What is Cyber Security & How is it Important?

Technology has become a crucial aspect of day-to-day business operations. But, many companies aren’t aware of the importance of implementing the right cybersecurity measures.

In honour of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we want to educate businesses on what cybersecurity is and why it’s so crucial for companies. Whether you’re new to cybersecurity or need to strengthen your cybersecurity efforts, read on to learn all about cybersecurity for businesses. 

What is Cybersecurity?

Cyberattacks are on the rise, especially as technology becomes more commonplace in companies. Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting networks, devices, and data from digital attacks. Cybersecurity also ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information. 

Businesses that rely heavily on technology for day-to-day business processes are at a greater risk of experiencing a cyberattack. These attacks aren’t just costly, they can truly impact the longevity of the company. Let’s take a further look at why cybersecurity is essential. 

The Importance of Cybersecurity 

Companies today use technology to communicate internally, externally, and share and store sensitive data. While technology has certainly improved the efficiency of businesses, it has also made them huge targets for a variety of cyberattacks. 

Unfortunately, there are a variety of opportunities for cybercriminals to target companies. But there are a few common approaches that cybercriminals will generally take. Here are 4 common types of cyberattacks that businesses need to be aware of. 

  • Phishing: This is the most common type of cyberattack. Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent emails that appear as if it’s coming from a reputable source. The goal is to steal sensitive data such as credit card numbers and login information and then use it for their own gain. 
  • Ransomware: This is a type of malicious software designed to extort money by blocking access to files or a computer system until the ransom has been paid. It’s important to note that even when the ransom is paid, it does not guarantee that the files will be recovered or that your system will be restored. 
  • Malware: This is a type of software designed to give unauthorized access to a cybercriminal or cause damage to a computer. 
  • Social Engineering: This is a tactic designed to trick you into releasing sensitive information. The cybercriminal might solicit a monetary payment or gain access to sensitive data. Social engineering may be combined with other cyber threats, such as the ones listed above.

Risks Associated with Poor Cybersecurity

Many businesses don’t think about the consequences of having poor cybersecurity. But having poor cybersecurity comes with a variety of risks that businesses need to understand. 

For instance, poor cybersecurity measures can cause damage to your business’s reputation. When businesses face a data breach, a loss of customers and stakeholders can come as a consequence. Ultimately, most people are not in favour of working with a company that has experienced a breach, especially if it fails to protect customers’ data. Even more, rebuilding your company’s reputation can prove to be a challenge, which can threaten the long-term sustainability of your company. 

Another huge risk to consider is theft. Cybercriminals are usually in the business to steal something valuable from the company. This could result in a loss of information or lead to monetary loss. Even intellectual property theft can be a cause for concern for businesses. Regardless of what type of theft occurs from a cybercriminal, they can all be equally damaging to business owners. 

Another risk of having poor cybersecurity is financial loss. Not only do businesses run the risk of facing monetary loss due to cyber criminals stealing sensitive information like bank credentials, but businesses will need to pay for the impact of the breach itself. For instance, if data is damaged or stolen, companies will need to hire a professional who can attempt to recover any data loss. 

Not only that, but businesses must consider the fact that poor cybersecurity can lead to fines down the road. In fact, if your business suffers from a data breach, your company may face a penalty in the event it is found that it failed to comply with data protection legislation

Poor cybersecurity presents a multitude of risks for business owners. This is why having solid cybersecurity measures is essential for all businesses. But many business owners don’t know how to effectively implement the best cybersecurity measures for their company. Read on to learn 4 tips on how to get started. 

Tips to Improve Cybersecurity for Your Business

Technology has become an essential part of business success. But it’s important to protect your company from potential cyber threats. Here are 4 tips to improve cybersecurity for your business. 

Train Your Employees

One of the best things that companies can do to strengthen their cybersecurity is to educate their employees on how to spot threats. In order to reduce vulnerabilities within your company, it’s important that all employees understand why security matters and know the protocol when a potential threat arises. Ultimately, the right training will strengthen your company’s cybersecurity efforts and lead to a strengthened IT infrastructure. 

Keep Your Computers and Infrastructure Up-to-Date

Keeping all computers and infrastructure up-to-date is key to better cybersecurity. When businesses have outdated hardware and computers, it becomes easier for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities. For this reason, it’s important to perform regular updates of all hardware and computers to protect your company. 

As a rule of thumb, business hardware should be updated every 2 to 3 years to stay up-to-date with the latest technological developments. Your computers will need regular software updates. It’s best to auto-update all company computers to minimize vulnerabilities. 

Know Your Vulnerabilities

Improving your cybersecurity means knowing your vulnerabilities. A lack of awareness is one of the biggest reasons why companies become easy targets for cybercriminals. Without knowing the areas your business is weak in, you won’t be able to develop a strategy to strengthen your company.

With that said, it’s important to compare what systems and applications you’re using for protection with what’s available on the market to see in which areas you need to improve your IT. 

Hire an IT Professional

Businesses can’t do it all, which is why hiring an IT professional is one of the most effective solutions for businesses that need to strengthen their cybersecurity. An IT provider can perform an audit and make recommendations as needed.

Even more, an IT provider can be outsourced or hired in-house to handle all of your cybersecurity needs. An IT professional can provide support by offering essential cybersecurity services such as firewall management, antivirus, anti-malware software, and basic IT protection. 

Here at Contego Inc., we love to educate businesses on the importance of effective cybersecurity. Contact us to learn more about the benefits of consulting experts to prevent cyberattacks, and what to do if one occurs. You can also arrange a free cyber threat assessment for you and your business.