What you need to know about Cybersecurity (where do you start?)

Posted by Tom Burt on Mon, Oct 16, 2017 @ 1:54pm

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a pretty broad term, and it refers to all of the technologies, operational procedures, and planning that makes up a system of protection intended to protect your systems and vital data from breaches or attacks.

You’ve likely heard of things like anti-virus software before, but cybersecurity is much more complex and involves a much more thorough protection plan than installing anti-virus software.

Why is cybersecurity important?

Cybersecurity is extremely important because businesses and organizations of all kinds now store and make use of private data on devices and networks. Advancing technologies make our lives much more convenient, but also open everyone to risk of a security breach (having their information accessed, stolen, or compromised).

As technologies develop, so do the measures we need to take to ensure that the way we make use these changes does not open our business to new digital threats.

What do cybersecurity measures protect?

Cybersecurity measures protect personal data, business information, intelligence secrets, medical records, and intellectual property. All of this information, in the wrong hands, poses a significant risk of criminal activity. It is of the utmost importance that every business, organization, and individual take steps to ensure they keep their information secure. Luckily, there are many technologies, software programs, and consultants who can help keep your business safe.

What type of cyber threats exist?

Anyone who has ever operated a business has faced the threat of being a victim of crime or fraud. Now that businesses have gone online, these threats have taken a digital form, and the increasingly complex nature of our technological lives means cybersecurity is, in turn, an increasingly complex concern.

Generally, the goal of cyber threats of any kind, whether they are viruses, phishing attacks, hacking, or ransomware, is to access information that in some way, can lead to an illegal profit. This can take the form of directly stealing personal information such as credit card numbers or bank account information, but can also be more indirect, for example, by saving personal information for use in a phishing scam.

In an increasingly digital world, data is more valuable than ever, and the steps we need to take to protect our valuable business data are becoming more complex every day.  

Is cybersecurity necessary for my personal computer?

Though cybersecurity is admittedly a larger concern for businesses, it is important that you keep your personal devices and information safe as well. This is particularly crucial if you ever use your home devices to access business information or programs.

Losing your personal data to a breach of any kind can put your financial information, personal memories, photos, and digital collections at risk. Much like any business, you want to be sure you protect your private information, have antivirus software installed, and that you are sure to be careful about what technologies you trust to interact with on your personal computer.  

How do I know what cybersecurity I need for my business?

Cybersecurity is a very complex matter, and the world’s top professionals tend to dedicate themselves to identifying threats and how to resolve them. Completely understanding cybersecurity is not something you can do as a side project, or in your spare time.

Luckily, there are many businesses that exist simply to provide a more secure online presence for your business. These professionals are trained to assess any issue with your system and provide the necessary upgrades, training, patches, and software you need to continue securely. By working with a professional consultant or business, you get access to advice and support from industry experts, a much more valuable service to your team than struggling to do it all alone.

How much cybersecurity is enough?

Protecting yourself from Cybersecurity threats is important, and there are many measures you can take to ensure your valuable assets are protected. While we have all heard about potential cybersecurity threats, the majority of businesses, particularly small businesses, are not doing enough to protect themselves against cybersecurity threats.

A thorough cybersecurity plan takes your entire system (including technologies, devices, software, and staff policies and training) and evaluates any potential gaps in the system as it exists. More importantly, it helps you plan for any cybersecurity threats that might emerge in the future, as your business grows, or as cyberthreats become more sophisticated.

How do I prepare for future cybersecurity needs?

There are many ways you can help protect yourself and your business from cybersecurity threats. As your business grows, it is important that you conduct a complete information technology audit to be sure you take any potential security threat into account. Many businesses provide these IT auditing services and recommendations for changes to your cybersecurity systems and policies as part of a single process.

Conducing a complete cybersecurity audit can help you prepare your business to face any existing threats, but will also help you plan for growth in the future, and any addition technologies and services you may need as your business evolves.  

Planning for the future is the best way to avoid cybersecurity threats. Once your system has been breached, it is much harder to repair damage than to prevent it to begin with.

Can I eliminate every cybersecurity threat for my business?

No matter how prepared you may be, new cybersecurity threats can emerge at any moment. Having a full-trained staff, security systems, and updated programs in place is essential. But, a complete cybersecurity plan involves having a path to recovery ready in case of a disastrous cyber security event. Security, combined with a disaster recovery plan, backed up systems, and a plan of action in case the worse happens will prepare you to completely future-proof your business.

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