According to Forbes, cybercriminals can infiltrate 93% of company networks, with attempted corporate cyberattacks increasing 50% from 2020 to 2021. The insurance industry alone has seen a 68% increase in online attacks. In the United States this year alone, these data breaches translated to an average cost of $9.44 million.
Understanding the language of cybersecurity helps organizations stay protected:
Cybersecurity refers to an organization’s protection of electronic systems, sensitive information, and electronic data from digital attacks. There are three key threats that companies need to protect against:
- Malware/ransomware. Ransomware uses malicious software, or malware, to restrict access to a company’s system, then demands payment from that company to regain access. A survey from Sophos found that, in 2021, 37% of respondent businesses were hit with ransomware. And the cost to restore access is steep, often upward of $1.85 million per company.
- Phishing. In 2021, 83% of organizations reported a phishing attack. This email ruse is an attempt to trick recipients into providing data or unauthorized access to networks or files. Most commonly, an email appears to be from a reputable person or company. It often has a sense of urgency in the request for the recipient to reveal personal information like passwords and/or credit care information.
- Data breach. Cybercriminals look for a weakness in a company’s security system and bait employees to provide credentials or open malicious attachments. This then allows the cybercriminal access to confidential company data.
Cybersecurity systems are the solutions to protect against these digital attacks. Systems should have layers of protection to prevent a disruption in normal business operations.
The four fundamental solutions all businesses should include in their cybersecurity toolkit are:
- Offsite backup. One of the most effective protections against ransomware is to procure a reliable and remote data backup system. With extra copies of key data housed offsite, the company is also protected against natural disasters and hardware failure.
- Multifactor authentication. Single-factor authentication and/or passwords are the simplest way for cybercriminals to hack into a system. When you implement multifactor authentication – requiring users to enter two or more credentials to access their accounts – you can prevent as much as 80-90% of cyberattacks.
- Comprehensive data security platforms. Protect and secure employee devices, starting with the hard drive. This includes both remote and office employee’s smart phones, tablets, laptops and more.
- Education. There are multiple solutions to guard against cyber attacks, yet one common factor can completely undo an entire security plan – human error. When you implement frequent end-user education, employees can become the most effective weapon against many of the digital attacks a company faces.
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About Unum Group
Unum Group (NYSE: UNM), an international provider of workplace benefits and services, has been helping workers and their families for 175 years. Through its Unum and Colonial Life brands, the company offers disability, life, accident, critical illness, dental, vision and stop-loss insurance; leave and absence management support and behavioral health services. In 2022, Unum reported revenues of about $12 billion and paid $8 billion in benefits. The Fortune 500 company is one of the 2023 World’s Most Ethical Companies, recognized by Ethisphere®.