Understanding how cyber crime thrives is key to protecting your business

In the last few years, cybercrime has risen to the top of discussions across various businesses as a result of the many headline-grabbing incidents we have witnessed.
 Understanding How Cyber Crime Thrives is Key to Protecting Your Business
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Businesses and their customers are more than ever concerned about cyber security — affecting, among other factors, the decision making process.

Unfortunately, the hurdles to be scaled by businesses like yours, in the quest for enhanced protection, grow by the day. Protecting against threats is now more challenging as businesses run on hybrid infrastructures in an application economy. The key to protecting your business is to understand how cybercrime thrives and take active steps towards staying ahead of the curve at every turn.

Phishing

This is the most common type of cyber-attack on businesses. Criminals send information to an employee, in a bid to get them to take action that could lead to the compromising of the confidentiality of business information or worse, unleashing of “ransomware” or other software-based attacks. To protect your business, create an atmosphere where staff should be wary of urgent and unexpected requests. Such requests are red flags that are ignored leading up to attacks. Cultivate a business culture where members of staff can easily challenge requests that don’t look right.

Similarly, it is important to make cyber security training an integral part of your business training. All employees should be aware of their responsibilities when it comes to fighting cyber security. It is during the training that employees must be trained on the need for strong passwords, avoiding the use of work computers on public WiFi and more. Such training is doubly important if your business practices a BYOD policy. Your contract staff shouldn’t be left out as they are as much risk to your business as full-time employees.

Hardware

Some of the more robust cyber-attacks do not come through subtle infiltrations like phishing. Hackers can launch full-scale attacks through your hardware. At a time when all hardware (from computers to coffee makers) is interconnected, the hardware risk is perhaps more pronounced today than ever. You need to understand IoT cyber security risks to reduce the chances of vulnerability in unexpected hardware undermining your safety systems.

Similarly, there should be clear distinctions between system-critical hardware and other hardware across your business premises. This is to ensure adequate encryption-based protection is deployed where necessary. A hacker can only access information through a critical piece of hardware if it is unencrypted. Similarly, the wider security network should be protected by a firewall. Even when your operating systems have firewalls automated, it is important to perform a security audit to decide on whether there is a need for an additional layer of hardware or software based firewall protection.

The threat of cybercrime is one that will always loom over businesses at every level. Adequate understanding of how vulnerabilities can be triggered is the only way to prevent a possibly financially debilitating attack.

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