A Guide to Cybersecurity for Your Business
In this modern world, more and more businesses are moving online. Whether this is by selling through eCommerce, communicating with different offices or engaging with their customers, the digital space is vital to corporate growth. With this comes the ability to reach a wider audience but also the risk of a cyber attack. Cybersecurity should be the focus for all IT companies - technology, methods and best practices should be in place to prevent data from falling into the wrong hands. This guide will help you establish the basic security needs required for your business.
What Is Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity is the process of implementing different technology, control methods and best practices to protect data and secure networks from attacks. It is a practice of defending computers and devices from malicious activity that could see sensitive information falling into the wrong hands. Cybersecurity isn’t just important for businesses. It applies to the safe protection of your own personal information, including passwords, bank account information, driver license numbers and medical reports. Websites requiring this information need to be set up to offer encryption or ensure the data is not saved or shared with other contacts. By implementing cybersecurity measures, you will reduce the risk of hacking and ensure data - from all means - is kept safe.
Why Is it Important?
The frequency of cyber hacks is growing every single day. Alongside free accessibility to various technologies, the rise in working from home employees and our ever-growing usage of the internet is paving the way for hackers to get at our information. We live in a world that is so technologically dependent, that there are limited means to share this data that meet our demanding requirements. Without the right understanding, knowledge and technology, we leave ourselves and our customers open to risk.
In 2018, government statistics showed that 43% of all businesses and charities had experienced a cyber attack or breach within the year. These range from viruses, data theft and hacking which can cause:
- Financial losses.
- Reputational damage.
- Lack of faith from customers and business partners.
- Legal consequences.
Therefore, cybersecurity should certainly be at the height of importance - no matter the size of your business or the scope of your data collection.
Most Common Cyber Attacks
Phishing is the means of using the guise of a reputable name to obtain sensitive information. Generally, this is in the form of an email and the goal is to trick the recipient into believing that they need to click on the supplied URL to complete an action. You may have seen these fraudulent communications from companies such as banks, asking customers to click a link to confirm a transaction, for example. In some instances, the email requires you to download an attachment.
What actually happens is that, instead of taking the recipient to a reputable website, malware is installed, the system freezes due to a ransomware attack or sensitive information is directly revealed to the hacker. This form of hacking, while very common, is also very dangerous. Hackers can use it to authorise purchases, take money from your bank account or even perform full identity theft. For businesses, it allows them access to sensitive information or data, allowing them to instigate severe financial attacks or damage to a businesses reputation.
It is estimated that somewhere around 3.4 billion fake emails are sent per day with many of these embroiled in phishing scams.
Ransomware is a form of malware. It can be distributed in a number of ways, one of which we have mentioned above. This cyber-attack encrypts your files, freezing them and holding them to ransom - as the name suggests. The hacker then demands financial gain to restore access by providing a decryption key. In general and in order to maintain their anonymity, these payments are made using a digital currency, such as Bitcoin.
In this instance, the hacker will infiltrate communications between two parties. This is done either to listen in and gain insider information or to alter the information that is being shared. Some hackers use this method to obtain passwords or to sabotage a deal. There are many ways that a MitM attack can occur. Hackers may establish an HTTPS connection between themselves and the server while creating an insecure HTTP connection with the user. The damage here depends on the purpose of the attack. It can simply be to cause miscommunication or to lead to financial gain.
This form of cyber attack is designed to shut down a network by flooding it with traffic or sending signals that cause it to crash. They prevent legitimate users from accessing a service by pushing the bandwidth and a network's capabilities. Generally, this is done to large-scale organisations such as banks and media companies. While the hacker is unlikely to get any financial gain, the business in question is sure to lose on time, productivity and money as a result.
An SQL injection attack is one that uses malicious SQL code to access sensitive information. A successful attack can cause the hacker to be able to view customer data, gain admin rights to a database or delete information. This form of attack can impact confidentiality, business reputation and can even result in websites being defaced.
How to Secure Your Network
Working with an experienced and reputable business will minimise your chance of cyber hacks in the future. However, a few tips from the team here at Adept Networks include:
- Using a VPN to encrypt your internet connection and all of the data that is transferred across it.
- Update all router firmware to ensure you are able to withstand any potential cyber-attacks.
- Implement regular password audits and changes.
- Install a WAF (Web Application Firewall) to protect customer’s sensitive data.
- Use a reliable SSL certificate that encrypts data between a browser and a web server.
- Work with an experienced team to ensure all of your software and technology is up to date.
The team at Adept Networks have years of experience supplying complete network solutions for businesses. We stay up-to-date with the newest technology and ensure the products and solutions we offer will keep your business protected at all times. If you have any questions or would like to speak to us about a project, get in touch with the team here today.