Here at Epec, we take cybersecurity extremely seriously, and it's essential to stay up to date on the latest safety measures. That means understanding how hackers and scammers operate so you can protect yourself from them. To do this, it helps to learn about topics like password security, malware protection, data encryption, and firewalls. Taking the time to research these topics now can save you lots of trouble down the road.
As the digital world becomes more complex, so make the threats to data and technology. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to cybercrime, as their resources for security may be limited. Fortunately, there are a few steps small business owners can take to protect themselves and their data.
Stephen Cobb, an independent researcher and consultant covering technology and risk, said small businesses fall into hackers' cybersecurity sweet spot because they "have more digital assets to attack than a single consumer, yet are not as secure as a consumer big company".
In this blog post, we will review some of the ways to look out for cybersecurity attacks and how Epec handles your data.
Cybersecurity continues to be a growing concern for businesses of all sizes, but small businesses often face unique challenges when protecting their networks and data. Small businesses face unique cybersecurity challenges, as they often need more resources than larger companies. It's essential that small business owners take steps to protect their data and systems from cyber threats. Learning about topics such as password security, malware protection, data encryption, and firewalls can help keep your business safe. Staying informed and up to date on the latest safety measures will help ensure you have a secure online presence.
As the amount of data stored and transmitted online continues to grow, so do the potential risks and threats. Cybersecurity challenges come in many forms, from malicious hacking and viruses to data breaches and identity theft. To stay safe online, it is important to understand the challenges you may face and take steps to protect yourself.
One of the biggest challenges for small businesses is the need for more resources. Unfortunately, many small businesses have limited budgets and need more personnel and expertise to implement and maintain cybersecurity measures effectively.
Small businesses also may face several cost challenges related to cybersecurity, including:
- Initial investment: Implementing a robust cyber security system can be expensive, and small businesses may not have the financial resources to make this initial investment.
- Maintenance and updates: Cybersecurity systems must be regularly updated and maintained to ensure they remain effective. This can be costly for small businesses.
- Expertise: Small businesses may not have the in-house expertise to manage and maintain their cyber security systems effectively and may need to hire outside consultants or IT professionals, which can be costly.
- Compliance: Small businesses may be required to comply with specific regulations and standards, such as ITAR or CMMC, which can be expensive to implement and maintain.
- Downtime: Small businesses may not be able to afford the significant loss of revenue and productivity resulting from a cyberattack.
With many customers requiring CMMC and ITAR-controlled documents, Epec is committed to securing data.
Epec has invested a lot of time and resources to ensure data and users are protected.
Vulnerable Targets and Ways to Protect Yourself
At Epec, we have strategies and plans in place to mitigate a potential breach. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their tactics, and they have various targets. Common targets for cybercriminals include individuals, businesses, government agencies, and critical infrastructure.
Individuals can be targeted through multiple methods, such as phishing emails and malicious software. Businesses are often targeted through data breaches and ransomware attacks. Government agencies are often targeted by foreign governments and state-sponsored actors, while critical infrastructure is a frequent target of malicious actors looking to disrupt operations or cause physical damage. By understanding the common targets of cybercriminals, individuals and organizations can take steps to protect themselves and their networks from potential attacks.
A challenge for small businesses is that cybercriminals often target them specifically. Small businesses are often seen as easy targets because they may have a different level of security than larger companies. Additionally, small businesses may have an extra level of awareness about cyber threats and may need to learn how to protect themselves.
The first step is to ensure you have strong passwords and up-to-date security software on all your devices. Next, you should be aware of phishing scams and other attempts to gain access to your personal information. Finally, you should be aware of the risks associated with public Wi-Fi networks and only access them if necessary.
If you receive an email or see a suspicious website, don’t click on any links, or open any attachments. Instead, contact the company directly to verify that the email or website is legitimate.
With 43% of cyberattacks targeting small businesses, the consequences of these attacks can be costly, ranging from lost productivity to business reputation. Sixty percent of small businesses that are victims of a data breach permanently close their doors within six months of the attack.
Phishing is a cyberattack that uses malicious emails or websites to trick victims into revealing personal information, such as login credentials or credit card numbers. Cybercriminals can then use this information to access your accounts or make fraudulent purchases. How can you protect yourself from phishing attacks? The best defense against phishing is to be aware of the threat and know how to spot a phishing email or website.
Here are some things to look out for:
- Email senders that are not familiar to you
- Links that go to a different website than the one you were expecting
- Spelling and grammatical errors
- Threatening or urgent language
If you suspect you have received a phishing email, do not open it. Delete it immediately. And if you are ever prompted to enter personal information on a website, check that the URL is correct and that the site is secure before proceeding.
Knowledge is Power
One of the best ways for small businesses to protect themselves is to invest in cybersecurity training for their employees. Training can raise awareness about potential threats and educate employees on identifying and responding to them. Additionally, small businesses should consider implementing security measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and regular software updates.
Employee training is crucial to the success of an information security program. However, the most significant risk to an organization is the end user. Mostly all breaches have come from an end user. An excellent example of this was the Marriott data breach in 2018. The hackers had used a technique called "spear-phishing" to gain access to the employee's login credentials. Spear-phishing is a targeted social engineering tactic used to deceive an employee into providing sensitive information, such as a password, through an email or phone call that appears to be from a legitimate source.
At Epec, we mitigate the risk by conducting drills. Phishing drills are simulated phishing attacks designed to test an organization's ability to detect and respond to phishing attempts. If an employee clicks on one of these emails, the end user is notified to retrain.
Another critical step for small businesses is to back up their data regularly. Backups can help ensure that important information is not lost during a cyber-attack. Additionally, small businesses should consider working with a cybersecurity expert who can help them identify vulnerabilities and implement measures to protect their networks and data. Finally, in the event of a successful cyberattack, you'll want to have a backup of your data. This way, you can quickly get your business up and running again.
It's also good to have an incident response plan in place. In the event of a cyberattack, you'll want to have a plan in place for how to respond. This plan should include whom to contact, what steps to take, and how to prevent future attacks.
A virtual private network (VPN) provides another layer of security for your business. A VPN allows employees to securely access your company's network while working remotely or on the go. They do this by passing your data and IP address over another secure connection between your own internet connection and the actual website or online service you need to access. They're especially useful when using public internet connections, like in coffee shops and airports, that are vulnerable to hackers. A VPN provides users with a secure connection that isolates hackers from the data they wish to steal.
By following these tips, you can help to protect your business from cybersecurity threats.
Epec’s Investment in Cybersecurity
Epec has invested in protecting your data. Cybersecurity is a major priority that we take seriously. Our investment does not just benefit the customer with compliance needs, it protects all our customers, small or large organizations.
Some of the investments Epec made are:
- ISO27001 certification that will be completed by the end of March 2023.
- Upgrading hardware and software such as firewalls, email filters, and antivirus.
- Using a third party to ensure that Epec is using best practices.
- Cyber security training and drills done quarterly and annually.
- Vulnerability testing is done once a year by a third party.
- MFA (Multifactor Authentication) used on through Epec’s tech stack.
Small businesses face unique challenges when it comes to cybersecurity. Still, they can significantly reduce the risk of a successful cyber-attack by investing in training, implementing basic security measures, regularly backing up data, and working with a cybersecurity expert. Remember, it's essential to remain vigilant. Keep an eye out for suspicious activity, such as unusual logins or requests for information. Be sure to update all software regularly and back up important data frequently.
With these steps in place, small business owners can protect themselves from growing cybercrime threats. For our customers, you can be assured that your data is protected.