With about half of cyber attacks occurring at businesses with revenue of $50 million to $1 billion, it’s not just a problem for the largest firms. Tackling these issues is imperative, with cyber crime costing U.S. companies $17.4 million in 2016, according to a study by the Ponemon Institute.
The majority of breaches occur from computer hacks (34%) and stolen credit card information (31%). Companies also reported attacks including website hacks (17%), network breaches (13%), bank account hacks (10%) and third-party hacks (7%).
But cyber attacks are constantly shifting, so understanding some of the most common ways fraudsters steal information is critical for protecting your company and customers.
Other types of security breaches include:
- Phishing or email scams: One of the most common security breaches, these emails asking for proprietary information, account numbers and other personal data increased 55% in 2015, according to Symantec
- Ransomware: This is where a cybercriminal encrypts a company’s files and demands payment for their return. These types of attacks are on the rise, increasing 35% in 2015.
- Server attacks: These attacks overload servers with requests, with the aim of shutting down systems such as websites or networks.
But there are steps that executives can take to protect their companies from these online threats. Ways to thwart cyber attacks include:
- Update software and protection programs. Running the latest programs and keeping your protection software up-to-date is a critical first step to protecting your company and valuable data.
- Train your employees. Make sure your employees understand the importance of having complex passwords and changing them every 60 to 90 days. Staff should also be able to recognize suspicious emails and other requests for information that should be flagged, such as those asking for account numbers or personal information, or ones containing suspicious attachments or suspect links.
- Develop a response plan and practice it. This written plan should be tailored to your company and identify attack scenarios and responses. The plan should address: who is on the response team, reporting, initial steps to take, investigation procedures, recovery, follow-up, public relations and working with law enforcement. It’s also critical that everyone on the team understands and practices responses before attacks occur.
Your financial institution can also be an important partner in helping spot and prevent cyber attacks. Working with your bank to securely process payments, implement best practices for bill pay and payroll, and safeguard access to financial accounts can help strengthen your defenses against online attacks.
The good news is that we’re always here for you. The SunTrust OneTeam Approach brings an integrated team with the right expertise to help you achieve smart growth. Your team members work collaboratively to help you pursue your goals and solve issues.
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