Today’s business environment is fast-paced and requires companies to be flexible, innovative and collaborative. Businesses need a digital infrastructure that enables them to respond quickly to market changes, launch new products or services, and share data securely. Armed with an abundance of cloud storage options and networking protocols, businesses have implemented cybersecurity measures for their computer networks. However, these measures don’t stop cybercriminals from hacking into private businesses as well as government agencies and national organizations every day.
In response to the relentless efforts of cybercriminals targeting both private businesses and government agencies daily, today’s companies must prioritize cyber resilience, integrating robust cybersecurity practices with their digital infrastructure to ensure continuous operation and data protection in this rapidly evolving business environment.
In fact, the number of cyberattacks continues to rise by double digits annually. As a business owner or executive, it’s important you understand the risks your company faces in this digital world and what you can do to protect it from cyber threats. Moreover, the importance of identity and access management (IAM) solutions has never been higher. As cyber security threats increase, the need for effective solutions that address identity, authentication, and access control becomes all the more apparent.
Read on to learn more about cyber security and how you can keep your company secure from hackers.
Table of Contents
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the collection of technologies, processes and practices that protect an organization’s computers and networks. When you hear of a data breach or cyberattack, people often think that it’s only hackers who have broken into systems, stolen data and wreaked havoc. However, there are many other activities that fall within the category of cybersecurity that are not necessarily malicious in nature. For example, a company’s security team might monitor Internet traffic to detect attempts to breach its firewalls. It may also employ tools like data encryption to protect the integrity of company data as it moves between computers and networks. There are several core components to cybersecurity. The first is risk management. Businesses should constantly be assessing the risks they face, both internal and external, to determine which are the most serious. Once these have been identified, the business should come up with a plan for mitigating the risks and limiting their potential impact.
What are the most common forms of cyberattacks?
There are several different types of cyberattacks that companies face on a daily basis. The most common are data breaches, denial of service attacks, ransomware and social engineering. Data breaches occur when hackers gain access to company data, often through a vulnerability in the company’s computer network. Once inside the network, the hackers could steal or destroy data, or they could plant malware to allow future access to the network. The data breach could be from an external source, such as another business that misuses data shared between the organizations, or from an internal source, such as a disgruntled employee who misuses company data. Denial of service attacks are attempts to overload a computer network’s servers with fake requests, causing the network to slow down or even become unavailable.
Typically, these attacks are carried out by botnets, which are networks of hacked computers controlled by a central computer. It’s not uncommon for a distributed denial of service attack to affect not only a company’s network but also its customers’ networks. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to deny the owners of infected computers access to their data until they pay a ransom. Social engineering is a type of cyberattack that relies heavily on social interaction. Through emails, texts or phone calls, hackers can trick company employees into either giving up sensitive information or clicking on an infected link or attachment that installs malware on their computer or network.
Network protection refers to the mechanisms a company uses to secure its computer network and the devices (such as servers and workstations) connected to it. It can involve everything from hiring a good firewall engineer to properly configuring company devices to implementing a host-based IDS/IPS, a virtual private network or a SIEM (security information and event management) solution. It is critical to overall cybersecurity, so it’s important that companies have proper network protection in place. Network protection mechanisms include host-based firewalls, IDS/IPS systems, anti-virus software, anti-spam/anti-phishing solutions, network mapping tools, and others. Network security solutions should be implemented across the entire company network, including on any cloud-based systems the company uses. This includes all company computers and workstations, whether they’re connected to the network internally or remotely.
Protecting company data stored in the cloud is a critical aspect of cybersecurity. Cloud storage is convenient, scalable and inexpensive, but it’s also inherently less secure than data that’s stored on-premises. Companies can take several steps to secure their cloud data, including choosing a reliable cloud storage provider that has proper security measures in place, ensuring that data is encrypted both when it’s at rest and when it’s being transmitted, regularly auditing the security of the cloud storage solution and properly configuring user access. If possible, company data should be stored on a private cloud rather than a public cloud.
A private cloud is hosted on an organization’s own equipment, while a public cloud is hosted on equipment owned by a third-party provider. While public cloud providers do a good job of keeping their systems secure, there are fewer regulatory requirements for them than there are for businesses that store data on their own equipment.
Endpoint protection refers to the security software installed on computers to protect them from malicious software and other cyber threats. This software can either be host-based or agent-based. Host-based endpoint protection software runs on the computer itself, while agent-based endpoint protection software is installed on the computer and regularly communicates with a cloud-based service. Agent-based protection provides more comprehensive coverage than host-based protection, but it can also have a greater impact on computer performance. While network and cloud security are critical, it’s important that companies also protect their computers themselves. Up-to-date antivirus software, anti-spam/anti-phishing tools, pop-up blockers and an firewall are good places to start.
Cybersecurity is a never-ending challenge for companies and individuals. In order to stay secure, you must stay aware of potential threats and know how to respond to them. In today’s digital world, cybersecurity is more important than ever. While there are many different types of cyber threats that businesses face, there are also plenty of ways to protect against them. With the right network security in place, including a host-based firewall, IDS/IPS system, anti-virus software, anti-spam/anti-phishing tools, pop-up blocker and endpoint protection software, it’s possible to keep the hackers at bay.