The Cyberattack Bug-Out Bag

May 25, 2017Diana Lengerson

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You’ve seen doomsdayers on the streets waving signs claiming that “the end is near.” What with food and water shortages, governments playing chicken with nuclear testing and heads of government making nationalist calls, some days it can feel like our time here is shortening. Is this paranoia talking? Maybe. But don’t you think it’s better to be safe than sorry?

Prepping: It’s Not All Crazy Business

It’s easy to laugh off the “loons” at the street corner yelling at passerby that our days are numbered. No one really knows what the future holds, so unless NASA spots an asteroid on a collision course towards earth or North Korea declares war on the United States, it’s not easy spotting the signs pointing to “the end.” All the same, preppers do what they can to prepare for what they believe is the inevitable: the apocalypse, the end of days!

While this might seem like a paranoid delusion, maybe preparing against the worst possible scenario isn’t actually a bad idea, particularly in the cyber sphere.

Think about it: The Russian government has done everything in its power to swing foreign democratic government elections in their favor, the United States presidential election included. If governments are working to upend the world order via cyberattacks, is it really a stretch to imagine that a nefarious cybercriminal looking to make some extra money would target your small business’ data and hack their way into your server?

You need a cyberattack bug-out bag! Here are a few ways to prep for cybersecurity risks that could upend your small business.

Staff Training 101

According to the Claims Journal, the number one cause of a data breach is employee negligence. Unaware of the threats of clicking on “phishy” link or downloading a questionable attachment, small business employees inadvertently give hackers the lay of the land. Hackers can gain your company’s banking information, your clients’ banking and private information and your staff’s. If a hacker is able to get this information, it’s the end of your small business. 60 percent of small businesses go out of business a mere six months after a cyberattack.

Is not training your staff on safe cyber protocol really worth the loss of your reputation and your company? No, of course not. By educating your staff on proper cybersecurity practices, you are safeguarding your business against cybercriminals who would do your company harm.

Password and Software Updates

Let’s face it: it’s way easier to use the same password for everything. You don’t have to take the time to remember something new and you know that you won’t have a problem accessing your email, files or other pertinent information. Hackers are betting on this. This means that when they steal your login credentials, they have access to everything.

As convenient as using the same password is, it’s not worth the cost of your business. Make a habit of using different passwords for each of your login portals.

On top of keeping different passwords, make sure you are updating your software regularly. It’s easy to click “try tomorrow” when a software update pops up, but these software updates usually include patches to your security. If your server isn’t regularly updated, you are opening up your business to cybercriminal activity.

Invest in Cyber Insurance

To prepare for the worst (like all preppers do) you will need a failsafe. Cybersecurity risks is every small business owner’s failsafe. Cyber insurance offers total protection. If a cybercriminal is able to hack into your system and cause damage, cyber insurance will cover the damages. Protection includes the cost of ransom, equipment, litigation, restitution and other small business losses.

There’s no such thing as having too much protection. Set up your cyber bug-out bag with the right tools and you’ll be good to go.

 

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