Cyber security protects computer systems and networks from compromise or damage from internal or external threats. Cyber security includes protecting individual systems, networks, software programs and the information associated with these items.
IT Cyber security has become one of the fastest-growing niches in Information Technology due to the rapid growth in cybercrime globally. It’s estimated that cybercrime will cost companies over $10.5 trillion annually by 2025, and to combat this, many companies have begun investing heavily in cybersecurity. In addition to internal pressure to prevent data breaches and cyber-attacks, companies face external pressure in industries like healthcare, financial services and the government sector.
New compliance regulations like HIPAA, GDPR, PIPEDA and others require companies to obtain specific cyber security certifications to prove that they have the proper controls in place to protect any sensitive information that they store on their systems.
The importance of cyber security comes in three main areas.
Financial impact: The average data breach costs a company about $4 million. Hence, companies have a significant financial incentive to limit data breaches as much as possible to protect their bottom line and prevent non-compliance penalties and business reputation. In addition, companies must consider the potential IT downtime resulting from specific cyber attacks such as ransomware or a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. On average, a single hour of IT downtime can cost a company as much as $100,000 per hour, which can add up quickly when you consider the average ransomware attack causes downtime of 20 days.
Compliance requirements: Compliance regulations like PIPEDA, GDPR, CCPA, and many others require businesses to have specific cyber security controls in place, and failure to do so can result in heavy fines. For example, Google was fined over $56 million when data protection authority CNIL deemed it out of compliance with GDPR for how it handled user data.
Prevent company data theft: Tighter cyber security controls help to protect the company from having sensitive information stolen. This can include intellectual property, vendor information, employee personal details, future business plans and more.
Even your company’s cyber security information, such as what technology stack you use, can be valuable information for other hackers online. Many people are ready to steal and sell this information on the dark web if they can get it.
Overall, the primary advantages of investing in cyber security for your company are minimising financial losses, ensuring regulatory compliance, and protecting company data from theft and damage.
Cybersecurity companies continue to evolve their hardware and software to stay ahead of the security threats that are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. The evolution of cyber security products is becoming more reliant on advancements in machine learning and artificial intelligence in particular.
By incorporating these technologies into their products, cyber security companies want to create products that can learn and adapt to new cyber threats without human intervention. Not only does this mean faster and more accurate detection of potential cyber-attacks, but it also allows for security software that can perform automated actions in response to these threats and prevent an incident before it begins.
One of the significant factors in a company’s cyber security operations will be the cyber security technology that the company uses; this is often referred to as the company’s “Security Stack.”
The latest cyber security technology typically includes a Security Incident and event management (SIEM), a vulnerability scanning and management tool, firewalls and other network filtering tools and endpoint security tools as a minimum standard. In terms of emerging cyber security technology for companies that have high-security standards, the key is investing in automated detection and response, AI-based solutions. Tools like this allow companies to detect and resolve security incidents without human intervention. Also, using the AI component of the tool, it will not be limited to detecting previously known threats from signatures. It will be able to identify previously unknown threats using behaviour-based analytics. While this represents some of the latest trends, new cyber security technologies are constantly being developed to improve business operations further.
There are many different types of cyber threats that a company needs to be concerned about. In this section, we’re going to highlight some of the most common and most damaging types of cyber security threats as well as standard best practices for preventing these threats:
Ransomware: This is a type of malware attack where the attack encrypts all of the information on the victim’s network and charges the victim a ransom to get that information back. By encrypting all of the company’s data, the attacker puts the victim in a situation where if they don’t pay the ransom, the business will be unable to operate. As a result, many companies eventually succumb and pay the ransom.
Phishing: This is a type of cyber attack where the attacker attempts to trick a user into performing an action that will lead to the company being hacked. For example, they may send an email that entices the user to download an attachment (that is malware in disguise) or go to a website that tricks the user into entering their username and password, which can be used to compromise their account.
DDoS: This stands for distributed denial of service. This is when an attacker aims to make a company’s resources unavailable by sending a large number of fraudulent requests to the resource. By sending these fraudulent requests, they aim to overwhelm the resource and make it unavailable to legitimate users. A recent example of this was the release of a PlayStation game, Overwatch 2. The attackers were able to launch a DDoS attach on the company’s game servers and prevent people from being able to connect and play the game for over a week, which cost the company thousands, if not millions of dollars in lost revenue.
5 Tips to help prevent a cyber attack
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of threats in cyber security, here are five tips for preventing them:
- Always patch your systems: Unpatched systems are one of the most significant sources of security vulnerabilities, and keeping your systems updated is the best way to mitigate this.
- Always use 2-factor authentication (2FA): Using 2FA makes it much harder for a hacker to compromise your account.
- Have endpoint security solutions on all your devices: Endpoint security solutions are good for detecting and protecting against malware attacks like ransomware.
- Have staff take security awareness training at least once a year: This means having formal training with your employees on how to identify phishing emails and other cyber threats.
- Perform a security assessment at least once a year: This means getting an overall check of your company’s security posture and operations based on industry standards.
Installing antivirus software isn’t enough. Managing the constantly changing cyber threat landscape requires experienced, expert help from a trusted cyber security consulting services company like CG Technologies.
We’ve designed our services and solutions to address the cyber security problems and obstacles that face small to medium businesses every day.
- Intrusion prevention technology
- Web filtering to prevent access to malicious and risky websites
- Pro-active threat analysis
- Best-of-breed antivirus protection
- Tools to prevent spam emails
- Email Phishing training for your staff