Prepared for possible cyber attacks? Three basic rules for smaller companies

With just a few basic rules, even smaller companies are much better prepared in the event of a cyber attack. The same applies to cyber risks as to fire risks: anyone can be affected, but the same damage does not occur everywhere, because it depends on preparation. A few simple steps can make a big difference.

(Mind you: This is not about technology – firewalls, intrusion detection and the like more. But about the preparedness of the company, as an organization.)

What to do in case of fire ..

How much damage is likely to occur if a fire breaks out in a facility? The decisive factor is whether the business is prepared. If the fire extinguishers are working, no fire doors have been blocked? Make sure the first employee who notices a fire feels responsible for calling the fire department? Know everyone's escape routes, and know where the emergency stop buttons and breaker switches are in workshops and production halls? Little things like this can prevent a lot of damage.

… is no different in the event of a cyber attack

In the case of a cyber attack on corporate IT, the same applies: A few rules of conduct can already contain a good part of the damage.

  • Basic rule for everyone: react – don't wait. Employees must take action when there are signs of a cyber attack. The weird file attachment causes strange behavior on the office computer? Switch off, disconnect from the mains, let them know immediately!
    Employees should be mentally prepared for the possibility of cyber attacks. Awareness of digital danger must become part of corporate culture.
  • Clarify who is responsible for IT emergencies. In larger companies, it is clear who to call in the event of a possible Trojan infestation. There is an IT department with – hopefully – ready-made emergency plans. In smaller companies, there may not be a dedicated administrator. Is there an external service provider for IT emergencies, and does everyone know how to reach them??
  • Set up a functioning data backup. From one moment to the next all- personnel-, customer-, accounting-, production data etc. away? Then even smaller companies are left without access to their business information. For a low four-figure sum, you can get a solid backup system set up for a smaller business. Saving on them is like doing without fire extinguishers. Read more in the article "How can data backup protect against ransomware??"

Of course, these rules are no substitute for professionally managed and installed IT security. But they add an important aspect to it.

Be prepared – and insured!

Fire protection measures and fire insurance are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary. The same goes for the threat of cyber risks, because cyber insurance is part of being prepared.

The difference is rather that the probability of a cyber-attack is much higher than the risk of a fire disaster.