No matter how big or small your business is, cyber security is of fundamental importance if you want to protect your employees, partners, clients, and all other involved parties. Globally, 68% of business leaders have expressed their concerns with increasing cyber security risks. With the average cost of a data breach costing $3.86 million, it’s safe to say that network security and cyber security should be a top priority for businesses.
In this article, we’ll explain what cyber security is and we’ll share ten things that every business should be aware of when it comes to data protection.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security comprises the technologies, processes, and methods that are used by a business with the aim of guaranteeing protection against cyberattacks. Cyberattacks put at risk a business’ data, money, IT infrastructure, and more. With access to your network, a hacker can gain access to your clients’ lists and customer credit cards, your banking information, pricing models, product designs, business plans, and manufacturing procedures. In other words, a hacker can completely take over the control of your business, steal data and use it against you.
Relying on sophisticated and advanced IT security for your business means that the organization and the people involved are protected. A high-quality security solution should include things like a firewall, anti-virus, anti-spam, wireless security, online content filtration, and more.
10 things you should know about cybersecurity
When it comes to choosing your cyber security partner or creating a security system in-house, there are a variety of factors you should consider. Here are some of the top things you should know:
The threats to your IT security
When it comes to threats to your business’s IT security, the three main things to look out for are adware, ransomware, and spyware. Adware is a type of computer virus that will not only spam your computer with advertisements but can also provide access for different viruses to penetrate your computer when the ad is clicked on. Ransomware, on the other hand, is malicious software that can stop an individual or business from accessing a computer system until a certain amount of money is paid. Finally, spyware can spy on every action taken on the computer and use the information for malicious purposes.
The consequences of a cyber attack
A cyber attack can have dramatic consequences for your business in the long run. You could suffer from significant financial losses as a result of bank information theft, the disruptions in your business could lead to serious financial losses and your company reputation could be compromised. Cleaning your network of threats after it has been infected is also a costly endeavour that requires time and resources.
Training your employees can help
The most vulnerable element of your business when it comes to cyber attacks are employees. Oftentimes, lack of knowledge and training on important security matters leads to negative consequences. Some of the most common scenarios that lead to cyber security threats and breaches include:
- Lost employee tablets, smartphones, or laptops
- Login credentials that employees have shared with friends or other individuals
- Opening malicious emails
- Using publicly open wifi connections
And more. Informing your employees about the risks can certainly help limit the chances of your business suffering from an attack.
Regular risk assessment is a must
Another step that it’s essential to take to prevent any risks is to perform a risk assessment of your existing cyber security systems. An assessment can help you locate any potential gaps in your security or strengthen other areas to make them impossible to penetrate. Inspect areas like where and how your data is stored and managed, who can access it, establish the risk levels of potential breaches and the impact they could have on your business. The information you’ve discovered can be used for upgrading your security system and making necessary changes.
Update your software
Updating your software is another action you can take to strengthen your security and prevent hackers from gaining access to your data. Any software that you use to run your business or hold information should be up to date. It’s best to update according to a certain schedule to ensure that all parts of your systems are strong and don’t have any weak spots that hackers can take advantage of.
Ensure your files are backed up
In the case of a cyber attack, there’s a high chance that your files and data will be compromised or entirely deleted from your system. Not having back up means that you could be forced to pause business operations or not be able to recover at all. With a lack of information, most businesses won’t have the ability to function. Ensure that all of your files are automatically backed up and you have access to the backups should an emergency arise.
Be aware of your data inventory chain
To put the necessary protective processes in place, it’s best to know the data inventory chain in your business. What type of data do you store and manage? What system do you use to store your data? Which employees have access to each type of data that your store? Identify the IPs and PIIs used on your system as they’re among the easiest ways into your company’s database if a hacker searches for access.
Choosing a network security partner is a process
When searching for a reliable partner that can help with protecting your business data, it’s vital to do your research and be prepared to ask the right questions. Is the service fully managed? Do they perform independent tests and reviews on their products? Will you be able to benefit from extra support if you have trouble with your file backups or another task? It’s also best to avoid the cheapest options as such services are usually associated with a compromise on quality.
The size of your business doesn’t matter
There is a common misconception that smaller businesses don’t need to worry about cyber security as they’re not a top interest for hackers. However, this is entirely wrong. Hackers do not target only high profile businesses, even though most of the cyber attack news we read are related to large organizations. As long as your business uses a computing device and has a digital presence, it’s exposed to risk.
It’s best to choose a managed service provider
A managed cybersecurity service provider usually comes in when an IT department chooses to outsource the information security necessities to a third party. This is usually a decision made as a result of no internal experience, no employee availability to take over the job, or a costly implementation of an internal security posture. A managed security service provider can offer intrusion detection, incident management, solutions and prevention for DDoS attacks, malware infestations, phishing scams, and more.
Cyber security is a great responsibility
These are only some of the things that it’s vital to keep in mind when it comes to keeping your business protected against breaches and cyber attacks. As you can see. It’s a lot to handle and relying on internal specialists from your team could require a significant investment of time, money, and effort. Working with a third party company that specializes in the field is oftentimes the best solution for small and large businesses.