A successful cybersecurity approach has multiple layers of protection spread across the computers, networks, programs, or data that one intends to keep safe. In an organization, the people, processes, and technology must all complement one another to create an effective defense from cyber attacks.
In a report from AT&T, 80% of businesses acknowledged they experienced some cyber attack. In 2018, these incidents became even more prevalent. For today’s companies, falling victim to one of these attacks is no longer a question of “if” but “when.” Today’s employees are connected to the Internet all day every day, communicating with colleagues and stakeholders, sharing critical information and jumping from site to site. With hackings, data breaches, and ransomware attacks on the rise, all companies need to plan for the worst, with mandatory cybersecurity training for all employees and with the recommended solutions for mitigating the risks.
Today’s data threats don’t discriminate; businesses of all sizes are susceptible to attacks. However, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are often less prepared to deal with security threats than their larger counterparts. The reasons for this vary, but ultimately it comes down to the fact that SMBs often have fewer resources to devote to cybersecurity efforts.
Users must understand and comply with basic data security principles like choosing strong passwords, being wary of attachments in email, and backing up data.
Organizations must have a framework for how they deal with both attempted and successful cyber-attacks.
Technology is essential to giving organizations and individuals the computer security tools needed to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. Three main entities must be protected: endpoint devices like computers, smart devices, and routers; networks; and the cloud. Standard technology used to protect these entities include next-generation firewalls, DNS filtering, malware protection, antivirus software, and email security solutions.
Types of cybersecurity threats
Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent emails that resemble emails from reputable sources. The aim is to steal sensitive data like credit card numbers and login information. It’s the most common type of cyber attack. You can help protect yourself through education or a technology solution that filters malicious emails.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to extort money by blocking access to files or the computer system until paying the ransom. Paying the ransom payment does not guarantee that the data is recoverable or the system restored.
Malware is a type of software designed to gain unauthorized access or to cause damage to a computer.
Social engineering is a tactic that adversaries use to trick you into revealing sensitive information. They can solicit a monetary payment or gain access to your confidential data. Social engineering can be combined with any of the threats listed above to make you more likely to click on links, download malware, or trust a malicious source.