Why cyber security is even more important in 2021
March 2, 2021
Cyber-Crime is Huge Business
Cyber security is absolutely essential in modern day society. We live in world filled with businesses that have hastily shifted to a virtual presence during a pandemic to survive, a world full of individuals who skip vital security steps out of ignorance or lack of time, and a world full of cyber criminals who are preying on those vulnerable sectors.
With so many people working remotely on unsecured systems or without a full understanding of how to stay secure, the risk has never been higher to fall prey to some kind of cyber-criminal attack. Yet it’s crucial to stay secure because the consequences of a data breach are too high. As Christopher Graham points out, “The knock-on effect of a data breach can be devastating for a company. When customers start taking their business—and their money—elsewhere, that can be a real body blow.”
Cyber Crime is becoming one of the fastest growing crime sectors in the world and is predicted to make the $6 trillion annually in 2021 from theft of data, ransomware, email phishing scams and network breaches. Ransomware is also a huge concern, with Malwarebytes showing a 17 percent increase in 2015 compared to a 259 percent increase in 2016.
Protect your Company Inside and Out
As we mentioned in a previous article about Data Security, there tend to be two kinds of threats – outside threats (anyone not affiliated with the business who is trying to illegally access data or breach into the company’s systems) and inside threats (people affiliated with the organization accessing and using data for purposes not related to their job). Both threats are equally important to guard against, but have different requirements to optimally do so.
Outside threats tend to get access through phishing scams, malware-infected links and gaining access to low/no security areas of businesses’ web presence. It’s vitally important to have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) around cyber security, which details to everyone at the company the most common threats and how to avoid falling victim to them.
Inside threats tend to already have access (often more than they need to do their job) and decide to use that access to gather data for their own personal use, or even to sell to the highest bidder. Smart criminals can often hide their tracks for months or even years. It’s very important to have user access control set up so people only have the necessary access needed to do their jobs, and that there are checks and balances to ensure someone is monitoring who is accessing what to catch suspicious activity.
Organizations need to ensure all employees are trained on different security aspects such as phishing and data sharing practices, keeping software updated and unique strong passwords. Senior IT management staff in particular should have a more holistic understanding and approach to cyber security as an organizational-wide risk.
Tips to Help Improve your Cyber Security
No system is perfectly protected from every kind of threat. Anything someone can create, someone else can potentially access with enough time, but there are steps that can be taken to greatly reduce the chance of your system being breached or otherwise affected by cyber-criminals.
- Never share sensitive or confidential data (such as Social Security numbers, credit card data, or trade secrets) via unencrypted channels such as email, text messaging.
- Beware of email phishing scams where criminals send an email that seems to come from one source with a benign message to open an attachment or click on a link, which then installs malware or ransomware on your system, accesses your data or hijacks your computer entirely.
- Train your team to identify the most common threats from outside threats and how to handle them.
- Establish user account permissions so that users only have access to the things they need to do their job.
- Set up data access monitoring to help catch any inside threats who may be accessing or using data in a way beyond their job requirements.
Are your Applications Secure Enough?
Some applications have done a better job than others in creating security measures to provide reasonable protection from cyber-crime.
For example, on the document collaboration side, tools like Dropbox are encrypting their data with high grade encryption, making it for a great way to store sensitive files and communicate through the app itself by commenting. On the unified communication front, RingCentral recently created their own video platform to distance themselves from Zoom as a more secure, easy to use alternative.
It is important to do your due diligence on the solutions you are using to ensure they are protecting your data in the best way possible.
This year, it is more crucial than ever put your security plan into action and to implement the appropriate training and tools so threats can be detected before any damage is done.
Positive Results™ is partnered with multiple cloud solution providers such as Dropbox, RingCentral, Microsoft, and more. We can help you analyze how your business currently interacts with files, employee communications, and other potentially vulnerable systems, then help implement training and tools to help solve for any gaps we find.
If you need help improving your current cyber security applications or procedures, please reach out to us so we can help you invest in the present and better protect your future.
If you have additional questions or need support, contact us at:
Positive Results™ Custom Business Solutions