The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners recently published the article “5 Steps to Safeguard Your Business from Cyberattacks and Fraud in 2022,” on their ACFE Insights webpage. This article, written by Eoin Pigott, provides cybersecurity recommendations that are applicable to organizations of all sizes. Pigott explains that while it is easy and convenient to conduct sensitive business tasks via the internet, doing so makes it easier for cybercriminals to steal confidential information. He stresses that all companies are at risk for cybercrime, stating, “The fact is that cybercrime across all businesses is on the rise – and cybercriminals are not particularly picky about who or what they target.” To protect your business from cybercrime and fraud, Pigott recommends the following five practices:
Underscore that cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility.
All members of your organization should be trained to identify and avoid potential cybersecurity risks. For example, employees should watch out for phishing scams, in which criminals send emails under the guise of a credible sender to request confidential information. Remember, a scammer only needs to successfully trick one person one time in order to access sensitive data.
Protect data by encrypting it.
Encrypted data is stored in an unreadable form. Only individuals with a decryption key, or password, can read data that has been encrypted. If hackers get ahold of encrypted data, they are unable to read it without the decryption key. In short, encrypting data provides a second layer of security.
Selectively store data.
Storing nonessential confidential data poses an unnecessary threat to businesses and consumers. Pigott advises organizations to frequently review their data stores and to remove unnecessary data using a secure data destruction method. In addition to lowering the amount of information potentially available to hackers, destroying unnecessary data increases compliance with data privacy laws. Only store what you need!
Use artificial intelligence to your advantage
Artificial Intelligence is a valuable tool for cybersecurity because it can detect cyberattacks that go unnoticed by humans. Pigott warns, “Make sure that your anti-virus, anti-malware, and firewall service providers use AI in their products to ensure that attempted cyberattacks are detected before they can cause problems.”
Invest in cybersecurity
Investing in high quality cybersecurity products, professionals, and training is worth the price. Pigott states, “While keeping tabs on cost is a key task in any business, there are some areas in which you should not skimp – and cybersecurity is one of those.” Preventable cyberattacks can have a devastating financial impact on your organization. Therefore, it is unwise to cut corners on cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity will be an ongoing issue as long as the internet is used for business operations. Thankfully, you can protect your business by following these best practices.