What is a cyber threat? What is cybersecurity and how can a company protect itself from malicious online activity? Cybersecurity is essential for all businesses operating with any element of digital, internet or online presence. It should be standard practice for any modern organisation and it should be continually reviewed to make sure that practices and protocols are reliable and resilient.
No two companies are exactly alike, so approaches to cybersecurity and how to tackle digital threats differ from business to business. Some companies may benefit from extensive in-house IT departments with whole teams dedicated to cybersecurity, others may opt to use an outsourced IT support provider offering expert guidance on all aspects of IT including digital and cybersecurity.
There are, however, some essential strategies that all modern businesses can use and implement that will enhance their response to potentially damaging cyber attacks and mitigate the negative impact of online threats, malware, viruses and data phishing.
Ultimately, better cybersecurity protects you, your staff and your clients and customers and creates a sense of confidence and trust in your brand. Especially if you have an online space where people share private data like payment or banking information. You want to make sure that your company is seen as a safe pair of hands for business transactions and so robust, reliable strategies to ensure cybersecurity are absolutely essential.
What do we mean when we talk about a cybersecurity threat? Essentially anything that maliciously and purposefully attacks, steals from, impedes, damages or seeks to damage a business, person or data through digital means is deemed to be a cyber attack or threat.
Cyber attacks and threats are becoming increasingly common and can target some or all of the following, individual computers or tablets, organisational networks and systems, phones, online accounts and wirelessly connected devices like smart home appliances.
Cyber attacks vary in form, type and size. Many of the most common and the ones we regularly encounter day to day are scams like phishing emails and social media account hacking. These can usually be identified quickly as they are fairly obvious and often unsophisticated in their execution. They should always be taken seriously though as the impact of falling for a phishing email and sharing private data can have wide reaching consequences for individuals and businesses.
Other types of cybersecurity threats and attacks include:
- Malware – malicious software uploaded or unwittingly downloaded to a vulnerable item of digital hardware that can result in data loss or theft or personal information held to ransom.
- Form-jacking – used on websites that feature a form based contact or information request page, where malicious code is added to the form which then clones data like credit card information as the form is completed by an unsuspecting visitor to the site.
- DDoS – a type of cybersecurity issue that disrupts a network by creating and delivering an overwhelming amount of traffic and information issuing from multiple sources leading to system and network failure. DDoS stands for distributed denial-of-service. The financial impact of a DDoS attack can be huge to a company that relies on online sales or bookings.
- Backdoor Attacks – this includes any cyber attack where an attacker uses a more vulnerable or less secure point of entry into a company’s network in order to steal, delete or damage data or upload malware to the system.
These are just a handful of the most common cyber threats that concern modern businesses operating online. There are many others of differing complexity and severity. This may feel overwhelming and cybersecurity might seem like a small sticking plaster to cover a huge wound, but with proper IT guidance your business can form and maintain robust and successful protocols to protect you from 90% of cyber threats and digital crime.
- Get The Basics Right – most companies have an awareness of the need for cybersecurity measures but lack the knowhow to create and apply solutions. Simple but effective strategies like strong passwords that are regularly changed, multi-factor authentication for online accounts and regular data backups to mitigate loss and theft are basic practices that can have a positive impact on your cybersecurity.
- Knowing your Weak Points – A thorough systems and network analysis by your IT team or an expert IT support provider will show your vulnerabilities and allow you to remedy any issues before a cyber criminal or attacker spots them.
- Training. Awareness. Understanding – Keeping your team, your staff and even your customers on top of their cybersecurity responsibilities will help to strengthen your overall approach to online and digital safety. Your company will be seen as taking cybersecurity seriously and people will feel safe sharing their data with you because of your strong security measures.
- Monitoring and Maintenance – Keeping your systems, software and hardware current and fully compliant with guidelines, regulations and updates will mean you have all the latest security patches and data protection tools. Make sure that your system and infrastructure are regularly checked to spot potential issues before they become massive problems.
- Expert Advice & Guidance – Not sure where to start? Ask for help and get some expert opinions and options from a dedicated IT support provider. They will have a team of experienced technicians well versed in cybersecurity measures for business of all types and sizes and will be able to offer solutions that match your needs.
Cybercrime and digital attacks are not going away, they are increasing in number and scale and also in sophistication. This does not mean that companies cannot protect themselves though. With the right strategies and protocols, modern business can put in place robust and strong cyber security measures that protect them from the majority of attacks.
If you think you need help with your online and cybersecurity, a dedicated IT support provider will be able to assess your needs and advise you on the best solutions for your company.
Do some research to find a reputable and experienced IT support provider in your area, try a keyword search to get some names and recommendations. For example, try IT cybersecurity Exeter or cybersecurity provider in Bristol to find an expert IT company near you.
Talk to them about your cybersecurity concerns and explore how they can help you to create a more secure digital infrastructure for your staff and customers.