Cyber Security for Business Owners: Keep Your Business Safe Online
With the number of devices per person growing exponentially and the massive rise in remote working, oftenon usecured wifi networks, we are all more vulnerable on the Internet than ever before .
You might be inclined to dismiss this topic. All too often victims of cyber-crime have fallen into the trap of thinking that no-one is interested in their business data. After all, goes the thinking, criminals are only interested in the big Corporations or key players. Sadly, the success of cyber crime relies on this kind of complacency and cyber attackers are absolutely counting on their victims having a relaxed attitude to data security. The truth is, anybody who is connected to the internet should be aware of potential threats and learn how to protect themselves.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security is the practice of protecting systems, programs, networks and sensitive information from digital attacks.
Digital attacks target data and critical infrastructure, and can have far-reaching financial, operational and reputational consequences for businesses.
In 2021, the cost of a data breach was USD 4,2 million globally, and the number of data breaches jumped by an alarming 68%, breaking the record from 2017 and reaching an all-time high.
People are starting to become far more aware of the collective threat; in the PwC Global CEO Survey 2021, 47% of respondents from privately-owned businesses rated cyber attacks as the top threat to their organization’s growth. But some business owners are still putting this critical issue on the back burner, choosing to ignoreto the potential damage their inertia could cause their business.
Top 5 Cyberthreats for Businesses in 2022
1. Malicious Software (Malware) and Ransomware Attacks
Malware (malicious software) is any software designed to cause damage or steal data from a computer system. There are various types of malware — such as worms, trojans, spyware, adware, viruses, rootkits and ransomware.
Ransomware is a type of malware that is designed to encrypt your devices in a way that makes your files inaccessible. The attackers then demand a ransom in exchange for returning your access to the files.
2. Phishing And Spear-Phishing Attacks
Phishing and spear-pfishing are types of social engineering attacks performed via email. These emails look liker typical everyday emails you might receive from your colleagues and their intent is to trick you into clicking on a link that would provide attackers with access to your personal information or account.
Phishing has a more broad approach, meaning that the attackers send their email to a wider audience, while spear-phishing attacks are targeted toward a specific individual or organization.
3. Misconfigurations And Unpatched Systems
Misconfiguration vulnerabilities happen when a system’s (cloud, server, app) security is not properly implemented and maintained, thus making it exploitable. Among others, one of the principal causes of misconfigurations is unpatched systems.
Simply put, patches are updates to applications, systems and software that are designed to correct errors. If not regularly managed, ‘out-of-date’ patches can turn into a serious security risk because they present loopholes, or, exploitable weaknesses that allow attackers to break into your system.
4. Credential Stuffing
Credential stuffing is an attempt to gain access to user accounts by testing pairs of stolen usernames and passwords over multiple sites across the web. Seeing that people commonly reuse usernames (their email address) and passwords to access most of their accounts, this enables the attackers to inflict serious damage.
5. Social Engineering
Social engineering is another type of hacking, but it doesn’t target technology — it targets people. This is why it is important to educate your employees and train them to know a scam when they encounter one. Types of social engineering include the previously mentioned phishing, as well as vishing, smishing, pretexing, baiting, tailgating, piggybacking and quid pro quo.
Cloud computing & Cloud security
Cloud computing is the delivery of IT resources over the Internet. There are three different cloud service models: SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a service) and IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service). To put it more simply, this means that rather than owning and maintaining IT infrastructure and servers, you can access and use a variety of tools such as storage, databases, networking, software and analytics on a ‘pay-per-use’ basis.
It is easy to see why the demand for cloud-based technologies is on the rise. With the pandemic forcing a lot of ‘bricks and mortar’ stores to relocate fully online, remote work becoming the new normal and businesses taking on digital transformation, the cloud is a very attractive solution — it offers flexibility, scalability and high availability, but that is also what makes it a security risk.
The primary risks are:
External sharing of data
Data privacy compliance
With so much valuable data being stored every day, cloud security is a top priority for cloud service providers and they are on the job, offering the latest in cloud cyber security technology.
There are plenty of SaaS models that offer great opportunities for saving money, leaving software updates & maintenance to the provider and improving end-customer experience, and as long as effective security measures are in place you should not lose any sleep.
But security is a two-way process — yes, the service provider does most of the heavy lifting, but your organization also plays an important role.
Cybersecurity Best Practices - How to Prevent a Data Breach?
Believe it or not, most data breaches come from within an organization. Here are a few suggestions on how to prevent them from happening.
Risk awareness is one of the best data breach prevention tools — talk to your employees about the importance of strong passwords, organize a cybersecurity training session with security experts and shift your organization’s views on security.
Keep Your Business Software Up-To-Date
Fix existing bugs and update your software regularly to be in line with the latest version. Employ the same practice with personal devices you use at work. You can also try using automated tools that scan for outdated software and recommend patches.
Invest in Security Systems
The cost of a quality security system is often what deflects small business owners from protecting their business data from cyber attacks. In reality, choosing to skip this important step can cause a lot more financial loss in the future. So, invest today for a safer tomorrow.
Employ Third-Party Controls
A lot of businesses allow third parties temporary access to their network. Seeing that third parties don’t necessarily have the same security standards as your business, it is important to enforce added protection and restrict their access to sensitive information.
Managed Security Services - Keep Your Business Safe with Omnizon
When you are managing your own IT infrastructure and all of your data resides on systems that are within your physical control, the responsibility for keeping all your sensitive information secure is a big responsibility.
We understand that cyber security can be both complex and scary, but you don’t have to tackle it alone.
Part of our job is to stay on top of everything that is both current and changing in cybersecurity so you don’t have to.
Sleep easily because we are staying up reading all newly-released information and incorporating it into our solution and its governance.
Our security foundations are the best practice governance protocols laid down by the world-leading National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) based in the UK and the AWS Cloud Security, Identity and Compliance Services toolset. We are fully compliant with the NCSC guidelines & principles for SaaS and we deploy all available AWS services for every aspect of data protection, identity management, secure store and retrieve, and national and international compliance that your data and documentation will undergo.
These guidelines, when followed by the service user and the cloud provider ensure that data which is processed by cloud-based apps and is stored in the Cloud remains fully protected. The Omnizon platform and our Cloud partner AWS, ensures a combination of our collective experience, a total commitment to your data, and full compliance to NCSC guidelines to ensure that you have complete peace of mind.
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