5 ways to protect your data against a cyber attack

What is a cyber-attack?

A cyber-attack is an action directed against a company or organization to steal data or cause disruption. It involves breaching a computer network or a software system by exploiting its vulnerabilities.

The effectiveness and likelihood of a cyberattack, from the attackers' point of view, depends on their skills, as some cyberattacks are carried out by lone actors, others by criminal gangs and others by hacker collectives. Disruptive attacks, such as distributed denial-of-service attacks, are often orchestrated by groups of "activist hackers."

Cyber attackers use various methods to gain unauthorized access to computer systems, for example:

Malware: malware is a shortened version of malicious software that typically uses automated techniques, such as viruses, worms, ransomware and spyware, to gain access to a network. Malware integrates itself into a network by exploiting a vulnerable point, such as network users clicking on an infected link or opening a dangerous email attachment and automatically installing the dangerous software.

Phishing: Phishing attacks use convincing fraudulent messages or emails to gain access to login information, passwords and bank card information, or provide a gateway to install malware.

Denial of Service (DoS) attack: A DoS attack causes disruption by flooding a server, system or network with large amounts of traffic. The large volume of traffic overwhelms the IT resources of the targeted organization. Often, the organization is forced to shut down its operations temporarily during a DoS attack, especially when attackers use multiple compromised computers and devices to carry out the attack (known as distributed denial of service or DDoS attacks).

Spoofing attacks (MitM): MitM attacks find a vulnerable entry point to eavesdrop on conversations or transactions between two parties. Once they find a way to gain access they can steal information. MitM attacks often exploit insecure public wifi networks or use malware installed on the device.

5 ways to avoid a cyberattack and increase your online security

1. Keep your software up to date

The first tip may seem obvious, but it's surprising how many companies use outdated software. Software companies often release new security patches to keep up with ever-changing cybersecurity threats.

That's why you need to make sure your software and systems are up to date, which also includes mobile devices. The easiest way is to enable automatic updates if available, but some existing software may need manual updates.

2. Train your employees on cybersecurity

Being aware is half the battle when it comes to preventing cyberattacks. Start with the basics: encourage people to think about Internet security and to hesitate before clicking on any links or opening email attachments. Make sure they know never to enter a password or check personal information when contacted suddenly by phone or email.

You can also provide cyber literacy training to your employees to further reduce the chances of a breach. There are multiple third-party training providers that can help you, if you need it.

3. Enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA).

Also known as two-step authentication, MFA is a cybersecurity technique that requires individuals to complete an additional step to prove their identity when logging into a network or system. Most people are already familiar with MFA, as many banks and websites use it to log in from a new device.

The extra steps act as double verification, usually by requesting a unique code that is sent as a text to your cell phone or by confirming an extra piece of information, such as your mother's maiden name or the name of your first school.

4. Use a strong password

Many people still use weak passwords, such as their child's name or date of birth. These days, it's not hard for hackers to find this kind of personal information through social media profiles, so you need to update your password.

When choosing a strong password, choose one with more than 15 characters, if possible, preferably with special characters such as !*&$, etc. Also, make sure it is a unique password that you do not use on any other site or system.

5. Choose a trusted CRM provider

Your CRM database contains a lot of useful and private confidential data, so you have to protect your CRM against attacks at all costs. This is especially true since the introduction of the GDPR, which focuses on the protection of personal data.

Make sure you choose a CRM provider that guarantees that all relevant security measures have been implemented. For example, Efficy is a complete CRM solution with robust security measures built in, such as access rights that can be managed at different levels and a document management system to protect downloading or obtaining sensitive material.

In short: prevent any cyber-attacks and data theft.
The most effective way to protect your data more efficiently is to raise awareness of cyber-attacks within your organization. Knowledge is power, so make sure your employees are aware of the dangers of malware and phishing attacks.

You should also look for software solutions that take cybersecurity seriously and build defense mechanisms into their platforms. Efficy is a secure and powerful CRM that can meet all your business needs, including data security.