Whether your organization is a small startup or a multinational enterprise, cybersecurity is one of those responsibilities that gets lost in other company priorities. But cybersecurity cannot be overlooked, and is more critical today than ever before.
Cybersecurity Briefly Explained
Cybersecurity (sometimes referred to as IT security) is a way of protecting your workers, systems, and data from any threat of an attack; it covers people, processes and technology. With more data and devices connected to the Internet every second, the risk for every organization is escalating — with no end in sight.
No matter how secure you believe you are, you’re probably not as secure as you think. Consider all the data security breaches that happen to companies with massive security budgets. It’s a cold hard fact: you can never be secure enough.
We find that one of the best tools for mitigating risk is proper training and knowledge sharing throughout the entire company. You can purchase all the security hardware (like firewalls) and software on the market and still be left vulnerable. Regardless of these precautions, human error is often the root cause of attacks.
One weak link in the security chain and everything goes out the window.
The threats to our assets and data are skyrocketing. Almost everything that touches your business, especially if it is connected online, can and will be targeted.
Here are several prominent threats you should be aware of.
Phishing may be the most common form of attack — probably because it’s such an easy way for hackers to get the information they’re looking for. All it takes is one email that tricks you into believing it’s coming from a legitimate person or company.
Usually, the email will contain a link that brings you to a phony website disguised as a valid login or support page. Once you enter your data, you’ve opened the door for the attacker, who now has direct access to your confidential information.
Just like a phishing attack, these attacks are most often induced by clicking on a malicious link or visiting illegitimate/unsecure websites. In some cases, the malware is embedded directly in the download of software or files you may need. The purpose of malware is to unleash a malicious computer code on your network to wreak havoc on your systems.
Ransomware, which can also find its way onto your network from an email link or downloaded files, is an advanced form of malware that locks or encrypts your system with the intention of forcing you to pay a ransom in order to retrieve or unlock the data.
It’s important to note that even if you are a victim of ransomware and pay the ransom, there is no guarantee you will receive access to your files. Ransomware can significantly damage the files while it is encrypting them, causing them to become unrecoverable — even if the attacker provides you with the key to unlock them.
With social engineering, criminals use strategies to trick you into divulging sensitive information. The thing about social engineering is that it doesn’t require any technical expertise.
Think of your favourite spy movie: the hero (or villain) pretends to be someone they’re not to get what they want. That’s a form of social engineering.
For your company, the attacker may call one of your employees, establish trust by saying all the right things (they’ve done their research), then trick them into reveal confidential data or provide access to your systems.
In many cases (and an alarming trend), these calls or communications claim to be from the company CEO or CFO, directing the employee to transfer funds to a specific account.
Physical Security Breach
A physical security breach is pretty self-explanatory. We typically think of cybercriminals stealing data or confidential digital records, but hardware such as smartphones, laptops, desktop computers and storage devices are equally at risk for theft.
Unfortunately, hardware left in cars, coffee shops, and airports is more common than you might think. These security breaches are especially widespread for business travellers who may leave their devices in hotels, taxis or even on the plane.
Data Security Breach
Data security breaches happen when a company’s data or its customers’ data is stolen, leaked, or compromised as a result of a cyberattack. Data obtained in a security breach is almost always private, sensitive, or confidentia, and may contain personal and/or financial information.
What’s interesting about so many of today’s data breaches? They began with a phishing campaign.
DoS (Denial of Service) Attack
In a DoS attack, one or more of your computer resources cannot be accessed by you or your customers. Some DoS attacks have even brought down many of the Internet’s most popular sites simultaneously.
This attack is typically brought about by sending an overwhelming amount of data to your
computer network or server to process, thus bringing the service down.
In the more common distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, multiple compromised computer systems are used to send waves of traffic to the targeted company or companies.
You Don’t Have To Tackle It Alone
With so many threats to worry about, we get it — it can be overwhelming. It may even be too much for your company’s IT department.
There are a few places to start. First, check out some of the great resources available online to help with best practices. NIST’s extensive and SANS Institute’s of information security resources are incredibly helpful.
Further, it doesn’t hurt to have a little insurance to ease your mind.
That’s why cyber insurance should be something your organization should consider. Cyber insurance is steadily becoming a more common offering from insurance companies and is evolving rapidly as the threat of cyber attacks continues to grow.
- regulatory defense expenses like civil fines and legal fees
- security breach remediation and notification expenses
- crisis management expenses
- forensic investigations expenses
- computer and electronic data restoration expenses
- extortion and reward payments coverage
- business interruption expenses
All these expenses add up, and protecting your company is just as important as protecting yourself with health insurance.
CONNECT with us today to find out how we can work with you to make your company more secure with our . We’ll even work with your employees to get them up to speed with all the threats out there. You’ll also get support from a variety of partners we’ve teamed up with to make our security offerings as comprehensive as possible.