Cybersecurity refers to the measures companies take to protect their computer systems from various digital attacks. These include adopting necessary processes, technologies, and practices to avert unauthorized access to their business data. The commeasures aim at stopping cybercriminals from altering, destroying, or using corporate information for their nefarious purposes. Cybersecurity allows companies to continue conducting their commercial operations in the market without any security threats.
Why is cybersecurity so important to companies?
Companies handle, transmit, and store huge volumes of business data when conducting their commercial operations. This information relates to their financial transactions, assets, intellectual property rights, and personal details of their stakeholders. It cannot fall into the hands of nefarious hackers, fraudulent employees, or other kinds of cybercriminals. Otherwise, the consequences for companies can be catastrophic. In the event of a successful cyber-attack on their computer systems, businesses would:
- Suffer serious financial losses resulting from the misappropriation of their monetary funds,
- Lose their market reputation because cybercriminals can compromise the stakeholders' data,
- Face serious disruptions in their commercial operations and financial dealings with their stakeholders, and
- Face potential lawsuits for not taking adequate measures to safeguard their stakeholders' personal data.
Various forms of cybersecurity threats
Business owners need to be aware of the importance of cybersecurity for their organization. Small companies should not assume that since their operations are small, they are free from the risks of cyber threats too. This is not true. All large and small business owners should take appropriate steps to protect their companies from cyber threats round-the-clock with IT specialists in the field.
Esteemed company in Salesforce solutions, Flosum says that business owners should know that cybersecurity threats fall under the following 3 categories-
- Cybercrimes where groups of nefarious individuals target their computer systems to swindle money,
- Cyber-attacks where these criminals aim to collect sensitive information on their customers and other stakeholders, and
- Cyberterrorism where the nefarious individuals undermine the working of their computer systems to spread widespread panic.
Modus Operandi of criminals in committing cyber attacks
The common methods cybercriminals use to threaten the companies' computer systems, and network are:
- Installing malicious software applications known as malware into their victims' network servers. These software programs can take the form of:
- Computer viruses, which are self-replicating programs capable of erasing all data files,
- Trojans that upload easily on the computer systems and damages the data inside them,
- Spyware which captures sensitive information like the customers' credit card details,
- Ransomware where criminals extort money on the threat of their erasing vital business information, and
- Botnet, where they perform online transactions using the business data without the companies' permission.
- SQL injection where the cybercriminals gain access to and steal sensitive information from companies' database,
- Phishing attacks where nefarious individuals extract sensitive business data like customers' credit card details through suspicious emails,
- Man-in-the-middle attacks where they intercept data transmission between the companies and their trading partners to steal sensitive information,
- The denial-of-service attack involves disrupting the data traffic between the companies' network servers to render them useless, and
- Social engineering attacks where cybercriminals trick companies into revealing sensitive information on their social media sites.
Various forms of cybersecurity measures
How can companies avert these cyber threats listed above? IT specialists in the field list the following steps that businesses can embrace to curb attacks-
- Network security which aims at ensuring network servers are secure from all kinds of malware,
- Application security which safeguards software platforms from all forms of computer viruses,
- Information security ensures the integrity of their business data both during transit and while in storage,
- Operational security that engages the implementation of decisions on who can access and handle the business data,
- Identity management involves at what level of access different employees can have to the business data,
- End-point security which involves taking steps to safeguard the remote access points of their server networks,
- Cloud security that safeguards the business information in remote data systems which third-party vendors operate,
- Data security that involves securing sensitive business information from potential cyber threats with multiple layers of encryption,
- Disaster recovery to list the steps they take to respond to potential cyber threat and minimize its damage, and
- End-user education that makes employees aware of how to detect and delete malicious email attachments.
Key cybersecurity tips for companies
Companies can safeguard their computer systems and sensitive business data by keeping in mind the following tips:
- Update all business software solutions and operating systems firewalls regularly.
- Install the latest anti-virus software applications to identify and remove potential cyber threats,
- Purchase and install the latest anti-malware solutions on all their network servers,
- Encrypt all sensitive business data with strong passwords having multiple authentication layers,
- Regularly change the passwords of sensitive data so that cybercriminals cannot guess them,
- Use a secure VPN (virtual private network) for accessing the information on the Internet,
- Implement a suitable spam filter to block both phishing and non-malicious emails,
- Restrict the use of personal devices such as pen drives by employees to access data on servers,
- Ensure their Wi-Fi network has a suitable WPA 2 encryption and constantly update its password,
- Take regular backups of key operating systems and servers containing sensitive business data,
- Designate what level of access different employees can have to the business data,
- Formulate and implement an incidence response plan to tackle any potential cyber-attack, and
- Conduct training sessions to enable employees to detect and avert data breaches.
Becoming a victim of a potential cyber-attack by criminals can be disastrous for companies. They suffer huge financial losses, but the company's market reputation tends to come into question. Some of them might not have the right professionals to implement the above cybersecurity measures correctly. In this situation, they should hire the services of reliable database administrators and IT experts. They will correctly evaluate the system's loopholes and devise a customized strategy and plan to protect the business round-the-clock. Both large and small businesses should focus on cybersecurity to keep unwanted hackers and intruders at bay.