What is cybersecurity, and why is it essential for your business

What is cybersecurity, and why is it essential for your business?

The constant digitalization of our world continues to provide extraordinary opportunities for businesses in all sectors while increasing cybersecurity risks. The popularity of e-commerce and the growing number of companies moving their documents and data to the cloud has made online security more important than ever. 

On average, the cost of a cyberattack can be around $200,000 1 for businesses of all sizes. This means that approximately 60% of the establishments that are victims of these attacks close within six months due to the financial difficulties that this entails 2. Cybersecurity awareness and a good understanding of the problem are keys to protecting your new or existing business from these hacking risks.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is defined as how your organization works to reduce the risk of a cyberattack and its potential effects on your business by protecting the devices and systems you use.

Cybersecurity is your business’s strategy to protect your digital assets from hacks and cyberattacks. It involves using technologies, processes, and other controls to protect your systems, devices, and data. It aims to prevent unauthorized access to data stored on physical machines or online. 

Cybersecurity differs from information security, which is a much broader field covering all information-related assets, such as hard-copy versions of files. 

What is cybersecurity, and why is it essential for your business?

The importance of cybersecurity

The importance of cybersecurity is growing as smartphones, computers, and tablets become even more indispensable in our daily professional and personal lives. Such connectivity and the reliance on online tools in many areas of business – from social media and email marketing to storing employee and customer data in the cloud – entails an additional responsibility in protecting this information.

The trend of working online exposes many businesses to the risk of cyberattacks. Good cybersecurity awareness is essential as these attacks continue to grow and become more sophisticated. Being the victim of a cyberattack as a business can lead to:

  • Loss of sensitive data
  • Financial loss due to theft
  • Huge costs to recover stolen data
  • Damage to reputation 
  • Business closure (in severe cases)

Any business needs to know how to minimize cybersecurity risks to:  

  • Guarantee the security of online purchases. E-commerce platforms must have secure systems when processing customer financial data.
  • Reassure customers. Cybersecurity awareness is not just essential for businesses. Most consumers know how organizations use their data. Implementing an effective cybersecurity system in your business helps build customer trust and loyalty.
  • Comply with the law. Businesses operating in the EU must follow GDPR guidelines and protect personal data.

Cybersecurity Statistics

Here are some key cybersecurity statistics that reiterate the importance of having a solid strategy in place:

  • Phishing attacks (often emails intended to steal personal information) account for more than 80% of cyberattacks 3
  • Businesses lose around $8,500 per hour due to ransomware downtime.
  • Mobile malware incidents increased by 54% in 2018 4
  • 43% of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and US do not have a cybersecurity defense plan
  • In 2019, 63% of SMEs in the UK and US reported a data breach in the previous 12 months 5

Types of cybersecurity

The use of the Internet, online tools, and connected devices in businesses have grown, as has the proliferation of cybercrime. Without a comprehensive cybersecurity solution, your business will have to focus on the different areas related to your business, your information, and its online store. 

The main types of cybersecurity that companies should focus on to build a strong defense are:

  • Network Security – protection against unauthorized access to your internal infrastructure, often through network administrators who implement policies including super-secure connections, firewalls, encryption, and anti-virus software.
  • Application security – regular updates and testing help protect the applications against threats.
  • Information and data security – networks and applications store data that requires an additional layer of protection.
  • Endpoint security – to protect against remote access risks, if applicable.
  • Cloud security – security software can monitor and protect your data stored in the cloud.
  • Mobile Phone and Internet of Things Security: Smartphones, tablets, and other Internet-connected devices pose additional security challenges.
  • Continuity and Disaster Recovery Program – every business needs a backup plan in case you fall victim to a cyberattack, natural disaster, or another event compromising your digital security.

Types of Cyber ​​Attacks

There are overt and covert cyberattacks, both of which aim to disrupt your business differently. As more companies realize the importance of protecting their inventory and implementing cybersecurity training, hackers and cybercriminals are developing increasingly sophisticated attacks.  

