Cyber threats, too often overlooked by many, have become increasingly more prominent in recent years. Individuals, companies, and governments are all at risk. According to our Canadian Cyber Security Asset Map (2018-2019), Canada has seen a 45% increase in cybercrime from 2014 to 2016. Nearly 50% of small and medium enterprises are victims of a cyber-attack.
As shown in the above graphic from our Canadian Cyber Defense and Security Map, data breaches can cost billions. A recent example is the Capital One breach in which 100 million US customers and 6 million Canadian customers were affected . Although Captial One did not have any direct losses, clients may decide to leave in concern for their cyber security, leading to indirect loss of revenues.
Canada is a country of small businesses, and cyber-attacks can make or break a small or medium sized firm. Cyber security attacks tend to target small businesses as they are often not prepared and easier to hack. Global Advantage, being a small firm specializing in information and data, understands the importance of strong cyber protection. After our extensive research on the cyber security sector, we want to provide small business owners and support organizations with some helpful insights.
From individuals to small businesses, here are a few best practices to prevent a cyber security breach:
- Create a cyber security policy
If something happens a strict and tight enforced plan should be in place. A simple one-page document may help when in a crunch during a security breach.
2. Educate yourself and your employees
Read articles, blogs, or take tutorials. Every little bit counts. The more you are aware the more prepared you will make yourself for an incoming attack.
3. Safe password practices
Although safe practices are often emphasized, too many of us still commit the mistake of using our birth date, name, or the infamous “123…” password for convenience. According to tracesecurity 81% of company data breaches are due to poor passwords. Safe password practices are essential. Using upper and lower-case letters, numbers, symbols, odd phrases will all help prevent a security breach.
4. Anti-malware software
Malware is a major factor in a cyber breach, having software on your machine to detect when malware is present can make all the difference.
5. Back up your data
In case of a breach, having a second copy of your computer on an external hard drive is a must. Losing important information or files is very easy to fix with a simple daily or weekly backup procedure. It is not such an easy fix if your only storage has been tampered with.
Educating yourself and your employees is key to protecting your organization, your IP, or your client’s information. Our cyber security ecosystem map provides a guide of the entire ecosystem and can help you connect with the right players as well as learn about Canada’s resources and opportunities in cyber security.
You can preview it here: Canadian Cyber Security Asset Map 2018-2019