The modern world has adopted technology due to the many benefits to our day-to-day operations. Many institutions, government entities, companies, SMEs and individuals are more dependent on technology than ever before. Despite the many advantages of using technology, there is a significant rise in potential threats behind the internet-connected world, including an alarming increase in cybercrimes, and for this reason, cyber security is not a topic that we can wish away.
As a leading MSP, we think it’s crucial to communicate the dangers of cyber security and the measures that the connected world needs to take in order to safeguard its data. TLC Solutions’ cyber security experts are always evaluating the latest processes and techniques to defend your business assets and records in your computers and mobile devices from internet threats.
So, What Is Cyber Security And Why Is It Important?
Cyber security involves measures and strategies to protect computers and other electronic devices connected through the internet from cyber-attacks and unauthorized access.
TLC Solutions IT experts define cyber security as the discipline of safeguarding internet systems, databases, computer hardware, software and applications from cyber threats. The main objective of cyber-attacks is to illegally access, fish out or interfere with sensitive data to extort money from the users or slow down an organization’s operations.
These days, you can’t prevent cyber-attacks by simply installing antivirus software onto your devices. Cyber-attack risks are constantly changing, and organizations and other business enterprises should always be alert to an attack which could happen at any time. This is the main reason we recommend that everyone using the internet, either for business or personal operations and data storage, should have robust cyber security measures in place.
Cyber-attacks have become a global concern because they can threaten the economy across the world. According to research carried out by IBM, in 2021 the average cost of a data breach was US4.34 million.
- Financial Damages: Cybercrime can disrupt and damage an organization financially when the criminal gets access to the monetary systems. Also, some viruses like ransomware can threaten a company’s financial stability since it holds your data hostage, and you need to pay some money to access your own data.
- Loss of reputation: A cyber-attack can negatively impact your company’s reputation due to a data breach. Your supplier/vendors, employees, financial institutions and other third parties may lose their trust in your business when sensitive information or records leak and are published out there.
- Data loss: Lack of proper cyber security can result in a sensitive data breach. Your company could lose vital information, which may disrupt your daily operations and productivity.
- Remediation cost: There is also the cost of remediating the problems caused by the attack and stopping further attacks.
- Legal impact: If the company is liable for the attack by not putting in place appropriate cyber defences, they could face regulatory fines and litigation.
What Are The Benefits of Cyber Security?
Cyber security provides multiple layers of protection against any form of cyber-attack and has the following benefits:
#1. Data Security:
In the modern digitally connected world, most business and personal data is stored online. This sensitive information can get into the hands of malicious people and result in data loss or data breach, leading to devastating effects on any business.
Cybersecurity protects your data from unauthorized access by ensuring that it’s protected at all times from any imminent cyber threat.
#2. Increased Productivity
Having effective cyber security measures helps you focus on your key business goals. You invest most of your time and energy in your business operation since your data is safe from attacks. This leads to enhanced productivity and profits that will help your business grow in the long run.
#3. Bandwidth Performance
A cyber-attack into your network system and electronic devices can hinder your bandwidth resulting in decreased internet speed. With almost everyone in the world currently connected to the internet, the probability of a cyber-attack is high. A viral invasion can potentially slow down your business operations, affecting the morale of your employees and the rate of production—cyber security shelters your system from a viral infection that may hinder or dominate your bandwidth.
#4. Save Costs
The goal of starting any business is to make a profit. Any tiny error in the system can cost a company millions in losses. Data breach or loss can cripple a business and may cost a lot of money in the recovery process. The most appropriate thing is to put protective measures for your business to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your system and avoid painful recovery costs. It’s better to spend money on cyber security than significantly more on data recovery due to cybercrime.
#5. Business Progress
No business operator would ever imagine waking up one day only to find all their crucial business data and records missing or inaccessible. The dream of anyone in business is to generate profits grow, and expand their operations.
Having effective cybersecurity policies in place will help your business continue to grow.
#6. Regulatory Compliance
Cyber-security compliance measures will help your business achieve greater operational efficiency by raising awareness. Whether you need to comply with HIPAA, GDPR, HITECH, and other regulatory agencies, cyber-security procedures can help you ensure you meet their standards quickly and efficiently.
#7. Customer Trust
Customer trust is vital to any business or organization’s success. Lack of a robust cyber security system may result in damages due to exposure to cyber-attacks. Once your clients know that their information or records are not safe anymore, they will undoubtedly lose trust in doing business with you.
Where Do We Need Cyber Security?
The onset of the Covid pandemic in 2020 caused a massive transition in the way businesses and institutions carried out their operations. With movement and in-person gathering restrictions in almost every part of the world, most people turned to internet-connected devices to run operations and ensure a smooth flow of information.
The rise in demand for online services through various digital platforms and applications has seen cybercriminals devise new ways to attack their targets and access critical data and records.
According to recent research, there was a rapid increase in cyber-attacks in 2020 and the number is set to rise even higher in coming years. This is because the digital world is evolving day by day and most internet users are at risk of cyber-attacks.
Any organization, business enterprise, institution, and individual has critical data prone to cyber-attacks. Hence, it’s imperative to have the proper measures to protect the data from unauthorized access and minimize the risks.
Our cyber security team has listed down the most susceptible industries to cyber-attacks as follows:
Banking and other financial institutions have become primary targets for cyber-attacks and data breaches. Most financial organizations have very critical data online, making them among the major targets of cybercriminals.
