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It seems like every week there’s another news story about hackers successfully attacking a service that many of us use with confidence.

And without proper software protection, many businesses are left vulnerable. In fact, Cybint Cyber Solutions say 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses, and 64% of companies have experienced web-based attacks.

So, whether you’re a home user messaging a friend on WhatsApp, or a large corporation with a complex IT infrastructure – cybersecurity should be something you’re aware of.

So why are so many unprepared?

Less than half of companies globally are sufficiently prepared for a cybersecurity attack, according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of 3,000 business leaders, from more than 80 countries.

The normality bias

The normality bias, or normalcy bias, causes people to underestimate the possibility of a disaster striking, and the associated affects. They get used to things being ‘normal’. Although commonly related with underestimating natural disasters, the normality bias could also be part why people aren’t taking cybersecurity seriously enough. They believe it ‘won’t happen to them’.

What are the affects of a cyber-attack?

A cyber attack on a business can be devastating. Financial information, such as bank details and credit cards can be stolen – as well as money, and cooperate information.

The businesses’ reputation could be damaged, leading to loss of customers, sales and reduction in profits.

Then there’s the possible legal consequences of a cyber-attack. With GDRP now in full swing, a business could face huge fines for breaking data protection and privacy laws.

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What can be done to prevent a cyber-attack?

Although businesses are starting to realise the need to take pre-emptive action with cybersecurity – many still undervalue the risk. The first step is to identify the main threats to your business. Make sure you know where your most sensitive data lives and develop strategies to protect it.

Being proactive in training your employees about cybersecurity is vital, such as ensuring they are using the correct password protocols, and how to spot and deal with a suspicious email.

Consider using two-factor authentication. As the name implies, this involves an added stage of security, where a code, sent to a mobile phone is required – as well as a password.

If you’re a large company it may be useful to have cybersecurity consultants conduct an audit of your business. This will give you peace of mind, and advice that you can use to improve things further.

Other measures include carrying out regular risk assessments, insuring your company against cyber-attacks, and attending training courses on cybersecurity.

What is the future of cybersecurity?

It’s likely we’ll continue to see news stories of large name corporations and organisations being victims of cybercrime. But with this, the message to everyone is clear. Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated with their methods and tools. It’s up to us, whether as individuals, business owners or security experts, to continuously be on the front line of defence.

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