Cybersecurity for Businesses
Cybersecurity for Businesses

Cybersecurity for Businesses: Keeping Safe From Cyber Threats

The massive increase in online business activities puts your data at risk in a new way -- cyberattacks. That's where cybersecurity comes in. Learn proper cybersecurity measures that can protect your business from potential threats.

By Caterpillar | Posted: May 20, 2022

Whether you work in construction, agriculture, government or another industry, you likely operate partially online. The massive increase in business activities happening on the internet puts your data at risk in a new way -- cyberattacks.

While you secured old-school folders and filing cabinets with a key or lock, your online data needs the same sort of protection. That's where cybersecurity comes in. Business cybersecurity protects your data and the employees who use your systems. When you have a comprehensive plan in place, everyone on your team can have peace of mind.

Why Is Business Cybersecurity Important?

According to the National Law Review, a leading legal journal, the Internet Crime Complaint Center dealt with 791,790 cybercrime complaints in 2020, with businesses reporting losses of more than $4.1 billion as a result. 

While all businesses are vulnerable to cyberattacks, some industries are more susceptible than others. The construction industry is in the top three sectors with the highest number of ransom attacks.

While those numbers should already stop you in your tracks, you should also know that they represent a 69% increase in cybercrimes from 2019. Clearly, cyberattacks are a rapidly escalating issue facing an increasing number of companies. 

When your data is at risk, you have to put money toward a wide range of processes, from identifying hackers to reducing harm wherever possible. Plus, your data can include sensitive information about your clients and employees. When this data is released, there's a potential for a negative impact on your reputation, and even lawsuits — something every business wants to avoid.

These risks are present in all types of industries, like government, construction and agriculture. The bottom line is that cybercrime is harmful, so it's best to address your cybersecurity risks before they happen. Proper cybersecurity measures can protect your business from potential threats.

Understanding Cyber Threats to Businesses

At Caterpillar, we have tech experts collaborating to secure our systems and protect customer data, but there are still more security measures to consider. Cybersecurity is still a fairly new concept, and it can be a little challenging when you're not a tech expert. When you want to design a security strategy, you want to think about the possible threats, such as:

  • Phishing: This type of threat involves a cybercriminal pretending to be a well-known organization that you trust, so they can get sensitive information from you. It's common to see this in your email inbox. The message might look like it's from a company you know, but when you click the links inside, information can be stolen.
  • Viruses: Computers can get viruses just like people, and they can spread to other computers. You can accidentally pick up a virus from a website, link or email. These threats can cause damage to your computer or steal sensitive data.
  • Ransomware: As it says in the name, this cyber threat holds you for ransom. It can prevent you from accessing certain sites or files until your business pays the criminal a certain amount of money. 
  • Insider attacks: This threat is slightly different than the other types because someone you know is responsible. A person on your team or someone with access to your company's information can share data or expose business secrets. 

How to Prevent Cyberattacks on Businesses

Since cybersecurity is so critical, even smaller companies should commit a percentage of their information technology (IT) budget to cyberattack protection to avoid becoming a target. Using the following cybersecurity measures can help small businesses fend off potential threats:

  1. Employee awareness training: This is perhaps the most important of all security measures. Train your employees about the different cyber threats, like phishing, ransomware and viruses, to boost awareness. Our security experts also recommend teaching your team about security habits, like how to create a strong password and use mobile phones safely.
  2. Installation of firewalls: The most effective and secure firewalls can block an outsider from gaining access to a network or stored data. 
  3. Security patch updates: Patches are crucial because they provide system updates to vulnerable areas. Automatic update features help ensure prompt application, so your employees aren’t on the hook for installing updates themselves.
  4. Regular backups: In the event of an attack, backups assist in recovering stolen or jeopardized data. Frequent backups are especially helpful when contending with ransomware. If a hacker blocks you from specific files to get money from you, your backup files will give you access without having to pay that ransom.
  5. Encryption methods: Encryption is the process of encoding files or messages so only authorized parties can access or read that data. One of the ways to do this is by adding password protection to specific files. This method is ideal for preventing insider attacks from people in or close to your team.
  6. Multi-factor authentication: This process entails using a password and at least one other form of authentication. If a cyberattacker decodes a primary login, multi-factor authentication can stop hackers in their tracks. Having your team use multi-factor authentication can add that extra layer of protection you need for peace of mind.
  7. Audits and vulnerability testing: A comprehensive audit identifies vulnerabilities and threats, exposing high-risk areas and weaknesses before they're exploited. It's best to perform these audits at least once a year. We also recommend an audit after you've introduced new technology to ensure everything is airtight.

Cybersecurity Is a Priority at Caterpillar

Cybersecurity practices should be a part of every business. At Caterpillar, we prioritize data protection in our company and for our customers. 

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