Cyber security is the business of every business
You’ve worked hard to build your business. Why leave it vulnerable to thieves who enter through your electronic back door? An estimated 61 percent of all cyber attacks are against small businesses, which reminds us that no business, no matter how small, is immune. At First Utah Bank, we offer an array of resources to keep our customers safe online, and we’d like to share information to understand the threats and steps you can take to protect your business.
The first thing to know is that those who steal businesses’ money and data have a variety of motivations and methods, says Amy Foulks, Chief Information Officer for First Utah Bank. Some attacks are all about the money, but others are about your payroll or customer data, which can be sold or used to commit fraud against your employees, customers or vendors. Some cyber attacks are designed entirely to discover trade secrets. Attacks most often come from one of these groups:
- Hacktivists are politically motivated. Anonymous, the decentralized international group, is a good example. Anonymous has attacked governments, businesses and even religious organizations like the Church of Scientology.
- Cyber criminals are financed by organized crime, and get lots of media attention for stealing billions of dollars from businesses and consumers. They buy and sell toolkits, exploit vulnerabilities in new software (zero day) and sell personal personal information on the black market, mostly for financial gain.
- Nation States Attackers are the most organized hacker group. They are funded by governments and conduct operations such as intellectual property theft and cyber espionage.
- Trusted employees occasionally use their access to electronically steal money or data from businesses. But a much bigger problem is that many businesses do not educate employees about how to stay cyber safe and don’t hold them accountable for lapses in security.
What is a business to do? The first step is to assess your risks and your security. What are your vulnerabilities? How will you address them — with the staff you have or by outsourcing? The National Institute of Standards and Technology offers this tool, the Cybersecurity Framework, to help organizations determine where they stand and what they need to do. We hope you’ll find it helpful. You might also consider visiting the Federal Trade Commission or Homeland Security’s websites for small businesses. Both have great ideas for protecting your business.