Every day we hear a new case of a cyber attack or data breach launched on a business, but do we truly understand the concept and importance behind cyber security?
Given how much technology has developed and changed over the recent years, the importance of cyber security and the implementation of new processes that protect your digital assets is ever increasing.
The current trend of cyber attacks rising doesn’t show any signs of stopping meaning that your business could potentially be at risk and with how fast technology is changing, it’s critical that you keep up with regular maintenance to prevent potential vulnerabilities that could open your business up for cyber attacks.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security is the practice of protecting critical systems, technologies, networks, and data against digital threats i.e., cyber attacks. These digital threats often come with a clear agenda and that is to perform one of the three following things: damage, delete or steal information without your consent or authorisation.
Why is cyber security important?
Whether you are a start-up business or a well-established entity, all businesses need and should have a good cyber security strategy in place. Failing to keep your data protected can lead to irreparable damage that could cost your business not only financially but reputably.
Cyber security provides your business with a comprehensive digital solution and protection against common types of cyber attacks. Without cyber security you are leaving your business and data completely vulnerable and in danger of being damaged or stolen. The more protective barriers that you can implement as part of your cyber security strategy, the better protected your digital assets are from being compromised or used as a ransom bargaining tool.
How do I protect my business from cyber attacks?
Conduct a risk assessment
A risk assessment is a valuable guide and tool to help your business identify vulnerabilities present within your IT infrastructure. This may highlight vulnerabilities such as out of date systems, or even factors such as employees not being aware of how to identify phishing emails. You will also be able to identify what assets are most valuable to you and prioritise the protection of those should they be subjected to a cyber attack.
Regular maintenance and patch management
Software updates are vital for improving the security of your IT systems. They also offer many benefits such as fixing bugs, improving performance and providing you with newer and enhanced features. Performing regular updates also ensures that any past vulnerabilities have been eliminated and continue to protect your digital assets from cyber attacks.
Privileges and authentication
Not all employees require access to every part of your IT. By introducing privileges you restrict access rights to users that are determined by their role/ position. This gives you better control over who can access what data and protect it should a particular user account become compromised.
For administrators and higher ranked user accounts, two-factor authentication is vital to provide additional cyber security. These types of users are more likely to be targeted by cyber attackers as they have access to more valuable and sensitive information.
Use secure passwords
It is now more of an expectation and industry standard to use strong passwords where possible. Passwords are your first line of defence against cyber attacks, and it will be one of the first things that a cyber attacker will attempt to breach as a way of gaining access to your data.
Backup your data
You need to be prepared that your business could potentially suffer a cyber attack. Not all cyber attacks can be avoided or prevented but, as you already know, the main target for a cyber attacker is data. If your business regularly creates and securely stores multiple copies of its data in different locations, you are on the right path. Should your data become compromised, you can quickly restore and access your data from one of your previous backups with minimal disruption to your everyday operations.
Your employees are your greatest threat when it comes down to data breaches. Researchers have found that approximately 88% of all data breaches are caused due to employee error. It is your responsibility to train your employees and spread awareness of cyber security and how to recognise cyber threats to help avoid these breaches from happening.
Cyber security is vital for the future of your business and digital assets. With cyber attacks only continuing to rise year on year, it is crucial that you maintain a good cyber security strategy and minimise vulnerabilities within your IT systems that could be putting your business at risk.