Fortify Your Business Against Cyberattacks: 12 Proven Strategies for Success


Have you imagined this heart-breaking situation before? You woke up one beautiful morning to the news that your business is hacked.It didn’t just end there. You felt it was a joke until you rushed to your business website and found out it was down, your customer data stolen, and your systems locked. You’re now facing the prospect of reputational damage from the masses, financial losses, and legal liability.

This is the nightmare that many businesses face today. Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly sophisticated and common, and no business whether small or large is immune. With the ever-increasing dangers cyberattacks pose to businesses, having a solid security solution is critical.

In this piece, we will delve into the world of cyberattacks, evaluating recent statistics and fatal cases, and then explore twelve (12) proven tactics that can help safeguard your business from these digital threats.


A Dive into Cyberattacks: Understanding the Threat


A cyberattack is a malicious attempt to gain unauthorized access to a network or computer system. A Cyberattack is carried out by hackers for many reasons which may include disrupting operations, extorting money, stealing data, etc. Phishing scams, Ransomware, Malware infections, etc. are all examples of cyberattacks that 21st-century businesses of all sizes face.

Businesses that have fallen victim to cyberattacks often fold their businesses or pay hefty sums in cryptocurrency for the safe return of their vital data. However, it is paramount that businesses understand the seriousness of cyberattacks and take proactive measures to protect the valuable assets of the business.


Recent Cyberattack Statistics

The magnitude and frequency of cyberattacks are increasing. Recent figures provide a bleak picture of the digital danger landscape:

  • According to Coveware research, the incidence of ransomware assaults climbed by 64% in 2021.
  • According to Sophos’s “The State of Ransomware 2022” report, Ransomware affected 66% of organizations in 2021, an increase of 78% over 2020.
  • According to IBM Security, the average cost of a data breach reached $4.24 million in 2021.
  • According to a Microsoft estimate, the amount of phishing attacks increased by 61% in 2021.
  • Global cyberattacks increased by 38% in 2022, compared to 2021.
  • Africa experienced the highest volume of attacks with 1875 weekly attacks per organization, followed by APAC with 1691 weekly attacks per organization.
  • Phishing remains the most common form of cyber attack, accounting for half of all data breaches.
  • Ransomware attacks are also on the rise, with 236.1 million attacks occurring globally in the first half of 2022.
  • Data breaches cost businesses an average of $4.35 million in 2022.
  • The number of IoT devices infected with malware increased by 600% in 2021.


Deadly Cyber Attack Cases

Several high-profile cyberattacks have caused significant damage in recent years. These cases illustrate the potential devastation cyberattacks can wreak on businesses and critical infrastructure. Let’s take a look at these notable cases:


  • In 2017, the  “Wanna Cry” ransomware attack on the National Health Service in the UK caused widespread disruption and led to the cancellation of over 19,000 appointments. A ransom of US$300 in bitcoin was demanded to unlock each afflicted device, with the amount doubling every three days and the danger of data loss if payment was not received within a week.
  • NotPetya virus (2017): NotPetya was a wiper malware attack that affected over 2,000 organizations in over 60 countries. The attack was particularly destructive because it encrypted all files on the infected computer, including operating system files. This made it impossible for infected computers to boot up and operate. The attack caused billions of dollars in damage and disrupted businesses and organizations around the world.
  • Equifax data breach (2017): The Equifax data breach was one of the largest data breaches in history. The breach exposed the personal data of over 145 million Americans, including Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and driver’s license numbers. The breach caused significant financial and reputational damage to Equifax and its customers. They are considered the most deadly because they caused widespread damage and disruption. They also highlighted the vulnerability of critical infrastructure and the need for businesses and organizations to take cyber security seriously.


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12 Proven Strategies to Protect Your Business from Cyberattacks

  1. Forge Impenetrable Passwords: Your first line of defense begins with strong, unique passwords. Craft passwords that are at least 12 characters long, incorporating a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid common words or phrases, and use a password manager for added security.
  2. Embrace multifactor-authentication (MFA): Elevate your security with MFA, which demands additional verification beyond passwords. It’s like having a digital bouncer at your castle gate, ensuring access only to authorized users.
  3. Empower Your Team Through Cybersecurity Awareness Training: Employees can be a weak link in your security chain. Educate them on recognizing potential threats, creating robust passwords, spotting phishing emails, understanding data protection, and securing their devices.
  4. Stay Current: Keep Software and Systems Updated: Regular software updates and security patches are like vaccinations for your systems. Install them promptly to shield your business from known vulnerabilities. Consider managed service providers for hassle-free updates. IT Service Desk Africa offers software and system updates as part of their managed services.
  5. Fortify Data with Encryption and Backups: Backing up your data is like building a safety net. Combine this with data encryption to safeguard sensitive information. Regularly verify your backups to ensure they’re ready when needed.
  6. Establish a Comprehensive Security Policy: Create a security policy outlining your organization’s procedures and regulations. Share it with all employees, regularly review and update it to adapt to evolving threats.
  7. Deploy Robust Firewalls and Trusted Antivirus Software: Invest in strong firewalls and reliable antivirus software to filter out harmful content and secure your network effectively.
  8. Access Control: Protect What’s Important: Implement strict access control measures, limiting access to essential systems and data. Role-based access control (RBAC) is a powerful tool in preventing unauthorized access.
  9. Monitor Your Network: Conceal and secure your networks, and employ network monitoring tools to detect unusual or suspicious activities. Early detection allows for timely intervention.
  10. Craft an Incident Response Plan: Develop a clear incident response plan to swiftly and effectively address cyberattacks. Outline steps to identify, recover, and prevent future attacks, and regularly practice the plan with your team.
  11. Leverage Cybersecurity Partnerships: Collaborate with cybersecurity professionals to create customized solutions and keep your defenses up to date in the face of evolving threats. At IT Service Desk Africa, we partner with SOPHOS to fortify your cybersecurity strategy.
  12. Conduct Security Audits and Secure Cyber Insurance: Regular security audits performed by certified professionals can help identify vulnerabilities. Additionally, consider cyber insurance to protect your business from financial losses resulting from cyberattacks.


In Conclusion:

In the digital age, businesses face both incredible opportunities and formidable challenges. Cyberattacks are a grave and escalating concern. To protect your company from the devastating consequences of these threats, you need a cybersecurity solution tailored to your business. Contact IT Service Desk Africa immediately to strengthen your defenses and secure the sustainability and security of your business in our increasingly digital world. Your business’s future depends on it.

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Credits: Justina Nwokedi and Josh Babatope.


8 thoughts on “Fortify Your Business Against Cyberattacks: 12 Proven Strategies for Success”

  1. Protecting your business again cyber attack is very important.
    Hackers can ruin the business it took you years to build in a day.

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