Importance of Cyber Security
In today’s digital age, cyber security is an essential element for any organisation’s operations.
The consequences of a cyber-attack can be devastating, with the loss of sensitive data, operational disruption, and reputational damage all having significant financial implications.
In addition, unauthorised user access to sensitive data can result in serious legal and compliance issues, and organisations need to comply with regulations regarding data privacy and security.
Effective cyber security measures can help reduce the risks associated with cyber threats and unauthorised access.
By utilising robust authentication procedures, strong passwords, and private networks, organisations can create a multi-layered defence against various cyber threats.
Moreover, cyber security not only helps to ensure business continuity by safeguarding systems and data but also improves the reputation of an organisation.
Customers value the privacy and security of their data, and potential partners and investors are more likely to support businesses that prioritise cyber security.
Despite the significant benefits of cyber security, it is not without its challenges, particularly in the context of remote working.
With employees accessing sensitive data externally, organisations must ensure they have effective cyber security measures in place to protect against cybersecurity risks and potential security breaches.
Organisations must also have access management and event management procedures in these systems to enable control over employee use of online resources.
They must consider using an access security broker, a system that controls access to different databases and systems, and an application security model that implements appropriate security measures.
Internal policies and cybersecurity awareness training will help employees to avoid phishing emails and to follow best practices in utilising the security measures.
Cyber Security – The Basics Every Organisation Should Know
Organisations need to know the basics of cyber security to protect their systems and data from increasingly sophisticated security threats.
Implementing stringent security measures can prevent unauthorised user access, protect end users and devices, ensure business continuity, and improve the reputation of the company.
Deploying basic processes and tools can address the most common IT risks.
Simple measures like strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and access controls can help prevent unauthorised access.
Regular software updates and security patches can prevent vulnerabilities and exploits.
Firewalls and network segmentation can protect against malicious traffic and isolate compromised systems.
The threat of cyber-attacks is on the rise and becoming more complex, so organisations must stay vigilant and proactive when it comes to cyber security.
It is not just the responsibility of IT departments, but everyone in the organisation must be aware of cyber security risks and follow best practices to protect systems and data.
Compliance with regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) can also help organisations maintain their cyber security.
By implementing simple security measures, complying with regulations, and staying vigilant, organisations can protect their systems and data from potential security breaches.
Types of Cyber-attacks
In order to develop a robust cybersecurity policy, it is crucial to understand different types of cyber-attacks that can occur.
One of the most common types of cyber-attacks is malware, which includes viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware.
Malware can infect a system when a user downloads an infected file or application.
It can then cause damage by stealing data, destroying files, or spreading throughout the network.
Social engineering attacks are another type of cyber-attack that organisations face.
Cybercriminals use psychological manipulation to trick users into divulging sensitive information or clicking on malicious links or attachments.
These attacks can take many forms such as pretexting, baiting, and phishing.
Phishing attacks are one of the most common forms of social engineering.
These attacks typically involve sending an email that appears to be from a legitimate source (such as a bank) and tricking the user into giving away login credentials or personal information.
Ransomware is another growing threat that organisations face.
This type of malware encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key.
Ransomware attacks have become increasingly sophisticated and can cause significant disruption to businesses.
Insider threats are another significant concern.
An insider threat occurs when a current or former employee, contractor, or business partner exploits their access to an organisation’s systems or data for malicious purposes.
These attacks can be intentional or accidental and can cause significant damage.
Other types of cyber-attacks include distributed denial-of-service attacks, advanced persistent threats, man-in-the-middle attacks, and botnets.
All of these require different methods of prevention and response, demonstrating the importance of comprehensive cybersecurity strategies for safeguarding an organisation’s systems and data.
Where Should The Focus Be In The Next 12 Months?
In an increasingly digitized world, cybersecurity continues to be a top priority.
Cyber threats have become more sophisticated, and the attack surface has expanded, making it more complex to maintain security.
Here are four key areas that organisations should focus on in the next 12 months:
Developing Cloud Security
This will be essential to secure sensitive data and applications hosted on cloud infrastructure.
Organisations must ensure that cloud security measures such as encryption, access control, and monitoring tools are in place to protect against cyber-attacks.
Integrating cloud security into the organisation’s overall security strategy is critical to maintain a consistent security posture.
Adoption of Zero Trust Combined with a VPN
This is another trend that organisations should consider.
With the rise of remote work and the need for secure access to company resources, zero trust is a security model that verifies every user and device attempting to access an organisation’s network.
A VPN adds another layer of security and encryption to prevent unauthorised access.
Augmenting Supply Chain Infrastructure
With increasing dependence on third-party vendors and suppliers, securing the supply chain has become a necessity.
Organisations should perform regular risk assessments and implement security controls to prevent cyber-attacks and data breaches.
Complying With Stricter Cybersecurity Regulations.
This can help to avoid legal consequences and reputational damage.
Compliance with regulations such as GDPR, HIPAA, and CCPA is critical to safeguard sensitive data and ensure privacy protection.
In addition to the above four points, organisations must keep up with the evolving threats to their cybersecurity.
Threat detection and response tools such as SIEM, EDR, and threat intelligence will help organisations identify and respond to cyber threats quickly.
Cybersecurity – The First Steps You Need To Take
Before diving into the world of cybersecurity, it is important to first assess the current security measures in place within your organisation.
Conducting a cyber risk assessment and understanding the potential vulnerabilities and threats will allow for a comprehensive plan to be developed to fortify your organisation’s cyber defences.
You can also arrange for a controlled third party to make unscheduled attempts to test your security and access your data.
