Businesses are increasingly driven by digital solutions and the availability of data has never been greater. For many companies, the sheer volume of data creates competitive advantages, but can also pose major challenges in terms of cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity can seem overwhelming and complicated. Not all managers or small business owners have a background in IT, so going through all the technical jargon and conflicting information can discourage even the most cautious and security-minded people.
So, what is cybersecurity, why is it such an important area for businesses to prioritize and what can companies do to avoid such crimes? This article will sort it all out.
What are cybercrime and cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is about trying to prevent so-called cybercrimes by taking specific measures to do so. But what is cybercrime? Well, it is a mixed bag of misdeeds. The term includes threats and attacks on anything digital: such as data and IT resources.
The impact of these attacks is broad and can include financial losses, downtime for websites and services, and nonetheless tarnished rumors. Below we look at some of the most common IT threats today:
Phishing is a common type of cybercrime that has been around for many years. Phishers hide behind fake email addresses or accounts and try to steal information by initiating communication with employees and pretending to be someone they are not.
A DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attack occurs when a hacker floods someone’s computer or network with so much traffic that it causes a denial of service and causes the system to shut down.
The Trojan horse is a malicious computer program that can sneak into a computer without anyone’s knowledge. It can then do things like look at confidential information and then send it to an unknown person or even erase everything on the hard drive.
A computer virus is a program that can copy itself and infect a computer without the user’s permission or knowledge. Once installed, it can destroy the data on the hard drive, steal sensitive information, and spread to other computers on the same network.
Ransomware locks all the files on the computer and then demands a ransom to release the encryption and your files.
Unfortunately, these are criminal acts that are becoming more and more common. Cybercrime is a huge market estimated to cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. The cybercrime network is long and wide, extending to the most nefarious network, the Dark Web.
The importance of cybersecurity for businesses
Today’s businesses are becoming more reliant on technology than ever. Sensitive information is being stored online, and if such information falls into the wrong hands, a company might see itself in real trouble. But businesses have also become more reliant on computer systems, making them available to work more remotely. Although this offers certain flexibility, it also has led to new vulnerabilities in terms of security.
No matter how big the business or how small the attack, cybercrime can impact every business in many ways, causing financial losses, bad reputation, legal liability, and the like. With that said, digitization has had its advantages and disadvantages. Thus, companies must do what they can to avoid security breaches and other cybercrimes.
How companies can protect themselves against cybercrime
No matter the size of the company, they can feel helpless against cybercrime. Fortunately, there are certain steps businesses can take to enhance their cybersecurity.
Managers and supervisors should educate their employees about the principles underlying data security, such as teaching them how to create strong passwords and avoid phishing emails. This also involves the establishment of good practices around the company’s digital infrastructure and information security.
Have antivirus software installed
Viruses are a common problem when it comes to IT security and effective protection against this is using antivirus software. Make sure you install a central virus protection system to easily keep track of it so that no employee turns it off.
Keep everything up to date
Make sure the company’s data security technology is always up to date – software, web browsers, computers, and mobile phones. To have as secure an IT environment as possible, it is best to always have the latest security update installed on each individual information system and understand the risk of delaying the installation of any updates.
Connect to a VPN when working remotely
To successfully access applications remotely and from different geographical locations, a Virtual Private Network is usually used. But a VPN primarily provides the company with a secure encrypted network. This means that nothing employees do when working remotely can be decrypted or deciphered.
There are a plethora of good VPNs for businesses. Find the one that suits your company best here https://www.vpnpro.net/.
Do backups regularly
Given the amount of data that can be stored on computers and mobile phones, most businesses would, unfortunately, cease to function if such a thing happened. Thus, all companies should use a backup program that automatically copies the files to the storage location. In the event of an attack, you can restore all files from the backups.
Choose a program that allows you to schedule or automate the backup process so you do not have to remember to do it yourself. Remember to store copies of backups offline so that they aren’t encrypted or inaccessible if the system is hit by an attack.
Be aware of cyber threats
Cybercrime is a growing problem, but it is not one impossible to solve. However, companies can not blindly hope it will not affect them. Cybercriminals aim to disrupt businesses and make money from doing so, no matter the size of the company. However, small businesses are the easiest prey, which is why they are more likely to get into trouble.
By being aware of what cybersecurity is all about and what risks you need to deal with, you can protect your business. However, this requires more than management and employees being aware of the risks. You also need to use high-quality security software like FastNetMon that ensures network observability to protect your system, keep it up to date, browse safely and make regular backups.