If there are no proper security procedures to protect this sensitive information, it becomes easy for hackers to gain access to the network system. The hackers steal the files which may hold confidential information such as individual or businesses’ financial statements and leak them to the public.
In addition, the increased trends in mobile banking have paved the way to more cyber-attacks through the many apps available in the systems, which may contain Trojans and other forms of viruses.
Government Agencies and Institutions:
Most government databases contain crucial information that may relate to the security of their states. Cyber-attacks are gradually taking over the physical war even between nations putting millions of citizens in danger.
Unauthorized access to government servers or databases can cripple the operations of a nation which may affect the livelihoods of many people leading to catastrophic consequences.
Cybercriminals tend to use anything within their means to hack a government’s network system to steal information leaving a nation open to cyber threats or attacks.
Many learning institutions worldwide have turned into handling all their operations by using technology. Because of this, most learning institutions have become excellent targets for cyber-attacks.
According to research by Microsoft intelligence reports, it has been established that approximately 65% of the malware attacks are from learning institutions.
Malware attacks are among the significant cyber threats to small businesses. Many small businesses don’t invest sufficiently in cyber security, making them easy targets. A malware attack can bring down operations as hackers can gain access to critical business data and share it with the public to damage a company’s reputation.
Phishing has been the biggest attack on small businesses. Malicious people portray themselves as genuine vendors and attempt to get you to click suspicious links and download malicious files. If successful, the attackers can gain access to critical information and put the entire business and clients at risk.
The rise in cyber-attacks targeting healthcare institutions has become a growing concern. The data theft and loss rate heightened in 2020 when most institutions adopted working out remotely, and cybercriminals took advantage of hacking systems.
Many healthcare institutions have reportedly been attacked in the recent past, resulting in significant data breaches.
What Cyber Security Measures Can You Implement To Secure Your Business or Organization From Cyber Threats?
Cyber-attacks have been on the rise, especially after the recent pandemic period. Many businesses and organizations are working remotely, raising the demand for internet use through computer-connected devices.
As a critical player in the technology industry, we advise businesses and organization stakeholders on the importance of cyber security and how they should prepare to battle any form of cyber-attack targeting their systems. A successful cyber-attack can paralyze operations affecting your business reputation and trust from the customers and other parties.
On average, it can take approximately one year to recover from a cyber-attack fully. From a cyber-security expert’s perspective, every business should have concrete cyber security techniques to keep their data safe.
A significant number of small business owners still believe that their systems can’t be a target of cyber-attacks. Our team always recommends that cyber security be regarded with seriousness because a malware attack can cripple small businesses. Many small businesses who do not have an effective cyber security plan end up closing after an attack.
You are not immune to cybercrime as long as you’re working on internet-connected computers and systems. Hence it’s vital to invest in cyber security policies to protect your data and records at all times.
There are various cyber-security measures for improved security from internet threats today. They may include the following:
Back up data
As a business owner, you should always regularly back your critical data. The backup should be done to protect your data; if cybercriminals or viruses invade your system, you can rest assured that your data is safe. Your data will remain intact, reducing any operations downtime or huge recovery costs.
2-step authentication is a network security system that requires you to enter a unique code generated by a dedicated application on your smartphone or sent via a message in order to gain access to a website. Without access to this second layer of defense, hackers cannot gain access to your account.
Manage and keep track of your login credentials
People who use different digital platforms to handle their business operations may be tempted to use a single password to log in to their systems. This is because keeping a record of tens of passwords can be challenging. However, if cyber-criminals successfully hack your login details, it’s easy for them to access all your accounts using a single password.
You should always try your best to use unique, strong passwords, with different passwords for your various online systems. Try as much as possible to keep track of your passwords using a secure password manager.
Ensure that your devices and software are secure and up to date
If you are a business owner or a company executive, investing in valuable security software and programs is key to securing your network system and data.
High-quality protective software and application will keep malware and other viruses at bay. You should also ensure that your software is up-to-date and the spam filters on your computers are on to block any unwanted spam messages.
Train your staff on cyber-security
Your staff is a great threat to your business’s cyber-security. A significant number of data breaches are caused by staff’s carelessness and inadequate knowledge concerning cyber-security and threats.
Hire a cyber-security expert
Hiring a cyber-security expert can be a significant move towards protecting your business’s internet-connected systems. Whether you run a small business or a large organization, bringing on board cyber security experts like TLC Solutions will be of great help to you and your entire team in developing full measures to curb cyber-attacks.
Have DNS Security in place
DNS Security software can serve as a block to prevent your team from being able to access unsuitable website content.
Encrypt critical data
Encrypting the information you have stored online reduces theft, loss or publishing threats. It’s essential to always encrypt any online data both in transit and at rest to ensure its safety from prying eyes.
Craft internal rules for your employees
All your team should clearly know and understand their respective roles. There should be rules that outline what information can be shared online and kept confidential. Posting crucial information online can pave the way for hackers to gain access and use it for malicious purposes.
Train your staff about cyber-attacks and threats
It’s essential for your staff to have adequate knowledge of identifying the many threats and scams before logging in to specific sites or opening a particular email message. Even a personal USB used in a private computer can transfer a dangerous virus to your office computers and expose your data to cyber-attacks.
In conclusion, the cyber security process offers great protection from cyber-attack damages for companies and individuals. Cyber security should be used to protect all your programs, online services, network systems from harmful viruses such as malware and ransomware, and other cyber-crime hazards that may destroy your business or personal data. This will protect you from incurring huge costs in data recovery and maintaining a good business reputation and trust with your customers.
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