Cyber attacks are on the rise and the small as well as large-scale Importance Of Cybersecurity In Business is now facing issues in this regard. It is the need of the hour for Importance Of Cybersecurity In Business to be aware of issues like who does the importance of cybersecurity in business affects and the importance of cybersecurity in business in business in business impacts on society.
The best way to protect your business is by investing in cybersecurity practices and understanding the advantages of the importance of cybersecurity in business. From small practices like installing and scanning your systems using reliable anti-virus software, backing up company data, and setting stronger passwords to major changes like having a cybersecurity service provider on board, there are several different things businesses can opt for.
Spending time, money, and other resources on cybersecurity may seem like a burden, but rest assured that it is an investment in the long run that will benefit the business greatly in the years to come. The importance of cybersecurity in 2020 is a major discussion and no business should take these issues lightly.
Up until a few years ago, people in general and even businesses did not take the importance of cybersecurity in business very seriously. However, the incidents of cyber attacks and data thefts have increased significantly over the last couple of years. This has led one to realize the importance of cybersecurity in a business.
All types of cyberattacks come with serious consequences. However, cyber attacks on businesses come with huge implications. There are so many people associated with a business. From the business’s own data to the information related to the employees and even the clients and customers – cyber attacks on businesses can come with major security problems. These attacks can cause major damage that can tarnish not only monetary resources but may also affect the business’s image in the eyes of the customers.
What is Cyber Security?
In the modern era, the internet and technology are an integral part of our everyday lives. The internet has made its way into almost all walks of life. Businesses are also joining the bandwagon and now almost all business matters and transactions have shifted to online mediums.
With the increased use of the internet and technology comes the huge risk of attacks. Cyber attacks are one of the biggest consequences associated with the use of the internet. Therefore, deploying measures for the importance of cybersecurity in business is integral. It involves protecting and recovering networks, data, devices and computer systems, etc. The main goal of cybersecurity is to ensure a strong firewall and defense against cyber attacks.
Significance of Cyber Security:
The importance of cyber awareness is most important given our regular use and reliance on the internet. From simple everyday tasks to more complex and larger roles and responsibilities, everything is now moving online. Businesses also make use of the internet to connect with their clients and offer their services.
Users are asked to provide sensitive information like their ID numbers, banking information, etc. on these online portals regularly. As a business, it is your responsibility to ensure security for every stakeholder involved. Businesses have to ensure:
- A stable and convenient communication stream
- Flawless and hassle-free execution of tasks
- Storing user information
- Protecting user information
- A strong defense against cyber-attacks and threats against all business resources.
We can clearly see a rising trend in the use of technology. But as technology progresses, the risk and advancement of cybersecurity threats are also on the rise. Cybercriminals are also evolving, coming up with better and hard to detect means of sabotaging the importance of cybersecurity in business protocols. Defense seems to be getting more complex and hard however, the frequency and damage caused by these attacks are also increasing. Thus businesses have to be serious and realize the importance of cybersecurity.
Different Types of Cyber-Attacks:
There are a lot of different types of cyberattacks but the most common ones are:
Denial Of Service:
The denial of service attack, as indicated by the name, blocks access to networks, services, or applications. This attack works by occupying these resources so they are exhausted. As a result, when legitimate users try to access these resources, they are unable to do so.
Malware such as viruses, trojan horses and worms, etc. are used to infect the systems. The malware is shared via emails or external memory devices. These are programs that start running in the background of your system without you even realizing it. As a result, the user barely even realizes that his system has been hijacked and the security is now compromised.
Botnets & Zombies:
Botnets are developed to steal data from a system. These programs are also hard to detect and can easily infect a computer and lead to data theft and other serious security issues. The botnet eventually creates a network of all the compromised computers, known as zombies. The botnet acts as a controller and therefore takes over the control of all the zombie computers.
Scareware is also known as a fake security warning. How scareware works are basically the users are notified via popup that their system is at risk and has been attacked. To protect their system, they should install a “program” that will help them overcome the issue and ensure that their data is protected. This tricks the users into downloading the program. At times, the program endorsed is free but some scareware also makes the users pay a small amount of money to install the program. Users are under the impression that they have downloaded an anti-virus software but in reality, the software is the encoded program that is used to hijack their system.
Cyber Security Measures For Businesses:
There is a general misconception that only large-scale businesses have to be concerned about cybersecurity. Although more established businesses face larger implications when at risk of a cyberattack, the small to medium scale businesses cannot put the importance of cybersecurity in 2020 behind their backs.
