Digital threats facing businesses are nothing new, but their severity and frequency have undergone a rapid increase.
The most significant risks are no longer the temporary loss of an individual computer because of a virus. Today, the stakes are high: a successful attack by hackers could mean the theft of critical business data or the complete takeover of an entire network as a hostage for ransom.
Without a strong stance on Internet security and the implementation of best practices, your business is more than vulnerable — it’s a target. It’s easier than ever for hackers to find exploitable systems, and you may not know about a malicious intrusion until it is too late.
2021 Continues the Trend of Major Enterprise Attacks
Let’s consider a few examples that showcase how serious this threat has become.
- More than half a billion Facebook user records made their way onto the Internet after hackers discovered a system flaw that let them steal the data over a long period.
- The Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack forced a critical oil conduit shutdown, causing panic and service disruptions, plus untold millions of dollars in lost productivity and revenue.
- An organized hacking group known as REvil, responsible for several high-profile attacks, compromised a Florida-based services provider and stole information on up to 1500 global businesses.
With stories such as these and others in the headlines, it could be easy to fall into a pattern of thinking such attacks are an inevitability. That’s not true, however — there are many steps to take to reduce the risk and even to mitigate potential impacts if an attack does occur.
Steps to Take to Better Protect Your Business
While no solution is 100% guaranteed to stop a malicious digital attack, taking a multi-pronged approach can dramatically reduce your exposure. Such an approach requires a combination of training, clear guidelines, and the appropriate software tools. Consider a few of the steps you can take.
Train Employees to Recognize Threats
Staff that understand when something isn’t quite right are valuable assets. Many hackers use targeted “phishing” attacks over email and social media to attempt to steal employee credentials or otherwise penetrate a business network. Teach employees techniques for recognizing these threats.
Adopt Software to Neutralize Malicious Code
Anti-malware software, strong firewall rules, and more can all contribute to a safer enterprise. For example, ransomware requires delivery of the payload to a target machine and usually some kind of user action to start the software. This could be as simple as opening a malformed PDF file received via email from a seemingly trusted user.
Use PDF software, such as Kofax Power PDF, to identify when a PDF does not conform to standards and prevent potentially malicious files from opening. Such a last line of defense could be the key to preventing a major incident. Digital document security is an often overlooked but critical piece of the puzzle.
Maintain Robust Backups and Develop Contingency Plans
Have a plan for how to recover if a security issue does occur. With regular off-site backups and an action plan in place, you can minimize downtime and disruption. Don’t let threats such as ransomware increase the risk of a potential total loss of your business’s data.
Start Improving Your Security Today
By taking the appropriate steps and investing in better security from the ground up, the threat landscape becomes far easier for today’s businesses to manage. Consider analyzing what your company currently does to address these concerns and explore opportunities to make long-term improvements. Preventing an attack is always easier than recovering from one — and today’s tools make prevention an easy task, too.
Author: By Ben Liu eCommerce Director at Kofax
Ben Liu is an experienced eCommerce director in Irvine, California with more than 15 years building brands and refining the development of revenue streams. After generating more than $100 million of incremental revenue improvements in previous positions for heavy hitters across the tech industry, Ben joined the Kofax team. Now a driving force behind innovative marketing efforts and the growing popularity of Kofax Power PDF with SMBs, he continues to improve outreach via innovative chat bots, data-driven marketing analysis, and a dedication to consumer-first content. By bringing an engineer’s eye for detail to Kofax along with a passion for helping brands reach their potential, Ben’s charting a course for continued success at Kofax.