When it comes to technology, we have taken a huge leap in the development of tech in the past few decades. With this increase in users, data, and devices, cybercrime has been on the all-time high ever since. Only until recent times are we coming across more and more stories about the data breach and cybercriminal activities.

With the story about the high-profile data breach at British Airways and Marriott got a lot of media coverage only for the fact that people were ignorant about the fact that anyone can be a target to these criminal activities. Cybercrime is increasing by the day, and community groups, schools, small businesses, hospitals, libraries, voter registration systems, and even some governments have fallen victim to digital hijacking.

There are plenty of preventive measures that have been taken against cybercriminals. With plenty of security firms coming up in the world of tech, the battle between the cybercriminals and citizens has never been so vivid. Often lack If security measures can set you as a prime target for many digital criminal activities.

Consulting an IT security expert is the first step to cybersecurity and frankly, your only line of defence against cybercriminals. These experts are thorough when it comes to securing your network and data. Before that, there are plenty of security measures that you can take to prevent a cybercriminal attack against your company. 

In this blog, we will talk about the different types of steps you can take to prevent cybercrime from striking you.

What is cybercrime?

In simple terms, cybercrime is referred to any criminal activity that involves secure data, a networked device, or a network. While most cybercrimes have a monetary motive behind them, other crimes are carried out against the computer or device to steal its data or damage it until no data can be retrieved, whereas some crimes are to spread malware and illegal information.

But ever since transactions have moved online and a lot of sensitive information is stored on hackable devices, the primary reason for any cyber-attack is financial. According to the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime, “cybercrime is a wide range of malicious activities, including the illegal interception of data, system interferences that compromise network integrity and availability, and copyright infringements.”

Cybercrimes can be carried out by individuals with knowledge regarding the systems infrastructure of any network or device. It can be carried out by either a small group of people or even global criminal groups who have skilled developers and other computer-based expertise. Since technology is still getting stitched in many countries yet, the laws regarding cybercrime are weak, and hence these kinds of countries are more prone to face cybercriminal activities.

10 Ways to Prevent Cyber Crime

Although protecting yourself adequately from a cyber attack is impossible. However, below are the ten (10) ways that might prevent or slow down a cyber attack.

1. Back up data

Always backup your data. Loss of any data can be very critical to your business, and if there happens to be a breach of cybersecurity that results in a huge loss of vital data, a lot can be at stake during such times. Backing up the data is actually a very logical and preferred practice. This is because many times, data is lost due to hardware issues and other software failures.

Identify the critical data that you would like to save at all costs and separate them from your IT system. Always back them up on a secure server or cloud. There are plenty of safe services available for backing up data and retrieving the lost backed up data. These services

store data online in a location away from your office location. You can access this data whenever you want, as soon as possible.

Make sure that you choose a decent and well-reputed company that supplies you with data backup options. Try to back up your data daily. There are plenty of companies that offer automatic secure backup facilities at the end of every day.

2. Get protection against malware

There are hundreds of malware released on the internet every day. While some of this malware is not that big a threat to your business, a few of these can be. The best way to tackle this virus is with the help of anti-virus software. Anti-virus software is designed to protect your device and data.

● Turn to reputed anti-virus software for all your computers and devices in your business. Once you have installed anti-virus, this software turns up the firewalls for your system, backs your data to a cloud (set the settings accordingly), and keeps you updated on all activities happening on your computer. The security device monitors incoming and outgoing traffic in your company’s network. If it happens to find something suspicious, then it will allow and block unwanted traffic on the basis of the defined set of security regulation you set is known as the firewall. Most operating systems incorporate firewalls.

Do not let your employees download unauthorized third-party apps on any office devices. Ensure that your IT systems are up to date by constantly fixing and patching the loose ends of the anti-virus against any new virus on the network. Many security systems automatically apply the patch whenever any new patch is discovered by it.

