Last month I wrote that one effect of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the development of a “cybersecurity pandemic.” The World Health Organization reported a fivefold increase in cyberattacks in April 2020. This increase was part of a larger trend of growing cyber threats to business that have been developing for years, but the growth was also amplified by changes in how we work, including an explosion of work-from-home employees working on vulnerable networks.
In our post “The Top Cybersecurity Threats of 2021 and How to Stop Them,” I broke down common ways that hackers access individual machines and networks, as well as how to protect yourself from these attacks. However, even the best cybersecurity plan has vulnerabilities. Security breaches can have serious consequences, including data loss, downtime, panlities, lawsuits, and even closure of your business.
That’s why automatic data backups and security awareness training are so vital to businesses today.
The Benefits of a Strong Backup Strategy
Even though regularly backing up data is one of the strongest ways to protect a business, only 41% of businesses back up their data daily. Daily backups may seem like overkill, but the number of transactions and data exchanges that happen on your network every day may surprise you. Further, in the event of a data loss incident, you can get back on your feet that much faster if your backup is recent and complete.
Besides backing up data often, a good backup strategy should also include regularly testing your backups to make sure they function the way you intend. Continually reviewing your strategy will help you strengthen your strategy over time. Similarly, it’s important to review your company’s backup policy at regular intervals. As your business grows, you may find your needs change and your backup strategy should change, too, to meet evolving needs.
How Security Awareness Training Protects Your Data
You may think a good backup plan and top IT team are all it takes to keep your business safe. But one of your greatest vulnerabilities is uniformed employees. According to a study by Tessian, nearly half of employees surveyed have made cybersecurity mistakes that impacted them or their employer. Many stated that factors like fatigue or distraction played a role in their mistakes, but the reality is that many employees don’t know how to handle data securely.
Recently, Osterman Research surveyed employees about data security practices at their jobs. 62% were unsure whether they needed to comply with new regulations, and 50% reported habits and attitudes that made them a vulnerability to their employer. The reality is that if you are not providing security awareness training to your employees—the very people most often handling your data—then you are making your company incredibly vulnerable.
If cost is a consideration, the National Institute for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) offers free and low-cost security awareness training for individuals. CompTIA also offers a series of education videos designed for employees. You can also direct employees to our blog post on some of the most common cybersecurity threats of 2020 and 2021.
Planning and Education: A Winning Security Strategy
You can drastically improve the security of your business data by implementing a backup strategy and educating your employees on cybersecurity threats. When everyone in your organization knows what threats are out there, how they might encounter those threats, and how to make safer decisions about shared data, then your organization eliminates innumerable vulnerabilities.
If you need help establishing a reliable backup plan, contact TracSoft today for a free security audit. We’ll evaluate your current practices, your industry, and the type of data you work with and show you how you can strengthen your security. We’ve provided cybersecurity to businesses in Columbus, GA and Phenix City, Alabama for over 20 years, serving a number of different industries. With our experience, you can trust us to keep your business safe.