The Prolifics Guide to Cybersecurity
Data is the driving force of business in the 21st century. But while it offers an incredible range of opportunities for improving the customer experience, personalizing solutions, and meeting audience demand, collecting and storing more data also comes with considerable risks.
In other words, the more data you have, the bigger the danger of it falling into the wrong hands. Whether it’s sensitive personal information, bank details, or even your entire online business infrastructure, when there’s something to be gained from obtaining the data, there will always be a threat of it being stolen.
And that’s why cybersecurity should be a crucial part of protecting your business. Only by having a reliable process for protecting your digital assets can you expect to thrive in the long term and maintain the trust of your customers.
With that in mind, let’s look at what cybersecurity is, why it matters, as well as the biggest cybersecurity risks you should be aware of.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a broad term describing the protection of digital information. The term encompasses a broad range of security processes aimed at protecting digital data from unauthorized access, damage, and other risks.
And since businesses store more data than ever before, it’s only natural that the importance of protecting data from breaches is becoming a central focus of every company operating today.
The primary aim of cybersecurity is to ensure that the data is not only secure but is also not misused in a way that would harm the company. Stolen or misplaced data could have dramatic consequences for a business, not to mention the damage to its reputation, so considering the different aspects of protecting digital assets is the only way to maximize the likelihood of success.
The main elements of cybersecurity are:
- Information security
- Application security
- Network security
- End-user security
- Operational security
Although this list is not conclusive, it encompasses some of the top focus areas that a cybersecurity plan should focus on, allowing companies to cover different aspects of protecting their company, customers, and digital infrastructure from data.
Related post: Why You Need a Cyber Risk Assessment
Why is Cybersecurity Important?
According to some estimates, there are more than 2,200 cyberattacks every single day. That means that a business or person gets their data stolen every 39 seconds, on average. These types of numbers clearly show that there are people and groups that are motivated and willing to try and steal data. And they are targeting sensitive information that would have the most value if it would fall into the wrong hands.
But how exactly can cybersecurity help protect your business?
Well, the primary benefit of having a robust cybersecurity strategy is protecting your data from unauthorized access. This means that you can keep your systems, data, and sensitive customer information protected, ensuring that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.
At the same time, you are protecting your business reputation by implementing processes that secure the data of users who put their trust in your company.
Finally, cybersecurity minimizes the likelihood of your business operations getting disrupted. For example, a breach into your systems can take weeks to resolve, which can leave your team scrambling to fix the problems. But if you invest in cybersecurity upfront, you can avoid most of the risks and ensure your business can run effectively.
Essential Cybersecurity Terminology
To better understand cybersecurity and data privacy, it’s a good idea to go over some of the key terms that you will often come across when learning more about the subject.
Although this list is by no means conclusive, it should at least provide a better understanding of what the critical cybersecurity industry terms mean and why they are relevant for your business.
Let’s explore the terms below:
- Backup. A backup is a digital copy of your data that’s stored in a separate location or server. It’s an essential cybersecurity step for ensuring that even if your servers got damaged or breached, you would still have access to all the data your company needs to operate.
- Cloud. In the cybersecurity world, cloud solutions refer to the process of storing data on virtual servers all around the world. Instead of relying on physical server locations, many companies today use cloud storage to diversify their data backups and ensure that it’s harder to breach or damage.
- Vulnerability. Vulnerability describes any weak areas that your business might have in terms of cybersecurity. It’s what hackers look for when trying to gain access to your data, as any vulnerable area is an opportunity to be exploited.
- Authentication. Even though you need to protect your data, your employees and other authorized personnel must be able to access it. And that’s why having a reliable identity and access management solution is essential.
- Encryption. Encryption is a way to cipher your data, making it more difficult or even impossible to read without having the key. This way, even if a hacker gains access, the data will be unreadable.
- Breach. A data breach is the moment when someone gains unauthorized access to your data.
- Malware. Malware is any malicious software designed to get past your system defenses and breach your data. It can be hidden in emails, files, or even on websites.
- Firewall. A firewall is a type of software or hardware designed to keep hackers from accessing your data.
Biggest Cybersecurity Risks
Developing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy for your business can quickly become overwhelming. There are simply too many different aspects to consider, especially if you aren’t sure what to focus on.
Therefore, it makes sense to begin with identifying the biggest cybersecurity risks your company might be facing. To help you get started, let’s look over some of the most common risks you could encounter below:
- Ransomware. It’s estimated that in 2021, a business is attacked with ransomware every 11 seconds. And that’s amounting to a staggering $20 billion in damages to businesses worldwide. These types of attacks can be devastating to a business because they threaten the very livelihood of the company. And that’s why those that are hit with an attack are usually willing to pay whatever it takes.
- Endpoint Attacks. Since most businesses today store data in the cloud, hackers have found it easier to attack user systems than cloud servers. This means that smartphones, computers, and other devices your employees use are all at risk of being hacked.
- Phishing. Finally, phishing scams through email remain a prominent way that hackers gain access to business data. By getting employees to click on emails and links from company computers, hackers can plant malware that provides access to the entire network of databases, software, and everything else the employee uses.