Knowing as much about it as possible can help you better protect your business against these attacks. To start, here are the five most common types of cyberattacks :

  • Malware – any malicious software that breaks through your systems defenses to install unwanted software into your networks, such as spyware, ransomware, and viruses. 
  • Phishing – these malicious communications (usually emails) contain harmful links that can lead to sensitive information when clicked. 
  • Denial of Service (DoS) – attackers flood a network or system with traffic or information to overload it and force its shutdown.  
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) – cybercriminals interrupt traffic between unsecured public Wi-Fi networks to steal sensitive data. 
  • Zero-day attack – less common but increasingly popular, a zero-day attack occurs between the announcement of a security update or patch and its installation.  

These different cyberattacks can affect many businesses, from unsecured Wi-Fi risks in a coffee shop to zero-day attacks targeting online merchants. 

Cybersecurity advice

Prepare your business for the risks of a cyberattack with these tips :

  • Organize a cybersecurity risk assessment – ​​identify vulnerable areas specific to your operations to plan a response to an attempted attack. 
  • Organize cybersecurity training – educate your employees on best practices for handling customer data, Internet, network, and application usage.  
  • Back up everything to the cloud – securely back up files to the cloud to protect against information theft and keep you working.
  • Protect all passwords – ensure that employees use strong and unique passwords for different accounts. These should be changed at least every three months. 
  • Monitor your devices – install monitoring software and security apps with automatic updates and set up a virtual private network (VPN) for employees to use when working remotely.

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The benefits of a cybersecurity solution

By implementing security, businesses and individuals can protect themselves against all of the cybersecurity threats described below and many other existing cyber threats.

Companies no longer worry about unauthorized users accessing their network or data with a cybersecurity solution. Such a possibility helps them protect their end users and employees.

Even when security does not prevent an attack or breach from occurring, it reduces the time spent restoring systems. Additionally, companies often notice that customers and developers are more confident in products with solid cybersecurity solutions.

Cybersecurity challenges

Evolution is permanent

Perhaps the biggest challenge in cybersecurity is the continuous development of technology, which presents cybercriminals with an ever-growing list of opportunities they can exploit. To make this challenge even more complex, cybercriminals are constantly developing new methods to carry out their cyberattacks.

Thus, the result is a cybersecurity software and experts constantly creating new solutions to address potential vulnerabilities, only to have cybercriminals continually seek other ways to launch attacks. As such, cybersecurity is continuously evolving.

Keeping up to date with the ever-changing nature of cybersecurity is extremely difficult for businesses, and it can also be a costly task. Thus, it requires constant attention to this sector and regular updates.

The amount of data

Another major cybersecurity challenge is the amount of data most businesses have. The greater the amount of data, the more a company becomes an attractive target, especially when this data is sensitive information. Thus, not only are the people whose data is stored by the company exposed to the risk of having their data stolen but the company itself is also exposed to legal action if the latter is obtained through negligence.

The need for training and awareness

Another challenge is that it is impossible to rely solely on cybersecurity software or other solutions: indeed, user training and awareness are also essential. A company’s employees need to understand which actions are risky: for example, opening links from unknown emails or accidentally introducing malware to their smartphones. Such an approach requires devoting time to training and the everyday tasks to be carried out, and the company must have the necessary budget.

Not enough cybersecurity professionals

On top of all the other challenges, there is currently a shortage in the field of cybersecurity professionals. According to estimates, up to two million cybersecurity jobs worldwide go unfilled. This challenge is partly met by machine learning and other technological advances, but it remains a hurdle.

LogPoint as a cybersecurity solution

Managing security internally can be incredibly exhausting and a never-ending battle. LogPoint offers a holistic cybersecurity solution with proactive SIEM cybersecurity monitoring. With a security system in place, businesses can now focus on their critical activities.

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What is cybersecurity, and why is it essential for your business?

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