Network Security 101: Introduction to Cyber Security

Don’t have a security policy in place? Our end-to-end Firewall package includes pre-implementation, planning and design of a security policy.

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CYBERSECURITY : Green button keyboard computer. Double Exposure Effects. Digital Business and Technology Concept.
CYBERSECURITY : Green button keyboard computer. Double Exposure Effects. Digital Business and Technology Concept. (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

by Michael Colin

The news these days is awash with stories about cyber-attacks and network security. While cybercrime has been around as long as the Internet has, the frequency and sophistication of attacks increase daily. This is not a fad or trend. It is the stark reality facing all Internet users, from individuals to enterprises.

Education is power- and one of the first steps in protecting your business. Understanding the many threats out there how they work, and their effects will go a long way to guide you on how to best secure your company.

The Truth about Cyber Security

False information (from fake news, click-bait articles, and unverified sources), as well as old-school thinking, are responsible for many misconceptions about cybersecurity. Let us set the record straight. It doesn’t matter the size of your organisation nor the industry in which you operate. Every business is vulnerable.

Yes, we see many headlines about large corporations that have suffered a breach in their security. The recent Liberty ransomware attack is just one example among many. However, don’t be fooled into thinking that your business flies under the cyber-attack radar.

The statistics show an alarming amount of small and medium-sized businesses under siege.

The 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB) annual report states that 61% of SMBs experienced a cyber-attack and 54% had data breaches (involving customer and employee information) within a 12-month period.

Cybercriminals exploit soft targets

Presumably, this is why small and medium-size businesses record the highest numbers of attacks. Business owners and managers cite budget and technical resource restraints as reasons for sub-par IT security, but this is a mindset that needs to change. There are a host of affordable managed network security solutions available to help organisations of any size mitigate their risks.

Security should be taken seriously at all times

Often attacks on smaller businesses are a means to gain data which can be used to either:

– extort more valuable information from the company,

– infiltrate larger organisations (customers and suppliers alike),

– alternatively, all of the above.

No matter what the intent is behind the attack, any intrusion will negatively impact your business.

In some instances the effects are devastating.  Research from the National Cyber Security Alliance reveals that: “As much as 60% of hacked small and medium-sized businesses go out of business after six months.”

IT Security does not exist in isolation

Cyber-risk should be an integrated part of any organisation’s risk planning. In fact, this should be of utmost importance on your agenda because IT Risks significantly increase your strategic, compliance, financial, operational and reputational risks.

Cyber Security is not only IT’s problem

From the top to the bottom and bottom to the top. The C-suite, accounts, sales, marketing, operations, and IT are all responsible for the safekeeping of your company data. Everyone in your organisation should be informed about cyber risk and your company’s security policy.

What is an IT Security Policy?

An IT Security Policy is a living document which outlines how a company plans to protect both physical and data assets. It sets the procedures for educating personnel on the potential threats facing your business, how to avoid them, and what to do should an incident arise.

Don’t have a security policy in place? Our end-to-end Firewall package includes pre-implementation, planning and design of a security policy.

  • Michael Colin is a sales director at BitCo

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