Importance Of Cybersecurity In Business
It is integral that all businesses, big or small, are aware of cybersecurity measures that can help them deal with cyber-attacks and related attempts. Here are some precautions and practices that can help you tackle cyber-attack issues:
1. Using Anti-Virus Software:
Make sure that all systems have reputable and trustworthy anti-virus software installed in them. However, it is important to note that merely installing antivirus software is not enough. Train the employees and remind them to scan their systems regularly. The anti-virus software is quite efficient and therefore will catch most of the malware attacks. However, malware is also developing and advancing at a rapid rate. Therefore, at times the software is unable to detect it. Ensure that the anti-virus software that is being used is updated regularly so you can guarantee a strong defense against any unsolicited attack attempts.
2. Keeping Strong Passwords:
One of the most commonly committed mistakes that lead to successful cyber attacks is being negligently related to passwords. When setting up passwords make sure that they are hard to guess. Avoid setting obvious passwords. It is recommended that the passwords selected are a combination of alphabets (both uppercase and lowercase), numbers as well as symbols. Other than selecting strong passwords, you should also keep changing the passwords after a couple of months. This will help you ensure a strong defense against cybersecurity issues.
3. Hiring Reputable Cyber Security Companies:
There are plenty of best cybersecurity companies like AllSafeIT that offer cybersecurity services for their clients. These are renowned and trained professionals that specialize in cybersecurity protocols. They are well aware of cyber attacks as well as the tried and tested mechanisms to stand strong against them. Therefore, you can be sure that your business is safe and the risk of compromise on the business’s security is reduced to nothing when such companies and service providers are taken on board.
However, it is important that you only trust the best services like AllSafeIT for these responsibilities. If you end up hiring the wrong service provider, it will not only do more harm than good but will also rip you of your valuable time and money.
4. Data Backup:
Backing up the data is extremely important for businesses irrespective of their scope. Make sure that you back up the data regularly. This way, even if a storage location is compromised and data is stolen, you will still have a copy at the backend that can be recovered. Make sure that the data backup is stored in a remote location. Making use of a cloud-based data storage location is extremely important. Cloud storage has a tougher security mechanism which is hard to hack through. Therefore, you can be certain that the data is safe. Accessibility and easy availability are also some perks associated with making use of cloud storage solutions.
5. Prepare A Disaster Management Plan:
Businesses can put in efforts to safeguard their data and resources. But as already mentioned malware developers and hackers are also learning and growing day by day. Therefore, their ways of attacking systems and resources are also changing and evolving. At times, no matter how much the business tries to get around and prevent cyber attacks, they can still be prey to these attempts.
Therefore, your business must have a disaster management plan. The disaster management plan will serve as a blueprint that will help you recover from the damage and mitigate the effects of the cyber attack as much as possible.
Importance Of Cybersecurity In Business
Implications Of Cyber Attacks On Businesses:
To shed light on the need and importance of cybersecurity in the digital world, it is important to shed light on the implications of cyber attacks on businesses. Answering questions and discussing what will happen if cybersecurity for a business is compromised is extremely important in this regard.
The Internet is used as the main medium of communication between businesses and clients. It is inevitable for one to not provide information like their name, address, and other financial information. When a hacker or attacker takes over the business’s data, this data related to customers is also accessed by the hacker. When customers are not sure that their data is safe when trusting a business, they will likely find your competitor, and your business will suffer due to the loss of customers.
The reputation of the business in the market is also affected by such incidents. If you want to ensure that your business is well respected in the market and has a good reputation, you should be aware of the importance of digital security.
If the business security has been hacked and hijacked, you will have to come up with a plan to mitigate the loss. This disaster management also comes with a cost. So there is one loss which is the loss of valuable resources and the other loss is the cost of the measures taken to mitigate the damage done. Therefore, it is important to note that cyber attacks will also take a toll on your financial resources.
What aspects of your business are directly in harm’s way in case of a cyber-attack?
Your money, IT equipment, IT-based services, customer data, and information base are directly at risk in case of a cyber-attack. Information can take on many forms: client lists, customer databases, financial details, customers’ financial details, deals that are either finalized or under consideration, pricing information, product designs, and manufacturing processes.
What form could a Cyber-Attack take?
- Theft or unauthorized access of computers, laptops, tablets, or mobile devices.
- A remote attack on IT systems or websites.
- Attacks on the information held in third-party systems such as cloud devices.
What Impact can a Cyber-Attack have?
- Financial losses
- Increased costs of recovery and replacement
- Damage to reputation
- Damage to other companies that you supply or are connected to
What are the different types of Cyber-Attacks?
