Table of Contents
What is Cyber security?
Cyber security is the management of computer networks and systems critical to business operations, government service delivery, or communication infrastructure. It protects users, systems, and assets to provide business continuity and uphold regulatory compliance.
Cyber security aims to minimize the chance of an event compromising an organization’s ability to function. It applies in various fields, including defense, finance, healthcare, and government, and plays a significant role in protecting our safety.
Why Do We Need Cyber Security?
Cyber security is crucial because it links your information and the outside world. As technology progresses, so does cybercrime. A report shows that $6 trillion was lost to crime in 2021; by 2025, that number is expected to reach $10.5 trillion.
Cybercrime is an ever-growing problem; one must strengthen cyber security to tackle it. Cyber security plays an important role in maintaining the safety of our country’s economy and personal lives. Below are reasons why we need cyber security:
- It ensures the safety of your data.
- It protects government data and private/public enterprises.
- It ensures the safety of your enterprise’s network and infrastructure.
- It plays a role in ensuring that critical services, like electricity, water, and banking, are not interrupted.
- The financial sector is particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks that can cause millions in losses. Better cyber security is needed to protect the financial industry from potential fraud or theft of information.
- Cyber security helps protect the safety of information in the healthcare industry.
- It helps protect the information in the education field.
- It helps to prevent a cyberattack on defense systems and data that is vital to national security
Why is Cyber Security Important?
Cyber security is especially important in businesses and organizations. Businesses of all sizes need to protect their sensitive data and information. The consequences of a cyber security breach can be devastating, ranging from a loss of productivity to the loss of sensitive personal and corporate information. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated each year, and cyber security is one way to protect yourself from potential damage. Here are some of the reasons why cyber security is important:
Cyber security efforts are based on maintaining the integrity of data storage and transmission based on the security of information stored on a system. Systems with poor security posture will have their data stolen, and their operations disrupted. The cost of disruption and recovery is expensive, especially in terms of lost time and resources.
With a loss of data or its compromise, your organization fails to meet customer expectations. When information is lost or inaccessible, people’s trust in the organization decreases. In addition, it will affect your ability to generate new leads and retain current ones. Therefore, cyber security plays an important role in data availability.
Access restrictions are very important when it comes to maintaining cyber security. Organizations must track who is accessing sensitive information and the proper level of access each person has. This is necessary to ensure that your organization maintains the appropriate governance and risks.
Ensuring the network infrastructure is secure is very important in cyber security. If a hacker can gain access to the network, they can take down servers and systems, which could result in a total loss of data or operation. Therefore, the network infrastructure needs to be very secure.
Classification is a very important aspect of cyber security. Information needs to be classified by the source to prevent a leak. Data classification is crucial in maintaining confidentiality; otherwise, it will result in data loss to hackers or unauthorized individuals.
The most important role of cyber security is to maintain accountability. Accountability is about ensuring that plans are carried out promptly and as planned. You can only do so if you can trace who did what and when and ensure that all the documents are properly backed up and secured. In addition, maintaining accountability helps prevent unauthorized changes to business processes and data, which may happen if you cannot trace the source of changes to your systems.
Maintaining Regulatory Compliance
Cyber security is not just about preventing data theft or breach. It is also about maintaining regulatory compliance. You need to comply with regulations like PCI, SOX, and HIPAA. If a malicious attack compromises your data, it will not only cost you time and money to get back on track, but you may also face legal repercussions for noncompliance. Therefore, cyber security is important for compliance.
Meeting Customer Expectations
A business’ image is built on its ability to meet customer expectations. A data breach is a breach of trust with your customers. Your customers will start seeing you as unreliable and unprofessional if security lapses occur. The consequences could devastate your organization regarding financial losses and bad publicity. Cyber security helps you maintain your Reputation and the trust of your customers by preventing data breaches.
Business Continuity Planning
In the event of a natural disaster or other business interruption, it is essential to have a plan in place to help quickly reestablish operations. Business Continuity Planning (BCP) is your plan for helping your organization quickly and effectively recover from these disruptions. BCP analysis should be performed by experts in the field who have the appropriate knowledge and experience. Cyber Security plays a unique role in maintaining BC.
Risk assessment is an important component of BCP, where you calculate the risks your organization may face during a disaster and devise ways to respond. You can establish which information is critical to your company’s operations and devise ways to protect them. If you have a sensitive customer or financial data, you must protect it using good information security practices. Cyber security helps you assess risks associated with the loss of information.
Risk management entails identifying, monitoring, and controlling risks. Cyber security is integral in risk management because it helps you identify threats or weaknesses in your network. This helps you identify possible breaches and devise plans to prevent them.
What Are The Benefits Of Cyber Security?
Cyber security is a critical aspect of your business operations. It protects your customers’ information and ensures that they can trust you with their data. Here are some of the benefits of cyber security:
Protects Customer Data
With cyber security, you protect the confidential information stored on your system and ensure that no unauthorized user can hack into your system and steal data.
