Cyber security is among the top three concerns of IT professionals. Although IT management has always been a hot topic, this IT challenge has now come to the forefront as the business landscape has changed since the pandemic.
Previously, most organizations worked in their offices and the employees left at the end of each day. They did not need to think of working again until the next morning when they came back to the office. However, this changed dramatically with the rise of remote and hybrid working cultures.
With this shift, the concerns surrounding cyber security increased manifold. However, it is essential to note that cybercriminals and attackers do not discriminate when it comes to the size of the business. For them, every business is fair game. Unfortunately, smaller businesses appear even more enticing to cyber attackers because these organizations don’t have enough capital to invest in high-end security infrastructure.
With data breaches showing an upward trajectory with no signs of slowing down, it is high time businesses, and individuals stop thinking of cyber security as an afterthought.
Whether you are a remote worker connecting your company’s internal network or an individual shopping groceries online, it is essential to protect your devices. One of the best ways would be to install a VPN because VPNs provide an encrypted tunnel between the user and the Internet. All the data passes through this encrypted tunnel. Therefore, if the hackers manage to hack into the conversation, they only see scrambled data that cannot be deciphered without the encryption key. Furthermore, VPNs manage to disguise and hide IP addresses, so the Internet traffic seems to come from a different location.
Is Cybercrime Increasing? Why?
Cybercrime is increasing, and information theft is the fastest-growing segment of it. The reason for this is an increased exposure of identity information to the Internet via cloud services. But cloud services aren’t the only target of cyber attackers.
Cybercriminals are also attacking industrial controls responsible for managing power grids and such other infrastructures. These can be destroyed to steal identity and compromise data integrity. If data is compromised, it will breed distrust in an agency or company.
One of the primary reasons cyber attacks are increasing is the evolution of technology. As a result, cybercriminals are more sophisticated than before, and they are quickly adapting their methods of attack as per the different security systems and changing their targets.
The most accessible form of cyber attack is social engineering, and victims are targeted with spyware, phishing, and ransomware. Another common attack vector is third and fourth-party vendors processing your data with poor cyber security practices.
Information risk management has never been more critical, with data breaches hampering reputations and causing financial losses. Data breaches may involve financial information like protected health information, bank account details, credit card numbers, intellectual properties, trade secrets, etc. Other forms of data breaches may involve cloud leaks, data leaks, unintentional information disclosure, data spill, and more.
Other factors increasing cyber crimes are:
- Internet of Things and the proliferation of mobile devices
- The ability of hackers and cybercriminals to attack targets that are outside of their jurisdiction using sophisticated attack methods
- The distributed nature of the Internet
- The ease of commerce and profitability on the dark web
If you’re still not convinced, here are some reasons you must seriously start focusing on cyber security.
Cyber attacks can put you out of business instantly
It is a known fact that small businesses do not enjoy taking on new expenses. However, investing in cyber security is a smart investment and one that will safeguard you against potential cyber attacks.
Suppose you do not follow cyber security practices, and an attack occurs. In that case, you might face several damages in the form of notification costs, fines and penalties, credit monitoring, and loss resulting from identity theft.
When analyzing potential liabilities, investing in cyber security practices makes sense. However, it must be part of your budget.
Cyber attacks go beyond being an annoyance
Some organizations think they are doing their jobs by backing up their data. But they are in for a surprise. Hackers and cybercriminals are not interested in ruffling feathers out of mischief but are thieves. They rob bank accounts, steal personal identity information, file fraudulent tax returns, take refunds, etc.
Besides these, over 60% of small organizations victimized by cybercriminals go out of business immediately because they cannot handle the consequences.
Smartphones and other mobile devices are ripe for hacking
Mobile devices come with inbuilt security features, but no matter how much companies try to secure them, cybercriminals find gaps to attack.
However, even if your mobile device is secure, you might not enjoy the same level of security enjoyed when working in the office. So if you access confidential business information from your phone, you might be risking that information and exposing the data to hackers.
There are massive security holes when using mobile phones. For example, mobile devices might get lost or stolen. In addition, employees may open the wrong email and end up installing malware on their operating system, which compromises their data.
If your focus is not on security, your employees are unaware of cyber attacks, and stringent password requirements are not in place.
What Cyber Security Steps Must You Adopt?
You can utilize biometrics or fingerprint identification, avoid public Wi-Fi networks and install good anti-virus protection. Also, you can enable two-factor authentication so your accounts are safe and cybercriminals cannot get access to your data.
Ultimately, you can install a VPN and instruct your employees to use this software whenever they’re trying to connect to the company’s internal network. Moreover, individuals can also use VPNs for their personal use to protect their data.
The Bottom Line
So it would be best to question whether you are giving enough attention to cyber security. If not, you must take proper steps to safeguard your data and privacy to prevent data theft, identity theft and reputation loss.