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What Is Cybersecurity? Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Company Secure

Every year, cyberattacks become more sophisticated and businesses become more vulnerable.

Unless you stay vigilant and informed, it's only a matter of time before your organization falls victim. According to data from Juniper Research, a leading analyst firm in the technology sector, cybercrime business losses will likely top $5 trillion by 2024.

On this page, we provide the information and resources you need to keep your business safe and secure – now and in the future.

what is cybersecurity
What is Cybersecurity

What Is Cybersecurity and Why Does It Matter?

what is cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting your devices, networks, data and other elements of your IT environment from malicious attacks.

Your data is one of your organization’s most valuable assets. Today, companies rely on their data to inform decisions across every level and department – from marketing campaigns to investments, product development to customer support. Collecting, storing, analyzing and applying this data is essential to operations.

But, because much of the data businesses collect is highly sensitive, it’s also valuable to cybercriminals – which puts your organization at risk.

Hackers exploit vulnerabilities in organizations’ IT environments to steal, alter or destroy their data for financial gain – and they’re becoming more sophisticated. In an era where everything relies on technology, organizations can no longer afford to let cybersecurity fall to chance.

Furthermore, when a company becomes a victim of a cyberattack, they’re not only at risk of losing their precious data – they could also lose customers and revenue to downtime. And if they’re not following data protection rules and regulations, like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), they could risk paying hefty fines. Depending on the extent of damages, a single breach could destroy your company’s finances.

By staying up-to-date on cybersecurity trends and committing to cybersecurity compliance, it's less likely that you'll become a victim.

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common cybersecurity threats
Cybersecurity Threats

Common Cybersecurity Threats

common cybersecurity threats

There are several different types of cybersecurity incidents you should take into account when developing your cybersecurity strategy.

Here are a few of the top cybersecurity threats you need to know about:

  • Phishing: Phishing is a type of social engineering where a cybercriminal sends emails that appear to be legitimate requests from a reputable source. Attackers may request login credentials (like secure passwords) or credit card information. The two most effect types of are:
    • Spear phishing: Attacks that target specific individuals or groups that have access to sensitive information or are influential in an organization, such as your C level team or your accounting department.
    • Business email compromise: A phishing technique where, after gaining access to your inbox, cybercriminals lurk, taking time to understand your communication habits. They then pretend to be you as they ask vendors or team members to divert funds to accounts that they control.
  • Malware: Malware is a type of malicious software that exploits vulnerabilities to gain access to an organization’s network. Often, this happens when someone inadvertently downloads a malware-laden program or clicks a nefarious link in an email attachment. There are three common types of malware:
    • Ransomware: Software hackers use it to either block victims’ access to their data or threaten to publish it publicly unless they pay a ransom.
    • Spyware: Software hackers use it to gather sensitive information from an individual or organization without their knowledge.
    • Viruses: Software that replicates itself by inserting code into other programs.
  • Zero-day exploit: These occur on the day an organization announces a vulnerability, before a patch is implemented, leaving it open to an attack.
  • Denial-of-service (DoS) attack: This cyber threat works by flooding an organization’s servers and networks with traffic to drain bandwidth and exhaust resources, leaving the company unable to handle legitimate requests.
  • Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attack: This happens when an attacker inserts themselves into the middle of a transaction between two parties to filter or divert data. For example, a hacker might divert a victim’s bank funds into their own account. One of the most common points of entry for MitM attacks is unsecured public WiFi (like you may find in a coffee shop or airport).
  • Structured Query Language (SQL) injection: This threat works by inserting malicious code into a form on a company’s website or app, which allows the attacker to uncover sensitive information.

Many of these attacks can be prevented through educating your team on data protection best practices, implementing common sense IT solutions and enforcing password security guidelines. However, as cybersecurity threats grow more complex, businesses will need to take more powerful proactive measures.

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cybersecurity protection
Protect from cyber threats

How to Protect Your Business From Cyber Threats

cybersecurity protection

So how can you begin successfully protecting your data from data breaches?

Here are four steps you should begin taking immediately:

  • Encrypt your data: Data encryption is a process that transforms sensitive data into complex code. This way, if an attacker steals the data, they won’t be able to use it. It’s good practice to encrypt all the information entering or leaving your company.
  • Back up your data: One of the best proactive measures you can take is to back up all of your data and store it elsewhere. This way, if your systems are taken offline, or hackers steal your data and hold it for ransom, you’ll still have access to everything you need to keep your organization operational.
  • Educate your workforce: Team member errors/negligence is one of the leading causes in most data breaches – especially when it comes to phishing attacks. Taking time to educate your workforce on best practices, how to identify possible breaches, what to do if they make a mistake and whom to contact in the event of an emergency, is one of the most powerful steps you can take toward protecting your environment.
  • Secure hardware systems: Every device on your network – from computers to printers, mobile phones to Internet of Things (IoT) devices – represents another endpoint that can be exploited by cybercriminals. That’s why it’s crucial you secure systems that have access to sensitive information with multi-factor authentication.

A strong cybersecurity protection strategy requires a significant investment of time, energy and technical know-how that businesses frequently feel they don’t have. Often, the costs associated with these efforts prevent organizations from prioritizing security. But the potential loss far outweighs any investment in protection.

For example, the global average cost of a single data breach is $3.92 million, according to data from IBM. And small- to medium-sized businesses spend an average of $1.43 million on damaged or stolen IT assets following an incident, according to data from the Ponemon Institute, the pre-eminent research center dedicated to privacy, data protection and information security policy. For many companies, this level of financial loss could be ruinous.

By taking preventive measures, you can bolster information system security and help your company avoid a catastrophic disaster.

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About Lazorpoint

For more than 20 years, Lazorpoint has been Northeast Ohio’s leading IT managed services provider. We combine strong leadership, ever-evolving IT expertise and a positive culture built on trust and communication to help organizations overcome a broad range of tech challenges. Lazorpoint is committed to helping your business become faster, safer and smarter every day.