- Denial-of-service: The denial-of-service attack refers to one that successfully prevents the authorized functionality of networks, systems, or applications by exhausting resources. Once your system is attacked in this manner, the hackers normally ask for a ransom or fee to regain access to files.
- Malware, worms, and Trojan horses: These are “deadly viruses” which are spread by e-mail, instant messaging, malicious websites, and infected non-malicious websites.
- Botnets and zombies: A botnet, short for a robot network, is an aggregation of compromised computers that are connected to a central “controller.” The compromised computers are often referred to as “zombies.” Botnets that are designed to steal data are improving their encryption capabilities and thus becoming more difficult to detect.
- Scareware: More commonly understood as a fake security warning, this type of scam can be particularly profitable for cybercriminals, as many users believe the pop-up warnings that tell them their system is infected, and the user is tricked into downloading and paying for the special software to “protect” their system.
Why is Cybersecurity Important?
It is very important to protect your company from the threat of scams, data theft, and other online vulnerabilities. Thousands of infected web pages are being discovered every day. Hundreds of millions of records have been involved in data breaches over just the last few years, and it is not easy to recover from such breaches. Many micro-terrorist organizations are also being created. These units hack into machines, compromising all your information.
Some hackers are more interested in uncovering passwords and gaining access to closed networks so they can manipulate data and websites or shut down essential functions. This necessitates a complete focus on rendering all points of vulnerability inaccessible to the prying eyes of hackers and cyber-terrorists
Here is an infographic on how to mitigate cyber-attacks and prepare for cybersecurity:
Cyberattacks can negatively impact your business.
The above examples are a clear indication that cyberattacks have a direct negative impact on the victim. A business without effective cybersecurity solutions can be a victim of cyberattacks. The significant effect caused by cybercrime is the economic impact. An attacked company can;
- Lose its intellectual properties and corporate information, which are critically important to the company’s success.
- Lose intellectual property, meaning that the affected organization cannot claim ownership of its services or products.
- Be unable to continue with business operations due to system downtime or in the case of ransomware attacks.
- Lose customers who are afraid that their data may also get compromised due to insufficient security practices. A damaged reputation causes a lowered profitability.
Other than such direct impacts, a cyberattack usually leads to costly legal battles. A business that has been a victim of cybercrime is responsible for any cyber incidences, especially if the organization’s negligence towards cybersecurity caused the incidents. If a company fails to secure personal data with a password or encryption, it is at fault. The company may be required to compensate all affected data owners translating to millions of dollars.
Many countries have adopted cybersecurity legislation that requires organizations to observe various guidelines when handling personal data. For instance, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) requires data handlers to first seek the data owners’ consent before using their information for any purpose. Cybersecurity legislation imposes hefty fines on breached companies. GDPR can impose penalties on a company more than 4% of its annual revenue for failing to secure customer data appropriately.
How your business can be cyber secure
Companies today don’t have the luxury of choosing whether to implement cybersecurity systems, tools, or policies. It is now mandatory because a cyberattack can target anybody. While it is impossible to be 100% cyber secure, there are several strategies an organization can implement to realize optimum cybersecurity.
1. Create cyber awareness
Many attacks are successful when an employee or a user makes a security mistake. The mistake can be due to ignorance of observing best security practices when using IT assets. Creating cyber awareness and training employees on cybersecurity can significantly minimize the possibility of a cyberattack.
Cyber awareness and training should consist of effective practices for managing passwords. Passwords provide the most straightforward form of defense, but they can cause many security incidences if not managed well. Effective password management includes creating strong passwords that are difficult to crack, always locking a workstation with a complex password, and observing secure password storage.
Creating awareness on how to identify attacks like phishing can improve an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Phishing attacks utilize emails where the attacker sends a malicious link or attachment to a target. Prompt identification of such emails can reduce the possibility of a phishing attack. Training should show users how to spot fake emails.
Attackers use emails that resemble that of a trusted party. A legitimate email like email@example.com can be modified to firstname.lastname@example.org such that a user can have trouble identifying the differences. Equipping system users with necessary cybersecurity skills can enable a business to be cyber secure.
2. Protect against data leaks
Data leakages are among the biggest threats to a company’s cybersecurity. Data leaks have the potential of causing unrecoverable damages both at an individual and at a company level. Every business handles sensitive data, including the personal details of a customer, confidential employee and supplier data, data revealing the company’s strategic directions and objectives, intellectual properties, etc. Data leaks involving such types of information can have severe consequences for the business.
