As the world moves towards a digital way of living and working, so too has criminality. Today, a business’s digital premises can be targeted by cyber criminals seeking to exploit them for private gain. Data breaches and the compromising of systems can bring a business to their knees and severely affect their finances, reputation, and compliance. This piece introduces you to what cybersecurity is, why it is important, and a few key types of threats at play today.
As the name implies, cybersecurity involves safeguarding computers and the information that they store and process, this encapsulates work devices, networks, and servers for example. The types of attacks that cyber threats use include malware, ransomware, and phishing attacks, but there are many others.
Cybersecurity concerns multiple levels of defense, alongside technical security tools, it also involves implementing strategies and frameworks (e.g such as cybersecurity standards in an IT policy) that prevent unauthorized access of your systems and data.
In all, cybersecurity tries to ensure that your whole IT environment remains secure, available and uncompromised by cyber threats. Cybersecurity measures include things like:
- Antivirus software for devices
- Monitoring and alerting tools
- Email and spam protection systems
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions
- Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) software
Benefits of Cybersecurity for Businesses
The benefits of investing into cybersecurity and implementing it in your business are numerous:
- Protecting Customer Data: Failing to protect customer data can be very damaging from a regulatory and reputational viewpoint. Cybersecurity helps you to ensure your customers’ data remains secured and shows a commitment to privacy.
- Ensuring Business Continuity: Cyber-attacks like ransomware can take a business off the road, bringing their operations to a grinding halt. Cybersecurity helps to lower the chances of a successful cyber-attack, as well as limit its potential damage even if it does succeed.
- Maintaining Brand Reputation and Bidding: A business’s reputation is paramount, and investing in cybersecurity demonstrates a commitment to data protection, enhancing customer loyalty. Having a demonstrably robust cybersecurity posture can also be advantageous when budding for public or private sector contracts.
- Preventing Financial Losses: Cyber-attacks can incur significant financial losses. Investing in cybersecurity minimizes these risks and saves money in the long run. It can also offer benefits such as lower cyber insurance premiums.
- Early Threat Detection and Response: Continuous monitoring and incident response are essential in cybersecurity, which allows businesses to detect and mitigate threats early, reducing potential damage and recovery costs.
Cyber Threats and Solutions
Business Phishing Attacks
A phishing email involves a cybercriminal pretending to be a legitimate person and making a request from an employee, such as providing login credentials, a payment or access to files. Phishing if often documented in surveys to be the leading cause of a business data breach, making it an important threat to focus on. Email filtering systems can help to detect and block phishing emails, with these tools scanning email content for phishing indicators like suspicious links and sender addresses.
Malware is short for malicious software, which is designed to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorized access to computer systems. One of the simplest and most effective ways to combat malware infections is to deploy antivirus and anti-malware software on devices. These will monitor and scan devices for malware and remove these threats.
Ransomware attacks are a specific type of malware that encrypts computer data, which will bring business systems to a halt if successful. The attacker will demand a payment for decryption (though of course, this is never guaranteed!), making this a highly compromising threat for many businesses.
To combat ransomware, alongside a strong digital perimeter involving network firewalls, antivirus, and access controls, businesses should have a robust data backup and recovery solution in place which will enable them restore their systems if needed and side-step this threat. Take care to update security patches proactively to keep your systems protected against the latest malware and ransomware threats.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
A DDoS attack’s main aim is to cause damage more than it is to steal. A DDoS attack involves an attacker pointing a large number of bots towards your network and website to try to overwhelm their traffic, which prevents your intended users, whether it’s your team or customers, from accessing them.
Implementing a robust network infrastructure with redundancy measures can help with distributing loads generally and mitigate these threats, while regularly monitoring network traffic for unusual activity can also help with detection an impending DDoS attack.
The Imperative of Cybersecurity
Paying attention to cybersecurity is very important due to the evolving number and sophistication of cyber threats. But don’t worry, the solutions are also growing in number and capability! By investing into cybersecurity, you can safeguard your business and ensure its success and growth go uninterrupted, gain peace of mind, and focus on what you do best.
As time goes on, cybersecurity will only grow in importance. If you need a hand with understanding your cybersecurity posture and securing your business, you can reach out to the VBS team. We’ll be glad to help you to ensure your business remains secure.
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