Always be up to date on the new software and hardware that has been released on the market. The security supplier will not provide you with the hardware, so be ready to invest in new and updated models. [4]

3. Be smart with passwords

Passwords are like the keys to a locked account or door. A good password can prevent unauthorized access to devices and networks. Always switch on the password protection when you are operating some sensitive information. Use two-factor authentication for important accounts. Here, you will be required to submit another information in addition to the password, like biometric data, and identity verification.

Avoid using short passwords, especially if the password is below 12 characters; it is short and can be cracked easily. So, always use a phrase or sentence when you are choosing a password for an important account or device.

4. Review your data

Before going for an IT security solution, review all your data once. List down every information about your business, that if jeopardized, can cause a huge loss to you. List things that could be cyber-attacked, like monetary accounts, IT equipment, pricing information, and product designs.

Now hypothetically imagine how cyber attacks can affect the business and in what manner, like financial loss, fines, and regulations. Fix the loopholes and gaps in your system that can prevent any further damage. Train your staff and review the cybersecurity procedures and hardware regularly. [5]

5. Beware of Phishers

Phishing is a popular type of fraud where cybercriminals send emails to people and businesses claiming to be from a reputed bank. In these emails, you will be given random information and links when clicked will install malware on your computer.

Make sure you configure all the critical accounts to reduce the hit of a successful virus attack. You can give your employees an IT privilege (the information they can access and change) for them to do their job.

Inform your staff about such unusual emails and viruses. For instance, sending large one-off payments to a supplier or providing passwords or bank details online. More than anything else, always be alert with such kinds of emails and keep your employees alert as well. Phishing emails have become more and more sophisticated, and it is getting harder to figure them out.

6. Take an insurance

First-party and third-party insurance covers are best for your business’s assets. These cover:

● Loss or damage of digital assets such as critical data

● Business interruption due to downtime

● Cyber extortion

● Privacy and data breaches and services like investigation and civil damages caused

● Compromised multimedia

● Loss of third-party data, or customers data

7. Train your staff

Inform your staff about all the potential cyberattacks that can happen in your workplace. Encourage them to report all cyberattacks that occur. Once your staff has the basic knowledge to handle any cyberattack, managing recovery would not be so hard. Get a professional team to train your staff about the potential problems with cybersecurity and how it can affect the office.

8. Get certified

The international standard of cybersecurity is the ISO/IEC 27032:2012. This is a set of rules and guidelines that cover information security, network security, internet security, and the protection of information infrastructure. Getting a certificate would make your business comply with these standards, leaving your security details better. Certification is also good for business; customers and clients tend to trust your business more if it has any certification relating to security and cybersecurity.

9. Protect the smartphones

Smartphones have become a vital tool today when it comes to business. But smartphones are equally more vulnerable and carry large amounts of private data on them. Even a single smartphone, when attacked, can reveal a lot of information about the business and user.

Make sure no critical information is transferred via social media apps. Also, with the recent Facebook debacle, it is advisable not to encourage social media in the office.

10. Always plan for an emergency

It is always good to have an emergency plan in place. No one ever knows when a cyber attack strikes. When it does, it is better to be prepared for the worst. Emergency planning can never be too much. Always make sure that when you are attacked, report it to the responsible national authority and focus on getting your data back.

Conclusion

There is always a lot a person or organization can do to safeguard themselves from a cyber attack. Search engines like DuckDuckGo do not track user searches. Whereas there are many firewall software and solutions in the market to secure you from the most dangerous cyberattacks that can happen. Invest in secure and good hardware and software and keep your business safe.

Disclaimer

References  

https://www.fastcompany.com/90391332/take-these-5-critical-steps-to-protect-yourself-from-cybercrime 

https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/cybercrime 

https://www.thesslstore.com/blog/how-to-prevent-cybercrime-9-helpful-tips/ 

https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/member/discover/cpd-articles/business-management/cybercrimejul-cpd.html 

https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-how-to-how-to-recognize-and-protect-yourself-from-cybercrime.html 

https://blog.co-opfs.org/top-10-ways-prevent-cyber-crime-work-home/ 

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