What Is Cyber Security and How Does It Work?
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computer systems, sensitive data, and networks from unauthorized access and harm. Such cyber-attacks are meant to steal information, change internal data, or destroy sensitive information.
Examples of cybercrime include malware, ransomware, and phishing. Cybercrime prevention is growing more common due to the increasing importance of data security and regulations that enforce cybersecurity measures; and the necessity of keeping your operations insulated from criminals that might want to pilfer your business.
Let’s take a deeper dive into how cybersecurity works, and why it’s necessary to deter criminals who seek to gain access to your IT environment.
Who Dictates Cyber Security Measures?
Cybersecurity measure frameworks have been developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Commerce Department. These guidelines help private and public companies to be better prepared to identify, find, and respond to cybercrime.
What Are the Benefits of Cybersecurity?
In today’s world, every individual and industry can benefit from cybersecurity. At an individual level, a cybersecurity attack can result in anything from identity theft, to extortion, to the loss of essential data like trade secrets.
Organizations need data and application security to protect the complex IT infrastructure of their business. Some of the benefits include:
- Reducing damaging data and security breaches
- Saving the organization money spent on damage repair and compliance fines
- Protecting customers’ privacy and enhancing trust
- Maintaining brand integrity, values, and ethics
- Providing a competitive advantage as business processes are refined, streamlined, and secured
What Businesses or Organizations Should Be Concerned About Data Security?
All businesses and organizations that collect data should consider creating a cybersecurity plan for their organization. Preparation and prevention are key as once your organization experiences a devastating cyberattack, it can be difficult or impossible to recover.
What Are Some Common Examples of Cyber Attacks?
Cyber attacks keep proliferating, both in absolute number and in the types of attacks that come along. The most recognizable and familiar cyber attacks are malware, ransomware, and phishing.
Malware is the most commonly recognized cyber attack. Malware is virus-riddled malicious software that attacks your data systems. Ransomware, spyware, and Trojans are all types of malware. The type of cyber attack allows criminals to steal or copy important data, block access to files, or disrupt system operations.
A form of malware that encrypts a victim’s files, and the attacker then demands a monetary payment in exchange for a decryption key. Think of this as holding data hostage. Usually, the money exchange is in cryptocurrency to hide the identity of the attackers.
Hackers use social engineering through email, text, IM, or pop-up messages, to entice victims into opening links or downloading files. Those files can then cause harm to the operating system, resulting in data theft, or be used as a form of intimidation.
How Can Businesses and Individuals Guard Against Cyber Threats?
- Take an inventory of all of your sensitive data.
- Ensure that data is safeguarded with redundant security controls.
- Run a risk assessment to be sure that you understand all potential risks facing your organization and all potential outcomes for each risk.
- Have a plan to mitigate, respond to, and recover from all potential risk outcomes.
All businesses that collect data should have a plan in place to protect against cybercrime.
What Are Cybersecurity Tips and Best Practices for the Workplace?
Create a Cybersecurity Policy
The first step in protecting company data is to assure all employees know that information security is a priority. Believe it or not, some employees today might still not be aware that data security is something they should be concerned about, at both a personal and professional level.
Whether it’s credit card information or social media passwords, all company data should remain private and protected.
Invest in Antivirus Software
It’s crucial for organizations to invest in computer security as part of their cybersecurity strategy and data protection.
Keep Passwords Strong and Use Two-Factor Authentication
Create a strong password to protect your organization’s data, so cybercriminals cannot access critical files.
Train employees on why cybersecurity is critical, and urge them not to share passwords with anyone not authorized to access your systems.
Protection Measures While Working From Home
Install Firewalls, Antivirus Software and Anti-Malware
Organizations have been concerned about data breaches while employees work from home, often from third-party connections or vendors. When companies have remote workers, it’s best to install firewalls, antivirus software, and anti-malware.
Remote workers must have high-quality firewalls, antivirus software, and anti-malware on all their devices — including mobile devices. These preventive measures allow for virus scans to happen in real-time and help with risk assessment before a security incident occurs.
Another concern for remote workers is assuring their wi-fi network and router are secure. Some organizations will encrypt data for additional security measures for WFH employees.
Use VPNs. A commercial virtual private network is a technology that allows you to create a private connection over a less-private network by creating an encrypted tunnel between your computer and the internet.
Encryption software is another way companies and their remote workers can protect themselves. If an employee’s device is stolen or lost, the information on that device can find its way to the wrong person and possibly expose the company to vulnerabilities. Encryption software can protect company data by barring access from any unauthorized access to those devices.
Businesses should be mindful that any programs used for chatting, email, or applications should use end-to-end encryption. Popular programs such as Microsoft Office can easily encrypt files and documents that your remote workers use and share with coworkers.
Future of Cybersecurity
As technology, personal and private data increase, the cybersecurity industry will continue to expand greatly. The cybersecurity industry is several billions of dollars each year. The need will only grow moving forward.
Automation for Cyber Security
The goal for cybersecurity is to protect your organization from cyber attackers and ongoing scams and data breaches that could compromise your business. Disaster recovery for massive data breaches can be costly and expensive for intellectual property or security systems within an organization. So what software can you rely on?
Winsor Consulting Group simplifies cybersecurity risk and compliance with complete views of control environments, easy access to information necessary for risk evaluation and management, so your organization can meet its cybersecurity requirements across a variety of frameworks.
Winsor Consulting stays up to date in real-time with changing compliance regulations so you don’t have to. With Winsor, you always know where you stand and can fix gaps in your compliance as soon as they occur.