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Cyber Security – What All Businesses Need to Know

Cybersecurity is one the many unfortunate realities of doing business in modern times. One of the most important things to understand is that any business is at risk of a cyberattack, no matter the size of the enterprise. Cyberattacks can occur in various ways, are multiplying in frequency and complexity on a daily basis, and as such, no business can ever be 100% safe. As business these days is being conducted more digitally in all sectors, cybersecurity must be made a priority. While you should know the risks and put programs in place that will help your business avoid being compromised by cyberattacks, there’s a few other things that all businesses should know about cybersecurity.

Small and Midsize Businesses Are Primary Targets of Cybercrime

We often hear about higher profile hacks in the news, however, the real target of cybercriminals is smaller businesses. Many small business owners don’t think their business is at risk of an attack, primarily because they don’t think they have anything worth stealing; this is a huge mistake. Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) are often the principal target of cybercrime for quite a few reasons – they often have more computers than individuals but less security than large enterprises, hackers know these companies are less careful about security and SMBs also generally lack the time, budget, and expertise to properly address network security.

Who is Behind Cyberattacks and What Do They Want?

Well-organized crime syndicates are responsible for much of the cybercrime going on today and the reason for it purely comes down to money. The end goal of a cyberattack is either to directly steal money, employee details or customer data which can quickly be monetised via sale on the dark web or traditional black markets. Cybercrime pays so much that criminals are incentivised to constantly invest in developing new ways to infiltrate data-rich environments. 

What Are the Most Common Types of Cyberattacks?

Whilst threats are constantly changing, the most common types of attacks out there right now are:

  • DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks – occur when a network or server host is intentionally overloaded with requests until it shuts down.
  • Insider attack – when someone from within the organisation purposely misuses his or her credentials to gain access to confidential company information.
  • Malware (Malicious Software) – includes any program introduced into a computer with the intent to cause damage or gain unauthorised access.
  • Password attacks – which seek to discover a system’s or user’s credentials to gain access.
  • Phishing – uses a legitimate-looking website or email in an attempt to gain access to a device.
  • Ransomware – a type of malware that infects your machine or network, encrypting data such that it is completely inaccessible, then demands a ransom to return the system to normal.
  • APT (Advanced Persistent Threats) – long-term targeted attacks designed to break into a network and remain undetected while establishing a presence on the system with the ultimate goal of copying data from the network.

Prevention is Cheaper than Cure

Do not make the mistake of thinking that security is too expensive. When you compare the costs of a breach to the costs of protecting data and networks, it is clear that prevention is much cheaper than the amount it will cost to rectify the damage. A large-scale breach can cost a business many thousands, if not millions of dollars to fix, and then there is the damage suffered to the reputation of the business which can be so severe, that it can easily put a company out of business. One recent report suggested that the cost of business downtime is nearly 10X greater than the cost of the ransom requested.

The best prevention to the threats posed by security may not be through security solutions directly, but rather, implementing a suitable business continuity and disaster recovery solution. Why be held to ransom when you can roll-back to an uninfected data set within a matter of hours?

Security Must Constantly Evolve as Threats Evolve

Cybersecurity threats are constantly changing and evolving, and it is important that businesses continually transform and update their security along with it. You can’t just implement a ‘set and forget’ mentality to cybersecurity; you need to review and modify firewall policies, patch your systems, update permissions and access controls regularly, and constantly evaluate your endpoint protection to ensure it is meeting current threats.

Employees Are Often the Weakest Link

As demonstrated by the latest Notifiable Data Breaches Quarterly Statistics Report, security breaches are frequently caused by human error. Many systems are left vulnerable to data breaches through phishing attacks, where people are tricked into clicking on links and installing malware or surrendering their credentials. Some employees can even bring threats into your business by connecting their personal phones, notebooks and storage devices to the corporate network. Educating your staff on the best day-to-day security practices is key in preventing attacks caused by human error.

With phishing attacks remaining the most frequent cause of breach, users must be trained on how to detect and report these attacks. It is also important to have strict security policies in place that govern how your staff should be using IT resources.

Is your business prepared in the event of a cyberattack? Contact Interscale today and let us perform a full Cybersecurity Health Check. There is so much more to protecting your critical business data than just the systems you use; it is about your complete business ecosystem. Specialising in the delivery of market-leading technology services, including Managed Services, Networking & Security, Cloud Services, Consulting & Advisory and Procurement services, Interscale is the IT support company Melbourne businesses trust. Contact us today to see how we can help your business safe and secure.