How To Protect Your Business From Cybercrime

March 25, 2022

You trust your employees, or you wouldn’t have hired them, right? Yet, while the people who work for you may not intentionally leave your business open to cyberattacks, they are the easiest entry cyber scammers have to your company.

Employees can unknowingly jeopardize security by clicking a link, downloading an attachment or being too trusting of an email sender or caller. 

It’s vital that companies maintain robust cybersecurity practices to help keep private information private. Cybercrime prevention starts with the realization that anyone — from the newest intern to C-level executives — can become a target of digital crime and leave your business exposed.

The cost of cybercrime

Data breaches are all too common in Nevada, which ranks #8 among all U.S. states in the number of cybercrime victims. And cybercrime is expensive. The average consolidated cost of a data breach was around $4.24 million in 2021 — up 10% from 2020, according to IBM Security’s 2021 Cost of a Data Breach Report.   Companies lose an average of $180 for each record or piece of stolen information.

In Nevada, cybercrime losses in 2020 alone cost state residents at least $51.5 million, according to FBI data . The amount could be much higher, given that some cybercrime goes unreported or even undetected. A breach also can result in the loss of time and clients. Lost business, including customer turnover, represents 38% of the overall cost of a data breach.

Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility

Nearly a quarter of all breaches are a result of human error. So, what can you do to protect your company?

Ongoing management of cyber risks should be part of any organization’s governance, risk management and business continuity framework, and it starts with employee education. Teaching workers how to spot emails that may appear legitimate but are actually scams can prevent a nefarious hack that takes control of your files and data and locks you out. 

Implement these simple practices to reduce the risk of cybercrime at the office and when doing business remotely:

Double-check data requests. Teach employees basic protection from phishing (sending real-looking but fraudulent emails to “fish” for personal information). Employees can be safer by looking carefully at senders’ email addresses for misspellings and never giving out confidential information to unknown callers or emailers. Companies can set expectations that staff report any phishing attempt or other scam immediately.

• Designate specific computers for banking and business activities. Policies can restrict personal activities on these systems.

• Review financial statements as soon as they arrive. By monitoring monthly statements for discrepancies and unusual activity, you may spot — and stop — problems early.

• Install and maintain antivirus and antispyware. A layered security approach can include solutions to defend against viruses and financial malware, updated regularly.

• Back up data. You can keep records of “clean” data by performing regular backups of critical data and storing data in multiple locations.

• Use caution with Wi-Fi hotspots. It’s wise to practice extra caution when accessing business-related documents over Wi-Fi in a public space. Ideally, avoid using unsecured networks.

• Enable security features on home networks. You can prevent unwanted access to home networks by enabling security features and using a strong password and encryption. 

• Use care when social networking. It’s seldom, if ever, appropriate to reveal sensitive information when using social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You may wish to modify settings to prevent strangers from viewing your page. Hackers can use the information you share to deduce passwords and access other private information.

Your banker should be a trusted advisor who can play a crucial role in helping you assess your systems to protect your financial information. To learn more about how our team can help you defend against cyberattacks and other data fraud, contact your Bank of Nevada relationship manager or find out more about what our bank can offer businesses like yours.