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Every minute counts

With millions of cyber attacks occurring every few minutes, here are seven ways to secure your company’s global defenses

Every minute, approximately half a million cyber-attack attempts take place. When these attempts are successful, 60 percent compromise the targeted organization within minutes. From malware and wire transfer fraud to phishing and ransomware, there is a dizzying array of fraud to combat. For global companies, it is imperative to stay on top of these threats. Here are seven steps to help protect your company at home and abroad — to ensure the security of your data and the growth of your business.

  1. Malicious cyber attacks vary from country to country. For example, 55 percent of all breaches in France are committed by hackers and criminal insiders. In Brazil, this number is 30 percent. Therefore, it’s important to thoroughly review and gain an understanding of the biggest threats in the new market, as well as all of the cybersecurity rules and regulations.

  2. Align your cybersecurity strategy with your business objectives and the aforementioned laws. Determine whether you need customized strategies for the different regions in which you do business, or whether a centralized security department would work better for your company. The former provides organizations with experts on the regulations, laws, customs and culture of their new location. However, those who prefer the latter find that a unified cybersecurity strategy is a better option for their companies.

  3. Train all of your employees on the proper safeguards to implement in the countries in which they work. Employee awareness can determine whether or not an attack is successful, as 23 percent of recipients open phishing messages and 11 percent click on attachments. It is necessary to ensure that employees are familiar with the most common cybersecurity risks in their areas and realize their responsibility in avoiding them.

  4. Focus on the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your organization’s data. Ensure access to data is only given to those who need it to perform their job responsibilities. Regularly confirm the accuracy of the data to avoid corruption. And make sure the data is available to those with approved access whenever it is needed.

  5. When securing data centers, deploy controls similar to those at your local offices. Put a firewall in place and make sure company devices are tested for any vulnerabilities. When zero-day vulnerabilities are found, follow a predetermined protocol to identify the new risk, inform key stakeholders and immediately implement a plan of action to seal them.

  6. While traveling for business, make sure laptops and mobile devices are encrypted and secured. These devices should not be connected to public wireless networks; instead, portable hotspots should be used. Additionally, be aware that there are data import and export restrictions that differ by country.

  7. Conduct a geopolitical risk assessment that takes into account threats and vulnerabilities based on your organization, industry and the business expansion location. This assessment should include government stability, disaster recovery and business continuity planning. Research has shown that having a business continuity plan in place can reduce the cost of a data breach by approximately $7.10 per compromised record.

When your company expands internationally, keep in mind that many of the cybersecurity issues you face locally are the ones you’ll continue to face — simply on a larger and more complex scale. Planning ahead and educating your employees on how to protect your company’s data is the most effective way to handle any cyber attacks that come your way … every minute of every day.

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