Cyber Security. A serious business in today’s Business
Let us begin by reconciling the fact that the World is not a safe place. Absolutely no entity in this world can be rendered safe from any kind of attack/ damage. As the dependence of humans on computers and Internet has increased, so has the threat to hardware, software, or electronic data from damage/ theft/ alteration/ redirection. Cyber Threat/ attack has become one of the biggest problems of today’s world that can impact anyone from an individual to the biggest nations and industries.
Why Cyber Security ?
Cyber Security is important because Governments, Defence forces, Corporates (financial, law, medical organizations etc.) collect, process, and store unprecedented amounts of data on computers and other devices. Such data essentially consists of sensitive information, like intellectual property, financial data, personal information, or any other data for which unauthorized access or exposure could have detrimental consequences. Organizations transmit sensitive data across networks and to other devices in the course of doing businesses, and cyber security deploys the protection of that information and the systems used to process or store it. As the number and sophistication of cyber-attacks grow, companies especially those which handle information relating to national security, health, or financial records, need to take steps to protect their sensitive business and internal information.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security (or IT Security) refers to the gamut of technologies, processes, and practices designed to protect networks, devices, programs, and data from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. It is not limited to the software and monitoring that protect their email, operating system, network, and printing devices from malicious attack or data theft. It’s a multi-layered process that involves adequate planning, effective implementing and active monitoring to prevent any security breaches – which begins with the Internet and ends with the organization’s employees. A robust Cyber Security plan is implemented across the organization and involves continuous monitoring and real-time assessments. Typically, Cyber risk assessments focus on three key areas: identifying the organization’s most valuable information requiring protection; identifying the threats/ risks facing that information; and outlining the damage the organization would incur in case of loss or exposure of that data.
Let’s take a look at the Cyber Security solutions for businesses that are based on several lines of defence and a comprehensive approach:
- Email Filtering: the first step of Security indeed! The spam and/ or virus infected should be filtered out outside the organization’s firewall so the malicious code doesn’t enter the network.
- Web Filtering: again the most elementary and significant measure. Employees should not have access to malicious websites.
- Firewalls: Just like the front / main door of one’s home, this is the cyber front door for a company which should allow only authorized traffic.
- Network Access Control: Authorized devices only should be allowed to connect to the organization’s network. For wireless devices, access should be limited to only resources required for business operations.
- Network Security Monitoring: Generally rendered as a third party service, monitoring the network to detect any suspicious traffic is an important safety element.
- OS Security Patches: When the organization doesn’t regularly update the OS with security patches, hackers see it as a quick vulnerability to be targeted.
- Anti-virus/ Malware updates: most importantly the Anti-Virus/ Maleware software need to be updated to both detect and protect the system from new viruses.
- Application Security Patches: Organizations should ensure that applications are regularly updated to address newly discovered vulnerabilities.
- Printer Security: Printers today are more than just an output device. They should be configured with the proper settings as well as complete necessary firmware updates and patches.
- Disaster recovery/business continuity planning
- Employee Education: last but not the least for sure, Employees or human firewalls must be educated on the best practices of network security.
As the risks and threats become increasingly complex and damaging, more proactive and adaptive approach to cyber security is important. Cutting a long story short, an organization must be prepared to respond to an inevitable cyber threat, restore normal operations, and ensure that company assets and client data are protected. A well implemented Cyber security plan with security-conscious employee base provides the best defence against potential cyber miscreants attempting to tamper and destroy not just the organization’s data and assets but also its reputation and standing.