Cybercrime has become a steadily increasing problem in recent years. As businesses become more reliant on technology, companies also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks. But how can you prevent cybercrime whilst also fulfilling your responsibilities as a business owner…?

What is Cybercrime

When the term cybercrime comes to mind, what do you picture? In reality, this type of crime presents little threat to any business. When it comes to protecting your business from cybercrime, there are two important ways to think about the issue. First, that there are a variety of common and uncommon threats your company faces every day.

Implement a data security plan

Each organization should develop, enforce and update a comprehensive data security plan. That plan should include an inventory of the different categories of data collected, stored, processed, or communicated by the organization.

Having adequate security measures in place to protect the data is an obligation for some businesses (like banks and insurers). While others need to have procedures in place relating to the physical security of their equipment.

An easy way to make sure you are doing the right thing is, have a security policy in place and familiarize your employees with it. However, building and maintaining a secure system that goes far beyond optimism requires appropriate planning and consideration of the risks involved in collecting, storing, processing, and transmitting data per local laws and regulations.

Encrypt data

The mere fact that data encryption can take place on devices and in locations outside a network does not relieve network operators and others within the internet ecosystem from their responsibility to ensure that data is encrypted in transit.

Just as providers of web-based email accounts or other online services are ultimately responsible for assuring the confidentiality of customer data stored using their services, networking, and telecommunications companies must ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data moving across or stored on their networks. In particular, when third parties are used to store sensitive data, telecommunications and internet providers must take steps to ensure that such third parties have similar security obligations to those imposed by this Order.

Read more about implementing a data security plan.

Communicate data securely

The use of secure e-mail communication accounts is becoming more popular as a response to surveillance by Internet service providers, employers, and law enforcement. If an Internet User wishes to communicate information in a manner that is more private than available through conventional Internet-based e-mail, then encryption can be used for providing confidentiality for both the text of the message and the subject lines of each e-mail message.

Use access controls and firewalls

Adding and comparing access controls increases controls to acceptable levels. Many of the policies and practices that organizations have implemented to improve information security increasingly rely on the implementation and use of strong passwords. A user’s password is the first line of defense. A sophisticated attacker cannot compromise credentials and gain unauthorized access to systems and data if users have strong passwords.

However, user authentication continues to be one of the most effective means of preventing security incidents. Many security failures will result in unauthorized individuals gaining access to information or the network. But, only after successfully authenticating themselves as valid users with the necessary privileges. Adding and comparing access controls increases controls to acceptable levels.

Use external service providers carefully

There are many types of outside parties that may be used for storage, processing, and communications purposes. Data service providers generally have a higher standard for security than the agency acting as an end-user.

Legal counsel has a vital role to play in that planning and analysis. And your law firm is likely one of the best sources of information to help you identify both the risks and the legal protections that can be put in place to address those risks.

Book a session with our Chief Marketing Technologist if you are experiencing any risks on marketing@tngsolutions.co.za