10 Aug Essential Cyber Security Defences – The Cyber Threats
In the technological age we live in it is essential that the cyber security of your organization is one of your main concerns. Cyber criminals can be anyone these days, and no longer need to be tech geniuses (as Hollywood once portrayed) – in fact, nowadays, they are often merely opportunistic criminals who have just a basic understanding of technology. In the current climate your business is more likely to be the victim of a cyber attack – statistics show that “Security breaches have increased by 11% since 2018 and 67% since 2014” ¹. With the world being predominantly digitised, treading carefully is highly recommended and you must be prepared for anything that cyber criminals can throw at you.
In the following articles we will help you to become familiar with the range of methods that jeopardise the security and continuity of your organization. We will then use our expertize to explore why and how you should tackle them to – at the very least – lessen your chances of cyber attack.
The need for good quality cyber security defences no matter the size of your organization
Warnings such as “watch out for cyber attacks”, and “it is imperative that you put money into your cyber defences” are everywhere – but why? Is the threat really that large?
Technology is the main driver for modern business, because without it an organization in the modern world simply wouldn’t survive. It would not be able to provide the goods, services, or a quality of service that the public have become accustomed to. However, along with the innovation that comes with technology also comes problems, because our reliance on technology has exposed an opportunity for cyber criminals – if a cyber criminal gains access or, even worse, control of your systems they have the power to do business defining damage at the very core of your organization .
Nowadays an argument could be made that your cyber security is just as – or even more – important as your physical security, because you are far more likely to be cyber attacked than assaulted physically. Many business owners – either through naivety or lack of knowledge on the serious consequences that could arise from a successful attack – usually don’t spend nearly as much time preparing their systems in the eventuality of a cyber attack and their systems are often left vulnerable to exploitation by cyber criminals. You defend your house with locks, cameras, and alarms, so why is your cyber security not as important?
Let’s take a look at the methods that cyber criminals may use to attack your systems.
The cyber threats
Malware is software that is designed with the sole intention of causing harm. It acts as the vessel for the cyber criminal to steal your data. Malware works in the background of your system often unbeknown to the user. Malware – unlike most other forms of attack – are commonly managed by a group of criminals instead of an individual, where the group use the Malware as a money-making scheme (often selling it via the dark web or spreading it themselves).
Phishing attacks come in many different forms, the most common of which is when a cyber criminal assumes a false identity with the intention of extracting sensitive information directly from their victim. The false identity adopted by the cyber criminal will be someone trusted or at the very least familiar to the target individual, as it is essential to create a false sense of security in the victim. This is why the most common vessel for an attack of this kind is via email – not only is it the quickest and easiest form of reaching their desired target but also one of the few ways that their ruse may be believed.
Ransomware is a type of Malware. The idea of the attack is to force victims into paying a ransom in order to gain back access to their encrypted files or disabled systems. The hackers infect a device, or in some cases the entire system, and once this has been achieved the victim will receive a message demanding an extortionate amount of money, promising they will give you a ‘decryption key’ to regain access to your system.
The cyber criminals will threaten the victim with the deletion or distribution of their sensitive data should the ransom not be paid in the timeframe demanded. This pressure leads some business owners to simply pay their attackers, trusting they will get their data back and regain control. Understandable, and clearly the easiest way to avoid problems, right? No! This is a ridiculous way of going about things – criminals cannot be trusted under any circumstances! They habitually lie and cheat to get their way, so the likelihood of actually getting your data back is very slim even if you do pay the ransom. The right course of action is to avoid becoming a victim in the first place, and this can only be achieved by being educated on the risks and remaining alert to those risks whilst also having technical security defences in place.
In the following article we will take a look at the potential business impact of doing nothing and leaving yourself undefended from cyber threats.
Better protect your business
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Contact us now to find out how we can help you.