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Enforcing cybersecurity

The fourth module of this guide explores the best practices for reducing cyber risk when you reopen your business.

A cyber risk is any incident that compromises the confidentiality, integrity or availability of your data. An accidental system failure that leads to the corruption of a critical database or an intentional data breach are examples of cyber risks.

How to reduce cyber risk

Cybersecurity is crucial, especially if employees accessed your systems remotely or if it was not possible to make regular software updates while your business was closed. 

If you weren’t able to update or patch your software and operating systems, your business may be vulnerable to a data breach, which could result in the leak of personal customer information. Update your software and operating systems to make sure you have the best possible security.

You will also want to review the list of users who have access to your resources, and remove anyone who does not need to access these systems for their day-to-day work. If you lost personnel because of the crisis, verify that these former employees no longer have access to your network.

Back up your data. This is good practice during regular operations, but it is particularly important if you haven’t had a chance to back up your data while you were closed. Review your backup and recovery procedure to ensure that your company is doing everything it can to prevent cyber attacks and that you have a plan to bounce back if a breach does occur. If your organization collects personal data, like customer or employee information, you have an obligation to adequately protect it.

Preventing fraud

After a crisis, you may be more susceptible to fraud. During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, there was a spike in social engineering fraud. Remember fraud can come in many forms, such as a malicious email (known as phishing), phone call or text. Provide regular training for your employees so they know the best procedures for recognizing and reporting potentially malicious content.

To review the specific steps you should take to help reduce cyber risk before reopening, check out our helpful checklist.

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