There was a time when keeping your business’ financial information safe meant having a solid deadbolt on your door or vault with a combination lock. Those days, however, are long gone. Even smaller enterprises such as yours must rely on the Internet for transmitting and receiving extremely sensitive data among you, your clients and financial institutions. These 24/7 connections have no doubt made doing business more convenient, but they also mean you need to be always on your guard.
Cybercriminals are constantly looking for any flaws in a company’s security. If you think you’re too small to be targeted, think again. You don’t have to have ledgers that count into the billions to be enticing prey for one of these digital bandits. No matter what size you are or what markets you serve, you could be at risk for having your data stolen right from under your nose. If that happens, the results could be catastrophic. Not only could the monetary losses be insurmountable for a smaller player, but the damage to your reputation may be impossible to overcome.
How You Could Fall Victim to Cybercrime
Thanks to media portrayals of cybercriminals, most people believe that they operate by using a virus to infiltrate systems or by utilizing sophisticated programs to bypass security measures such as passwords. Although those are certainly some of the tools at the modern burglar’s disposal, there are others that are not nearly as high-tech but still extremely effective under the right circumstances.
In addition to apps that break through weak encryption and ransomware, these crooks also use phishing emails to fool unsuspecting employees. Appearing official, these malicious missives can trick the recipients into providing their passwords or clicking on attachments that hide malware.
Given how varied and deceptive these techniques can be, it takes more than a simple warning to employees to achieve the highest levels of protection. Your business needs a 24-hour-a-day guard that is always watching for any suspicious signs of intruders. Artificial intelligence can be the watchdog you need to secure your most-sensitive assets online.
How Artificial Intelligence Can Seal the Gaps in Your Cybersecurity
When partnered with traditional security systems, AI could be the solution you’ve been looking for when it comes to protecting your financial data. That’s because unlike passive measures such as passwords or two-factor authentication, AI can learn what’s normal for your system and use that information to identify activity that looks suspicious.
For example, using complex algorithms, an artificial intelligence-focused solution can pick out emails that appear to be connected to a phishing scheme. By screening messages before they reach users’ inboxes, these scams can be rerouted and quarantined until a systems administrator can clear or delete them as needed. This can help prevent your busy workers from absent-mindedly clicking on something they shouldn’t.
AI also strengthens your firewalls by watching for any requests for data that fall outside of the approved parameters. If the system finds a request to be an unauthorized attempt, it can lock that user out until the issue is addressed. Perhaps best of all, AI can function at all hours of the day without need for human intervention. This means potential threats can be dealt with immediately — no matter where they come from or when.
The unfortunate truth of today’s business environment is that you’re always vulnerable to an attack. If you’re a small company, it’s extremely important to have a security solution that can be working all the time. For more about how artificial intelligence can make a difference for you, see the accompanying resource.
Infographic created by Donnelley Financial Solutions, a global fintech company