Are you managing a growing business? Aside from solid marketing strategies, there are other aspects you need to cover. One of the most crucial is the aspect of security.
Since the start of the pandemic, one of the biggest cybersecurity news was that there were over 4,000 cyber-attacks in the United States per day. That is an 800% surge compared to the pre-pandemic numbers.
Generally, the first casualties in a cyber-attack are your precious data. Hackers will look to steal valuable information from your company and use them to make money. Unfortunately, the impact of cybersecurity goes beyond data theft.
It can also extend to your physical security. If you’re wondering how cybersecurity (or the lack thereof) can impact your physical safety, we invite you to continue reading below. Let us discuss five ways it can affect your physical security.
1. Compromised Security and Safety Systems
If you’re managing an office, a warehouse, or a factory that uses physical access control systems, there is one fact you need to fully understand. Even if these safety systems use smart cards for employee identification, they still need to connect to the internet to function.
Even if a few can access your systems, there is still the risk of hackers entering the backdoor via the internet. Hackers can find their way to your security and safety systems to compromise them. When this happens, they can tweak protocols and grant access to unauthorized persons.
From there, it is a wide-open route for cybercriminals. Depending on the function of your security systems, hackers can gain access to your warehouse. They can reach sensitive areas within your facility.
They can physically steal your money and other important documents. Another possible scenario is they can hack your fire alarm systems. They can disable it and cause a fire in your facility without causing much brouhaha.
Also, they can make it go off and cause chaos inside your office. From there, they can sneak inside and run away with their targets.
2. Via Social Media
Do you have multiple social media accounts? Then they can be one of the targets of hackers and evildoers to cause physical harm to you and your family. For starters, your child can experience cyberbullying through Facebook and Instagram.
About 37% of children between the ages 12 and 17 experienced at least one form of online bullying. Moreover, it is on Instagram where most of the cyberbullying happen.
Another threat that can lead to physical harm is when evildoers stalk you on social media. For example, burglars are always on the lookout for people’s public posts on Facebook. When you post your plans of going on a vacation, criminals can pick up on the information.
They can take note of details like the date of your vacation, the location, and if the entire family is going with you. From there, they can use the information to plan their break-in.
Another example is when parents post details about their child’s whereabouts. A common example is posting details of your child’s school. Bad guys can figure out the schedule of your child and plan their next move from there.
For companies, criminals can look for posts of employees concerning their geographical location. They can stalk your workers prey on them as they go to and from the office.
3. Through Hacking of Medical Equipment and Data
Another important sector that is prone to cyber-attacks is the healthcare industry. The threat of cybersecurity is one of the biggest concerns in the healthcare sector. In 2020, healthcare cyber-attacks increased by 55%.
As a result, the attacks compromised the health information of some 26 million people. Moreover, they can compromise the performance of smart devices. In turn, the attacks can pose all kinds of risks to the health and welfare of patients.
With poor cybersecurity, cybercriminals can hack into the medical systems of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. Some of the favorite targets of hackers are patient monitoring systems.
They also prey on drug dispensers and check-in kiosks. Once they reach the equipment, they can do all sorts of devious things.
They can cause the monitoring systems to malfunction. Moreover, they can have it deliver inaccurate data. Also, they can steal the test results of different patients and swap them.
How do hackers infiltrate such medical systems and equipment? The most common point of entry is through the WiFi network. If the network uses poor passwords, hackers can break them and get in and compromise the systems.
At the end of the day, patients may lose their lives. As for the hospitals, they can experience direct financial damage. Some may even lose their good name and reputation.
4. The Openings in IoT
Though the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) is something businesses and individuals should all welcome and embrace, they also make easy targets for hackers. The reach of IoT is quite extensive that it can help make life easier in different aspects and levels.
At home, IoT resulted in smart household appliances like refrigerators and lighting solutions. The same thing with television, which comes with different apps people often use. These apps let you play games, check the daily weather, and watch movies via subscription.
In various industries, IoT comes in the form of self-repairing equipment and smart factory floors. Moreover, companies use smart equipment to help report their production status.
The problem with this is when your appliances don’t come with top-notch security systems. Hackers can breach the security systems and control the smart devices at the palm of their hands. They can turn on your household equipment and shut them down any time they want.
In factories, they can compromise the performance of smart equipment. They can sabotage the production of a company to help a rival firm secure an advantage. When sensitive equipment fails, they can put the workers’ lives in peril.
Accidents can happen that may injure or kill factory workers. This is evident in companies handling chemicals. Fires and poisoning can happen when hackers cause the equipment to fail.
5. Compliance in Office Security Protocols
Last but not least, the level of employee compliance on office security protocols. This is another big factor in cybersecurity.
However, this can be tricky, especially for new hires. Adherence to company security measures is a culture that employers need to instill.
It is a culture that companies develop in time. Companies need to conduct regular employee training on cybersecurity. For example, workers should know their limits regarding the type of systems they can access.
Failure to comply should merit punishments to ensure everyone is following. When workers do not abide by the security protocols in place, they risk compromising company systems to hackers. When this happens, cybercriminals can gain access to systems.
They can mess up the systems and endanger the lives of everyone in the building. Sometimes, they can hack into sensitive data. Thereafter, they can use it to target certain individuals in the company.
Tips for Boosting Your Cybersecurity
Unfortunately, these cyber-attacks can cost small businesses financial turmoil. In some cases, these attacks even force companies to shut down. Thus, you need to start with the basics by implementing a company-wide cybersecurity policy.
You want to educate your employees about the dangers of cyber-attacks. Boost their cybersecurity awareness by teaching them how to detect hacking attempts.
Next, you need to establish appropriate access levels. Set access restrictions on sensitive data that only a few eyes should see. Also, you want to enforce a strict password policy.
Require your employees to change their passwords at least once every quarter. Another important practice is to update your computers regularly. Make sure you’re using the latest security software.
If you still have any old hardware and software, don’t hesitate to spend money on new ones. Old software and hardware are more susceptible to hacking. Speaking of spending, consider investing in a private cloud server.
A good private cloud hosting comes with all the essentials. These include SSD SAN storage and private connectivity. You can also expect an advanced control panel, among others.
Also, if you’re implementing remote work for some of your employees, implement a BYOD policy. Be strict on this one by approval all the devices before they can use them for work. You should enforce minimum security software requirements.
These should apply to all desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones. Lastly, be aware of your company’s vulnerabilities. Find out your cybersecurity weaknesses by comparing the systems and applications you have against the industry standards.
From there, upgrade the ones that don’t meet your minimum security requirements. Keep in mind that it is better to spend thousands now than lose millions to hackers in the future.
Let’s Take Your Cybersecurity to the Next Level
Now that you know the impact of cybersecurity on your physical safety, you can revisit your cybersecurity framework and identify its weak points. Also, you shouldn’t hesitate to invest in top-notch cybersecurity software.
Connect with us and learn more about cloud service solutions. Together, let’s take your company’s cybersecurity game to the next level.