Over the past few years businesses have seen exponential growth in digital and virtual information, preferring to store company information on either cloud-based storage systems or disk drives and hardware, rather than opting for the old method of keeping data on paper.
However, this poses the question of how safe is digital and virtual information storage, with many businesses not realizing the importance of cybersecurity and keeping their company’s information secure until its too late.
So Why Invest in Cybersecurity?
- Cybercrime is a real danger, with an estimated 6 trillion cases annually expected by 2021.
- Cybersecurity is expected to reach $133.7 billion in 2022.
- An estimated 68% of business leaders feel cybersecurity risks are increasing.
- In early 2019, data breaches exposed 4.1 billion records.
- 25% of these were intelligence breaches, and a staggering 71% were financially motivated.
- Hacking saw 52% of breaches, with 28% involving malware and 32–33% involving phishing or social engineering.
The Significance of Cybersecurity Breaches
The consequences of a cybersecurity breach are both devastating and traumatic.
Cybersecurity breaches can have a devastating effect on businesses.
Businesses can suffer substantial financial losses from either the loss of sales or their banking information theft.
Severe sales loss and the disruption of the business’s day-to-day activities can happen when businesses’ hardware systems are down, which, according to IBM, can cost companies an estimated $1.42 million.
Ridding your system of cyber threats and replacing lost information and damaged programs can be massively costly.
Information breaches can cause a considerable headache and cause massive trust issues between the business and the customer.
Cybersecurity Basics 1 – What to Protect?
First, businesses need to evaluate all of their digital and virtual assets, grouping information according to the amount of importance based on it. This asset evaluation must include information held on computer systems, servers, mobile devices, cloud-based applications and storage, virtual machines, and every device used to capture or preserve your digital information.
- Staff must be included in this evaluation with processes and procedures to lessen human cybersecurity threats, either intentionally or unintentionally.
- What businesses often neglect to protect is its staff? Processes and/or procedures must be implemented that will mitigate any cybersecurity threats, either intentionally or inadvertently, operated through the human element.
- Make sure your evaluation includes the following:
- Access to customer/client records
- Customers credit card /online banking information
- Your own business’s banking information
- The pricing structure of your business
- Any product designs or patents your company holds
- Your five-year or expansion plan of your business
- The manufacturing processes of your factory or business
- The access your business has to the networks of supply chain companies you are part of. Supply chain attacks are up 78% in 2019.
Cybersecurity Basics 2 – Risk Assessments
Once you have completed step one of your asset evaluation, you should have a pretty good idea of what digital assets your business possesses. Your second step is to do a comprehensive risk assessment on how effective your current cybersecurity measures are:
- Look at your hardware, software, and cloud-based information and evaluate any potential security risks.
- Review who has access to your networks and digital information, and assess any human risks.
- Shrewd cyberattacks typically fall into the following categories:
- Malware attack
- DoS and DDoS
- Phishing and spear-phishing attacks
- Drive-by attack
- Password attack
- SQL injection attack
- Gauge your network systems for possible exposure where data breaches can be rooted in.
- Weak and hacked credentials/passwords
- Application or software vulnerabilities, back doors into networks
- Social engineering
- Way too many permissions granted by administrators
- CSO Online reports that 92% of malware is delivered by email.
Cybersecurity Basics 3 – Different Types of Cybersecurity
Consider either employing a full-time cybersecurity analyst on-site or having a cybersecurity system fitted that can be maintained by an Information Security Analyst a few days per month.
Let the Information Security Analyst or Cybersecurity analyst modify any specific security processes uniquely for your business.
- Enhance your network security by:
- Adding extra logins for staff.
- Giving staff new passwords regularly.
- Application security through:
- Anti-virus programs
- Antispyware software
- Encryption software
- Firewalls that are active and optimally used
- 24/7 monitored internet access
- Reviewing user activity throughout your network and cloud-based utilities.
- According to Verizon, 34% of data breaches are done internally.
