Click here to get this post as a PDF and read it later!
Whether working from home or at the office, you need a cybersecurity plan. Malicious hacking is the scourge of the 21st century and can cost you dearly. Here’s why it’s good to protect yourself.
Your IP Address is Easily Discoverable
You have probably heard of an IP address but aren’t sure what it is. Put simply, it’s the identifier of your devices when they access the web. However, it is important because it’s used for data tracking. So, a hacker can see everything you’ve done on the web just by following your IP on your PC, tablet and even your smartphone. Therefore, they could see what you bought, any sites you logged into, and even the credentials you used. So, as you can see, there is a high potential for data theft. ClearVPN has a great article on how to change IP address on iPhone.
A Cybersecurity Plan Prevents Against Multiple Threats
When a hacker targets you or your company, it’s not uncommon for them to come at you from different angles. If one attempt fails, they use another while setting up a further attack. Common examples include phishing, email malware and denial of service (DoS) attacks. In response, you must be ready for anything. Fortunately, this isn’t too challenging. You can start by making a small but powerful investment in antimalware. Antimalware like Malwarebytes will protect against most attacks. But it can’t do everything. Password policies and updates will help.
The Financial Burden Can be Heavy
The cost of a data breach can impact your finances heavily. Not only can your bank accounts be accessed, but you lose money due to loss of trust and, therefore, business and penalties. It isn’t uncommon for a small or medium-sized business to suffer after an attack and fold after a few years. For instance, in the United States, the financial cost of a cyber attack averages around just over $700,000. This amount is enough to put all but the most stable company out of business forever. So this alone makes the case for implementing a solid cybersecurity plan.
Your Data is all Over the Web
You might not be aware, but a hacker doesn’t need to attack your company or personal device to steal your data. Your data is everywhere on the web. Every service you purchased, every eCommerce site you have ever used, and all communication channels. These include:
- Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Cloud access services such as DropBox and Google Apps.
- Business-specific services like Quickbooks or Grammarly.
- Subscriptions to entertainment like Netflix.
- Cloud-based password storage services such as LastPass.
As you can see, you leave your data in the hands of others all the time. And your data could be stolen in an attack on them and not yourself. For example, hackers stole thousands of players’ personal and payment data after games giant Ubisoft was breached in 2013.
You Aren’t Liable if You Did All You Can
In addition to having your data stolen and bank accounts possibly accessed, you could face penalties for not protecting data. Recently, the UK government set legal penalties for not implementing adequate measures to protect the data of clients. In a UK court, you could be fined up to £17 million or 4% of your company’s annual turnover. However, you won’t be held accountable if you do all you can to protect user data. Often, hackers are strong-willed and can bring a system to its knees. But you should make it as difficult as possible for them to do so.
A Cybersecurity Plan Helps with Increasing Attacks
As you probably know, cyber attacks are increasing at an alarming rate. The rate at which cyber-attacks increase, according to recent data, is around 25% per year. Mostly because data is an extremely valuable commodity. Data has become so valuable that it is now worth more than the oil industry. Because of this, hackers and scammers are upping their game by increasing the frequency of attacks and finding more sophisticated ways of accessing data. These include fake emails with malicious unsubscribe buttons, baiting and masquerading.
You Protect Employees and Clients Alike
There are many reasons to implement strong cybersecurity. But one of the most compelling reasons is simple protection. Good hacker and scam prevention ensures that you protect not only your company but your staff and customers. Data is highly sensitive and valuable. So you have a duty of care to prevent it from being stolen and misused through your internal systems. Having an employee’s record stolen could mean life-destroying consequences for that person. And stolen client data will end with your business’s reputation in tatters and legal action.
You need a cybersecurity plan as a freelancer, business or individual. Some reasons include hiding your IP, avoiding costly legal action and protecting your clients and employees.