This could become part of the process of internal cybersecurity regulation, and it will quickly demonstrate where the weaknesses are and where initial attention is required.
Cybersecurity – Our Main Top Tips
Cybersecurity is an ever-growing concern for any organisation.
With the advancements in technology, cyber threats have become more sophisticated and costly.
Therefore, it has become crucial for companies to implement effective measures to protect their organisational security from potential breaches.
Here are a few eight effective cybersecurity tips to help your organisation protect itself from costly cybersecurity threats:
Encourage employees to use strong, unique passwords for all their accounts, including work email, and implement a password manager to ensure that passwords remain safe and secure.
Enable multi-factor authentication for all the accounts and make it mandatory for accessing confidential systems and data.
Malicious Software Prevention
Install security software to protect against malicious software attacks and ensure that it is up to date with the latest versions.
Mobile Device Security
Strictly enforce mobile device security measures and ensure that all employees follow the company’s policy regarding mobile device usage, such as using a secure VPN connection.
Implement network security measures, such as firewalls, security audits, and access management, to protect against unauthorised access to critical data and systems.
Ensure that all the applications (web-based or mobile applications) used by the organisation are regularly updated and tested against potential security breaches.
Employee Training and Awareness
Conduct regular training and awareness programs to inform employees about the latest cybersecurity threats and how to identify and report any attempted cyber-attacks.
It is important to make all employees aware of all the tools they have available to them such as Password Manager and MultiFactor Authentication.
Incident Response Plan
Develop a comprehensive incident response plan that includes protocols and procedures for identifying, responding, and preventing any cybersecurity risks and an actual cyber security breach.
The plan should also look to include the use of incident response tools.
By applying these cybersecurity tips, organisations can reduce the risk of potential security breaches and promote cybersecurity awareness among their personnel.
It is crucial to keep in mind that cybersecurity is not a one-time effort but an ongoing process that requires regular updates and vigilance to protect organisational security.
Other In Depth Ideas
Develop A Living Cybersecurity Policy
This is crucial for any organisation that seeks to protect itself from cyber security threats and malicious attacks.
To achieve this, you need to develop a formal guide detailing all security procedures and measures used to improve cybersecurity efficiency.
One effective way to design your security policies is to create a hierarchical structure that includes a centralised policy and additional policies that are uniquely designed for each department.
This will allow each element of the business to include their bespoke requirements, which subsequently will increase the overall effectiveness of the policy itself.
Developing different fields of your organisation’s cybersecurity is also important.
You can achieve this by creating unique policies such as access control policy, remote access policy, vendor management policy, or insider threat program.
These policies help to address specific areas of cybersecurity and ensure that the organisation is secure across all fronts.
A well-designed cybersecurity policy should be comprehensive and address all potential security risks and threats that the organisation may face.
This policy should clearly outline the measures that must be taken to protect the organisation’s networks, systems, and data from unauthorised access, cyber-attacks, and other types of security breaches.
Furthermore, the policy should define roles and responsibilities for all personnel, including those outsourced, based on the principle of least privilege.
It should also clearly outline the measures that must be taken to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the organisation’s data and information, including backup and recovery procedures.
Back Up Your Data
Seems simple, doesn’t it?
One of the most important strategies for maintaining cyber security is backing up data regularly.
A good backup system not only ensures data protection in the event of a cyber-attack or a system failure, but it also provides organisations with the peace of mind that comes from knowing that their critical data is safe and secure.
A good backup system should include regular, daily incremental backups, as well as end-of-week server backups to transfer all the data to a secondary storage device.
Additionally, quarterly, and yearly backups should be performed to ensure that data is always accessible in case of a corruption or a system-wide failure.
However, a backup system alone is not enough.
Regular testing and checking of backup data is essential to ensure that the backup has not been corrupted and that it can be restored in full.
Restoring backup data from portable devices or cloud storage should be done regularly to test the system’s reliability and to verify that critical data can be restored without a problem.
Using multiple backup methods can add additional layers of security to an organisation’s data backup plan.
Portable devices such as USB drives or external hard drives can be used to backup data, while cloud-based backup solutions offer the ability to quickly restore data from any location via the internet.
Get Employees Onside
Cyber security measures and strategies are critical for protecting an organisation’s data and systems from cyber-attacks and other security threats.
However, no matter how strong an organisation’s cyber security measures are, they will fail if employees are not onside and invested in the success of the security strategy.
Therefore, gaining employee support is crucial for the success of an organisation’s security strategy.
There are many potential risks that can arise from not having employees onside.
For example, human error, such as leaving a device or password unprotected, can lead to a security breach.
Phishing emails can also trick employees into giving up sensitive information, while unauthorised access can occur if an employee’s device is stolen or if they fall for a fake login page.
Such risks can have serious consequences, such as data breaches, financial loss, damage to the organisation’s reputation, or even legal repercussions.
One example is the Equifax data breach, which occurred in 2017 and affected over 147 million consumers.
The breach was caused by a vulnerability in Equifax’s web application.
However, it could have been prevented if the company’s employees had followed basic security protocols, such as patching vulnerabilities and changing default passwords.
To prevent such consequences, it is important to get employees involved and invested in cyber security.
One practical way is to involve employees in creating security policies, so that they feel they have a stake in the success of the strategy.
Providing regular training on cyber security best practices can also help employees understand the importance of security measures and how to implement them.
Making cyber security a team effort also helps to foster a culture of security within the organisation.
Recognising and rewarding employees who contribute to the success of the organisation’s security strategy can motivate others to become more invested in it.