As someone in the horticultural business, your focus is on the natural world. But if your company is like most, you still rely on technology to help your business succeed. Technology brings many benefits to businesses, but it also brings risk.
One of the primary risks of using technology at your business is cybercrime. You’ve likely heard of large-scale cyberattacks against major corporations; however, large businesses aren’t the only targets. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, more than half of all cyberattacks are committed against small to midsized businesses. Even more concerning is 60 percent of those companies go out of business within six months of experiencing a data breach or hack.
Any business that relies on technology should be prepared for cyberattacks. This guide provides information about some common types of cybercrime and how you can help prevent them.
Phishing is one of the most well-known types of cybercrime. Phishing is when cyber criminals send fraudulent emails or messages—usually disguised as legitimate communications—with the intent to gain personal information, money, or access to a device. Oftentimes, the messages are written to make the reader feel a sense of urgency to click a link or send information.
Educating yourself and your employees is one of the best ways to avoid falling victim to phishing emails. Here are a few things to look out for when checking your emails:
Ransomware is software that restricts access to files and demands a ransom payment in exchange for whatever is needed to unlock the ransomed data. Cyber criminals will typically threaten to delete the data or share it publicly if the victim doesn’t pay the ransom. However, a given attacker may not hold up their end of the deal. It’s possible that you’ll never recover your data.
Any device that connects to the internet can be affected by ransomware. Here are a few tips to protect against ransomware:
Fraudulent impersonation occurs when a cyber attacker impersonates someone—such as an authority figure or a vendor—to gain data or money. For example, an attacker may disguise themselves as one of the vendors your business works with and ask your employee to pay an invoice or share customer information.
In addition to the prevention methods we listed earlier, here are some additional security tips to help avoid fraudulent impersonation:
We’ve all encountered technical problems and know they’re frustrating. But falling victim to cybercrime is frightening. And like most other crimes, addressing it as soon as possible will lead to the best results.
Data encryption can take a long time. If you suspect your files are being encrypted, disconnect your devices from any network and disconnect the power source.
In the event of a cybercrime, contact your IT team or vendor—they’ll know the appropriate next steps. If you don’t have an IT team, consider hiring a third-party vendor. Not only can they help address a possible data breach or other cybercrime, they can help prevent them from happening in the first place.
Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible following an attack. If you don’t currently have cyber liability coverage, consider adding it to your existing policy. Like most insurance, prices vary but will likely cost much less than a claim.
Here are some of the costs cyber liability coverage can help cover:
Additionally, some insurers will include additional resources—from prevention resources to lower rates for IT services—to help you prevent a cyber-related claim.
We want to help you protect your business by providing the information and resources you need to help prevent losses before they happen. Contact your Hortica representative and we’ll have a conversation about protecting your critical data.