As the world has digitised over time, so has criminality and security. Over the last few decades, cyber security has only grown as a key area of concern for businesses and is of vital importance today. Cyber security involves protecting your digital premises and assets from online actors that wish to use them for private gain.
The stakes can be high when it comes to being successfully attacked by cyber threats, so in this piece, we will give you an understanding of the fundamental areas of cyber security, why they matter, and how cyber criminals use each of them. In our next piece, we will give you 10 essential measures you can apply to solidify the cyber security posture of your business.
Data Protection: Safeguarding Your Digital Assets
In a nutshell, data protection involves ensuring that your data is not accessed by those who do not have permission to see it. Securing your data involves a range of measures, which can involve encrypting data so that it is unintelligible to prying eyes, implementing a backup and disaster recovery solution, using anti-virus on all devices, as well as implementing a company VPN will all help to secure your data.
Cyber criminals target unsecure data while it is being transmitted or held in storage. By doing so, they will try to access or intercept sensitive information and use it for purposes such as selling it on the dark web, financial fraud, or attempting to gain a ransom payment.
Data breaches can result in severe financial losses and damage to your reputation. By deploying robust data protection practices, you secure it, which will prevent data breaches and mitigate their impact.
Access Controls: Shielding Your Digital Perimeter
Access control forms the foundation of cyber security. It involves controlling who can access your systems, networks, and data. By implementing robust access controls, you ensure that only authorised individuals can enter your digital domain.
The domain of access controls goes beyond configuring permission settings for your files. It also involves measures such as implementing Multi Factor Authentication (MFA), endpoint security solutions, as well as creating a robust network firewall that will act as your digital doorway for monitoring and regulating traffic going into and out of your network.
Cyber criminals will attempt to gain access by exploiting weak passwords, stolen credentials, or unsecured remote access points. Once inside, they can compromise data, install malware, as well as launch more sophisticated attacks.
Unauthorised access can lead to data breaches, intellectual property theft, and disruption of operations. With strong access controls, you limit potential entry points for cyber criminals and protect your valuable assets.
Security Awareness: Empowering Your Human Firewall
Your employees are both your greatest strength and potential vulnerability. The majority of cyber security incidents occur due to human action or error, so educating your staff about cyber security risks and best practices is crucial for empowering them to recognise and respond effectively to potential threats. This can be done internally, or an external user awareness training service provider can be utilised.
Cyber criminals often manipulate employees into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Without proper security awareness, employees can inadvertently facilitate attacks, such as transferring funds to fraudulent accounts.
By raising security awareness, you equip your employees with the knowledge needed to identify phishing attempts, suspicious links, and social engineering tactics. Without this knowledge, it’s possible that your employees will be the weakest link in your cyber security chain.
Regular Software Maintenance: Maintaining Your Digital Integrity
Regularly updating and patching software is essential for protecting against vulnerabilities that cyber criminals might exploit. Outdated software can serve as a gateway for attackers to breach your systems.
Implementing regular updating and patching can be achieved technically and organisationally, by enshrining regular maintenance in your IT policy, as well as enforcing it via Mobile Device Management (MDM), patch management tools, as well as configuring software and devices to enforce regular updates. In this way, you can ensure there are no gaps in the up datedness of your software.
Cyber criminals scan for systems with outdated software and unpatched vulnerabilities. Once identified, they can exploit these weaknesses to infiltrate networks, steal data, or deploy malicious software, resulting in the damages we discussed earlier. Hackers frequently target known vulnerabilities in software to gain unauthorized access. Regular updates and patches close these vulnerabilities, reducing the risk of successful attacks.
Understanding and implementing these core cyber security fundamentals is crucial for safeguarding your business’s digital assets and maintaining your reputation. Access control, security awareness, regular software maintenance, and data protection collectively serve as your fundamental defences against cyber threats.
They synergise together to create a robust digital perimeter and an effective cyber immune system for your business, keeping it safe from the threats at play today. In our next piece in this series, we will give you ten essential measures to apply in your business to bring these fundamentals into practice.
Armco IT: IT Support and Managed Services for Businesses Across York, North and East Yorkshire
There’s nothing we love more than seeing Yorkshire businesses flourish by harnessing the power of IT. Our team of dedicated engineers stands ready to help you overcome any technical challenge and deliver tailored solutions that help your business meet its goals and growth ambitions. From our base in Malton, we deliver proactive IT support and services across York, North and East Yorkshire. We have a strong track record in delivering impactful IT to clients across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, design and insurance, among many others. We focus on maintaining, optimising and securing your digital estate, so you can focus on the growth and success of your business. Contact our team and let us start our journey together today.