One way of preventing data leaks is by limiting data accessible by the public. An organization has no business sharing customer or employee data in a public domain like on Facebook. Only authorized individuals should have access to sensitive data, and they should adhere to a business’s policies that govern how to handle such data.
Limiting data access from the public is not enough. Some employees in a company might be insider threats. These employees may use company data for malicious reasons. For example, an angry employee can blackmail the employer into meeting specific demands by threatening to hand over valuable data to competitors. Such problems are avoided by implementing access control measures.
Access control determines who has all the required permissions for accessing specific content. Widespread access control techniques include the concept of least privilege. This is where employees are only allowed to access the data they need. A form of this role-based access in which an employee’s responsibility determines the data they can access.
3. Protect against ransomware attacks
Ransomware attacks have been the topmost threat to businesses for years. The attack is where a cybercriminal encrypts the victim’s data or IT assets and demands large payments as a ransom to provide decryption keys. Although the attacks target data mostly stored in physical computers, there is an increased rate of ransomware attacks targeting data stored in the cloud.
Protecting against ransomware attacks involves creating multiple backups and storing them in secure and separate locations. Even if an attack encrypts the data stored in physical computers, an organization can retrieve the backups and proceed with day-to-day operations. Cloud backups are adequate, but they can sometimes be unavailable. Therefore, the backups should be replicated in locally available but highly secure devices.
Using trusted firewalls and antiviruses can protect against ransomware attacks. A secure firewall with complex and reliable security rules for filtering incoming connections can help prevent ransomware attacks executed through the network.
Users should update antivirus products as soon as new security definitions are released. New malware programs are created every day, and updating the antivirus ensures it can protect against new threats. However, a company should be careful to use antivirus products from trusted vendors.
A fake antivirus product claiming to prevent ransomware attacks can expose your business to many security risks. Windows security center from Microsoft is an excellent example of a trusted antivirus solution.
Phishing attacks are processes attackers use to obtain confidential information fraudulently. Attackers use trickery to convince their targets to click on malicious links or attachments. Phishing is a form of social engineering.
A single click automatically downloads and installs malware into the system. Typically, a phishing attack executes through emails where unsuspecting victims receive messages from a sender disguised as a trusted party. An example is when an attacker pretends to be a bank employee and emails an individual that his bank account has a problem and requires logging in to the bank’s online account.
However, upon clicking on the provided link, the individual is redirected to a malicious website that installs malware to his computer. Other emails may contain attachments that appear to be legit such as that from a supplier or a customer. The attachments may be laden with malware which automatically installs when opened.
Today, cybercriminals have taken to a new technique where they use artificial intelligence to target new victims. AI is used to create smarter emails sent to hundreds of email accounts all at once.
To stop phishing attacks, do not open attachments or links sent by unknown people. All suspicious email addresses requiring one to click on links or attachments or ask the recipient for personal information should be marked as spam and forwarded to the IT department for more action.
Avoiding sensitive posting information like email addresses on online platforms can lower the chances of a phishing attack. If an email address must be provided, organizations are highly recommended to use a personal email not opened on company equipment. The emails can be set to forward new messages to official accounts once verified to be safe.
5. Adopt policies for securing emerging technologies
Businesses are raring to try out emerging technologies, especially those that claim to provide better functionalities than existing ones. While there is nothing wrong with this, new, untested technologies can cause severe security issues. They may contain undiscovered vulnerabilities providing cybercriminals with easy exploits.
Emerging technologies might be incompatible with other systems, and this magnifies the security risks. A company should adopt strong policies governing the acquisition and use of new technologies within the workplace as part of its cybersecurity programs.
For example, such a policy would require emerging technologies to have successfully been used and tested to the limit to ascertain they are entirely secure.
Benchmarking organizations that have used the technologies without security problems can also be an effective policy. With the rapid technological changes, IT professionals require to stay abreast of new developments. This ensures that the policies implemented for governing data access, use, and handling in previous technologies can effectively provide security to the latest technologies.
All in all, cybersecurity is a very important aspect for businesses both large as well as small scale ones. Ensuring a foolproof cybersecurity mechanism and protocol is integral to ensure a great business reputation and earn the trust of customers. There are several ways in which businesses can ensure that they are protected and strong against cyber attacks. Several different types of cybersecurity solutions can be deployed in this regard.
Cyber attacks are on the rise. And the need to understand the advantages of cybersecurity is far more important than ever. Therefore, as a business owner, make sure that your focus is at the right place and you are deploying reliable cybersecurity protocols to safeguard your business resources and the data of not only your company but also of all the other stakeholders that are involved and directly linked to your company.