Reduces Downtime and Downtime Expenses
Cyber security reduces the likelihood of a data breach via an attack on your network. It also ensures you do not suffer any downtime because of system failure.
Security in the Mobile World
Cyber security is vital in a mobile-based world. Your business receives valuable information from customers using their smartphones to access your systems and information.
With cyber security, you can maintain compliance with regulations for protecting customer data, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA Security.
Reduce Your Exposure to Risk
Cyber security helps reduce the chances that your organization will suffer a data breach and is essential for a secure business environment.
Maintaining the Reputation of your Organization
Complying with regulations ensures that your importance to the industry is maintained, which in turn maintains your reputation as a company that can be trusted with customer information and completes transactions with money.
Compliance with Regulations
Cyber security helps you comply with compliance regulations such as PCI DSS. PCI DSS forbids you from storing sensitive data in an unencrypted format and requires that you have adequate measures for maintaining data security. It also requires that your organization undergo regular audits for compliance with cyber security standards.
Preventing a Data Breach
A cyber-attack can result in a data breach in which the information of your customers or employees is stolen or compromised. Cyber security helps prevent this from happening to protect your Reputation and maintain a secure system.
Cyber security can help reduce costs in the prevention of a data breach. Not only does it maintain your Reputation, but it also helps you prevent the exposure of customers’ confidential information to hackers. Cyberattacks can result in significant financial losses to the organization and possible legal implications for noncompliance with security standards, which can affect its reputation and brand.
What Are The Types Of Threats In Cyber Security?
Cyber security is about protecting your network and data from any threat. But you need to know the threats to protect your business effectively. Below are some of the common types of threats:
Malware is short for “malicious software.” It is a general term used to describe any software that can disrupt the normal functioning of your computer’s operating system or introduce malicious content. Malware includes viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware.
Phishing aims to deceive individuals into divulging sensitive information such as credit card numbers, user names, and passwords by disguising themselves as trustworthy entity in an electronic conversation (usually email). It typically aims to steal personal information for financial gain. Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging. Frequently, it directs users to enter their information on a fake website that closely resembles the legitimate one.
A denial-of-service (DOS) attack is a cyber-attack in which the perpetrator attempts to render a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or permanently disrupting the services of an Internet-connected host.
Malicious code, also known as hacking software, is used to disrupt computer operations, gather sensitive information from computer systems or networks without the owner’s informed consent, or gain unauthorized access to computing resources.
Identity theft is an act that involves an individual stealing another person’s identity(s), often to obtain access to bank accounts and government services. Identity thieves may obtain crucial information from confidential government records, such as social security numbers (SSNs). Identity thieves may also gather personal information from store check-out counters or public phone booths.
An intrusion attempt is a cyber-attack in which an attacker seeks access to a computer system by exploiting security vulnerabilities and gaining unauthorized access to data, information, and computer systems.
The term social engineering refers to a social engineering attack where an attacker takes advantage of the attacker’s understanding of the psychological vulnerabilities of others to obtain or gain access to information, systems, or physical locations that they would not otherwise have been able to acquire. The approach involves accessing the knowledge and skills of the target audience, with a focus on their behaviors, beliefs, and motives.
How to Protect Your Organization against Cybercrime
Training and Education
Employees should be trained in cyber security best practices and educated about the importance of security, their role in protecting your information assets, and how their actions can affect your organization.
Employees must follow policies that set forth standards for protecting their network, data, and information. If a policy is broken, it can result in a serious data breach that can cost your organization a great deal of money.
You must monitor the activities on your systems to know if any unauthorized access has occurred. It’s important to review activity logs regularly.
Updating security software
To protect against current and emerging cyber threats, you must have up-to-date security software running on all your systems. This includes operating system security and application-specific fixes for the applications you use.
Employees shouldn’t go to the web unsupervised, download and use software they aren’t supposed to, restrict their use of social media, keep passwords and passwords to passwords, meet in public places, and be careful regarding what they post on social media themselves.
Reinforce Your Password Policy
Only use one password per account, whether for a personal email account or a work-related computer account. Passwords should always be 10+ characters, a combination of letters (upper & lowercase) and numbers. Make sure you keep it secret.
Changing Passwords Regularly
Strong passwords should be changed every year or so.
Utilizing Security Features on Your Computer
If available, utilize the “screen saver” and “lock” features built into your operating system to prevent others from using your computer if you leave it unlocked or unattended for some time.
Employ a Firewall
A firewall is hardware or software that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing communication between a computer or network and the rest of the network.
Practice Good Web Etiquette
Never use public computers, keep your computer up-to-date with anti-virus software and security patches, download all attachments from emails you’re not certain about, be skeptical of unsolicited attachments, etc.