Cyber security is something everyone needs to be concerned with. It seems that a day does not go by without news of a data breach. There have been many horrific cyber attacks that have made the headlines in recent news. Some of the biggest data breaches of the 21st century include those to Yahoo, eBay, Ashley Madison, Anthem, JP Morgan Chase, Equinox, Home Depot, Uber, and Target. And, this merely scratches the surface! After all, there are many data breaches that occur throughout the world on a daily basis that go unreported on the news. This highlights why it is so important to have effective cyber security in place. But, what is cyber security? Read and discover everything you want to know including why security is important and what different measures you can put in place for your business.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security relates to various methods that are put in place to protect your business from a data breach. A data breach happens when a cyber criminal breaches your systems in order to steal personal data, which they can then use to sell on for a profit. Alternatively, they may decide to compromise your system so that they can bring your business down. This is something that competing businesses may do, although these sorts of attacks are much more rare. Of course, individuals can also be victims of personal cyber attacks as well, whereby people try to get an understanding of their online profile so they can get into their online banking and such like. Either way, it is quite clear to see that there are threats coming from all angles, and so the need for data security is evident.
What would happen if you were to suffer a cyber breach?
There are many consequences that can happen due to a cyber attack, which is why security methods are so important. It is vital to recognize that anybody can be a target no matter size, big or small your business is. This is because there is something for cyber criminals to gain from all businesses. Yes, large companies may be more lucrative, but cyber criminals view small enterprises as an easy payday, which is often why they target them. If you were to suffer a breach, you would experience huge monetary losses. This would include the cost of getting to the bottom of what has happened and rectifying it, as well as compensation costs and the fines you would receive. You then have fraud losses to think about too.
However, the impact of cyber security is not only financial. There are a lot of other things that could go wrong as well. For example, you will suffer severe representational damage. Customers are not going to be happy if their private information has been stolen. Trust is very hard to rebuild, and you guessed it; it will cost a lot of money too.You will have to deal with the negative media spotlight on your business. You will also have to spend a lot of time and effort rebuilding the relationships that have gone wrong. It is not hard to see why a cyber attack can spell the end of any business, which is why you need to protect yourself from it.
The different forms of cyber security you can achieve more out of this
There are so many different ways you can protect your business. So, let’s take a look at some of the best cyber security methods in further detail. Ethical hacking is a popular option. This involves hiring a professional to hack’ your system so that they can discover any vulnerabilities before real hackers do. The purpose of this is so that you can patch up these issues before a cyber criminal exposes them. You also need to update all of your software on a regular basis, as whenever a company releases a software update, be it for your web browser or customer management software, they often do so because they have included security updates. In case you fail to update your software regularly, you leave your business vulnerable. There are also lots of security programs you can put in place to further protect your business. You have probably heard of anti-virus programs and firewalls. Both are critical in terms of keeping malware and other viruses at bay. They will assess your computer on a daily basis and if there are any threats they will make you aware of it. Again, you need to update these programs regularly too to ensure that they are efficient and effective.
Employee education is another form of security. Did you know that most cyber attacks happen because of employees? While there are some that are malicious, most of these occur because of errors made due to a lack of training. If your employees do not understand why cyber security is important, and they do not know how to go about using passwords effectively and such like, you can bet your bottom dollar that they will make a mistake that could result in your system being compromised. Network segmentation is another effective form of security to consider. At the moment, it is likely that all of your systems are on the same network, from your social media accounts to your payment terminals. This means that once a cyber criminal breaches one part of your system; they have breached everything. With network segmentation, everything is separated, so cyber criminals will not be able to access the more critical elements of your business if they have breached part of your system. This is an exceptional form of damage limitation. Ultimately, the best thing to do is align yourself with a professional security firm, who can carry out a complete audit and assess the individual data security needs of your business. They will then be able to determine what methods are going to be the most effective for you. After all, all businesses are different – they all handle different data and have different challenges – and your security plan must reflect this.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding regarding what data security is and why it is so important. When you consider the sheer number of data breaches that occur today, it is not difficult to understand why you need to protect your company so that you do not become the next victim. Make sure you follow the advice that has been provided and that you implement stringent security methods at your business. It may cost a bit of money now, but it will save you a ton of money in the future.