- Enhance your network security by:
Conduct a thorough assessment of everyone that has access to your digital and virtual information by:
- Reviewing users that have passwords that never expire.
- Reviewing any service accounts that also have admin. access.
- Reviewing and deleting redundant user accounts, as well as those that aren’t being used anymore.
Regardless of your overall cybersecurity security systems, conducting a user audit is vital because you can’t validate and control the flow of information within your organization without it.
Maintain and strengthen your software against attacks by keeping it updated at all times and by adding add patches that will close coding loopholes that could allow a hacker to gain entry.
Both the “Petya/Notpetya” and “Wannacry” ransomware attacks exploited companies’ vulnerability that avoided updating software. 100,000 groups in at least 150 countries and more than 400,000 machines were infected by the Wannacry virus in 2017, at a total cost of around $4 billion. That’s a hefty fee to pay for not pressing the ‘update’ button.
Cybersecurity Basics 4 – Backup Your Data
Ensure you have more than one copy of sensitive information so that you aren’t a victim of ransomware.
Back up your files daily onto either external hard drives, cloud-based storage utilities, or another secure location not connected to your network.
Cybersecurity Basics 5 – Automate Processes
Automation is a vital part of cybersecurity with the increasing amount of daily cyber threats received.
- Businesses must make sure they have complete control over the automation process.
- Automation frees up your resources and allows more time to combat more significant and more complex cyber threats.
- The cybersecurity specialist will regularly determine the amount of automation versus human intervention your business will need.
- Automation also contributes to faster response times to potential cyber threats, giving cyber specialists more time to focus on real threats.
- Automation allows cybersecurity operation centers to accelerate the implementation of processes, as cyber specialists only interact where decisions have to be made
Cybersecurity Basics 6 – Validating Your Security Policies
Why is it important to validate security policies?
- The working of malicious software and interferences is inhibited
- Assurance that compliance with industry laws and government regulations are kept
- System downtime is mitigated by confirming the effectiveness of the system
- Validation eliminates the vulnerabilities to make security protocols authentic and failsafe
- System accountability is increased when a business continuously validates its security policies
Cybersecurity Basics 7 – Train Your Staff
With an astounding 43% of data loss that stems from human error, training around cyber attacks and cyber threats is compulsory for businesses.
- Incorporate a cyber training program at the onset of any new employment.
- Train your staff on recognizing phishing and social engineering attacks by showing them what a ‘phishing’ email looks like and what they can do if they suspect they are being targeted.
- Just like you have fire-drills, conduct ‘live-fire’ simulation attacks.
- Get help from the Information Security Analysts or Cyber Security Analysts to compile and implement a cybersecurity training program for staff.
Global IT Services are the pioneers in strategic advisory consulting, incident response, cloud security, cybersecurity hiring, and safeguarding your enterprise from cyber threats. Our cybersecurity consultancy services provide experts that will identify cyber threats, protection against unauthorized access, and provide an internal infrastructure assessment. Our cybersecurity consultants correlate deep analytics, automation tools, and the latest security software to keep the risks of data breaches, service denials, and other damaging attacks at bay.
Global IT Services and Cyber Security Consultancy Services
Our cybersecurity consultancy teams design and deploy cloud and managed security services. Improve the security of your IT network and systems via continuous assessments and monitored security solutions. Stay ahead of cybercriminals by maturing your programs with our endpoint security services.
We offer specialized Cybersecurity Consultancy Services to:
- Determine critical system gaps in your IT infrastructure with intelligent vulnerability assessment tools.
- Investigate the risk of potential attacks and trigger off the best cyber threat solutions in time.
- Integrate an enterprise-wide proactive security approach backed by internal systems assessments, IT infrastructure reviews, and penetration testing of web apps.
- Train and empower your cybersecurity staff with cybersecurity fundamentals and strategies.
- Protect your IT system from real-time network threats with the best security tools for monitoring and analysis.
- Help you fill vacant positions with cybersecurity staff experienced in the development of protection strategies and prevention of probable security breaches.