Actionable Strategies To Protect Your Business From Hacker Infiltration


People at the top of big organizations are becoming more and more concerned about hacker infiltration, especially after high profile cases, such as the Wannacry attack of 2017. In that attack, hackers demanded ransom payments from companies in exchange for returning their data to them unharmed. It cost millions and made a significant impact on some firm’s bottom line.

No business wants that to happen to them, which is why it’s so important to take steps today to prevent it from happening. Businesses need actionable strategies that they can follow to avoid the pain of an attack similar to Wannacry.

Actionable Strategy #1: Know Your Enemies


The first step of a comprehensive network security plan is to know your enemies. Businesses need to ask themselves who is most likely to attack them and why. They need to think carefully about what value they may have to an attacker and avoid saying things like “we’re too small to be noticed” or “we have nothing of value that a hacker wants.”

Your enemies might not be random people clicking on computers in their bedrooms; they could be people you work with. Think carefully about whether past employees might be a threat and take steps to make sure that they cannot access your systems in the future. Always tell your current employees to treat former workers as they would anybody else. Always deny access to critical systems.

Actionable Strategy #2: Study Your Partners

Traditional viruses are becoming a smaller cyber-security issue, thanks to the rise of sophisticated antivirus software. The main problems now are human. Small businesses, particularly, are at risk from their partners, especially if they share a network. Partners may not necessarily be malicious (although they can be), but they can always be negligent, bypassing security protocols and cutting corners.

Evaluate your partners to see whether they have high security standards. If they don’t, ask them to improve them. If they refuse, partition your IT solutions from theirs to minimize risk.

Actionable Strategy #3: Practice Security Hygiene

Most of your employees won’t have an in-depth knowledge of cyber-security issues. But rather than leave them in a state of ignorance, smart leaders help them practice good security hygiene.

Security hygiene is a defensive measure designed to eliminate the risk of employees inadvertently allowing malicious actors to gain access to your systems. Conduct an audit of your staff’s current approach to threats to see how easy it is for a would-be attacker to bypass your protocols. Pay particular attention to how your employees react to suspicious emails and take remedial action if necessary.

Actionable Strategy #4: Measure The Value Of Your Digital Assets

Finally, it’s a good idea to put a monetary value on your digital assets, just as you would your business premises. Knowing how much your assets are worth allows you to calculate how much you should spend protecting and insuring them. Higher value digital assets are more likely to be targeted by attackers, especially if those data have “reputational” or other intangible forms of value to your firm.