is credit card scams.
These crimes can be quite damaging to companies. Besides causing direct financial damage, they can also disrupt trading. A business might have to pause its online transactions while the issue is fixed. It can also result in loss of business from customers who can’t trust to transact with it again. If a company has slipped up on security measures, it might even face fines.
How to protect from crime
There is help at hand, however. By being prepared for a cyber-attack, the effect on business can be significantly reduced. A properly secured business is less likely to be targeted. And even if an attack does happen, it can bounce back faster. Here are 3ways to protect your business:
- Payment security
One of the biggest threats to business is payment fraud of all kinds. 82% of businesses report these frauds, a much bigger number than overall fraud. Using quality products like secure checks is one example. These are made to prevent tampering, photocopying and forgery.
Others include relying on reliable payment processors. One way to do this is through the use of payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal and Wise to move money. Or to get customers to pay to you.
- System security
Keeping the system updated is one of the simplest ways to stay protected. Cybercriminals should not get access to it just because there has been an update has not been made. All computer systems come with the ability to carry out these processes regularly in any case.
There should, however, be additional security measures too. Antivirus solutions that actively defend against potential attacks are widely available. Encryption of any transactions or information shared over the internet is essential too. Leading email providers have the option embedded in them as well as an option to enable email security protocols like DKIM. This can be a fairly technical exercise in some cases for the lay person. But it is still easily doable for anyone trained in computer systems.
Finally, as obvious as it sounds, have strong passwords. Back in the day it was difficult to keep track of passwords, making them easier to hack into. But now password management solutions are easily available. These allow unique and strong passwords for each login, which the user does not have to memorize.
- Employee Awareness
Training your employees in cybersecurity can help in mitigating the risk of an attack. They are less likely, for example, to open unverified attachments or click on dubious links if well informed. But this is not a onetime effort. They should be constantly updated on new risks to avoid criminals’ access to the system.
How measures protect companies
There are untold benefits of a company with secure systems. The first is the peace of mind it brings not to constantly worry about a cyber-attack. This alone can increase confidence and productivity. Besides this, if the business runs smoothly without any disruptions, more can be achieved. It also builds customer trust and can lead to more business growth.
The key takeaway here is that while cybercrime cannot be wished away, protective measures can be taken. In fact, they should proactively be taken. This can avoid any future business disturbances, not to mention financial losses. A lot of help is available to secure both payment systems and technological systems as such. Active applications of these measures can go a long way in creating a thriving business.