09 August 2018
The internet has connected us all in ways that never seemed possible not even 30 years ago. In the 1990’s and even early 2000’s, mobile phones were bricks and computers were the size of a microwave.
Fast forward to the current day and almost anything can be done online, from connecting to long lost friends to checking monthly finances via internet banking. But with all this technology comes the need for cyber security to protect from online criminals.
Online security is no longer an optional add on; it’s a necessity. Cyber-attacks are causing damage to individuals and businesses across the globe. Project managers must have an awareness and understanding to keep their businesses online activity as secure as possible.
Cyber Attacks Affect Everyone
People are comfortable giving out their personal information online without putting too much thought into the consequences. If a stranger approached and asked to access personal information, hobbies and interests, they would be told that it’s none of their business.
Compare that to the number of privacy policies and terms of conditions people agree to without reading online, it’s easy to picture how much private information is available for hackers to try and access.
If a hacker gets into an email account or text message on a mobile phone, they have the potential to send malware to people in that person’s name. Because it has appeared to be sent from said person, a colleague or friend is more likely to open that email or text containing the malware, as opposed to random junk mail or text from an unknown number.
Once it has been opened, the hacker will get access to that person’s and/or businesses important and sensitive data. There is no limit as to what the hacker can access.
Cyber Attacks Can Have Severe Consequences
Any device that can access the internet is susceptible to being subject to a cyber-attack so it’s more important than ever that you protect yourself from these criminals.
One of the most recent and biggest news stories involving cyber security comes from Hillary Clinton’s ill-fated presidential election campaign. She set up an private email server at her home that has access to all her professional and personal correspondence during her time as secretary of state. If compromised, hackers would have been able to access potential government secrets.
The better technology becomes, the more vital it becomes to protect against cyber-criminals. A prime is example is big data; this may become one of the most vulnerable due to the sheer size of files and the amount of information that must be kept safe from intruders.
The number of cyber security threats are increasing all the time so it’s vital businesses are vigilant and know how to protect from online cyber-attacks.
Here are some of the main principles to be aware of to keep your businesses secure from cyber criminals.
Identify Main Areas Of Protection
Businesses must look at their current systems and see where they are most vulnerable to cyber attacks. The repercussions of a cyber-attack will vary depending on what sector the business is in. Analyse possible outcomes of a data breach and identify measures to ensure they cannot occur. Increase expenditure in cyber security in these areas to reduce the risk of being compromised.
Many organisations think it’s easier to just upload everything online to the cloud. This is not the solution. Cloud services are just run from somebody else’s computer. If they do not have the required protection, they are just as vulnerable to attacks.
Being cynical, if a business has found areas of weakness and protected against it, a hacker will move on to another that may not have the same security measures in place. Do not be the company that has the poorest cyber security.
Protect From Human Activity
One of the most simple forms of hacking comes from fooling an individual into giving the hacker their password, known as phishing. This can be done from cold calling to being directed to a website filled with pop ups. This means that software are not the only culprits when it comes attempting cyber-attacks.
Cold calls claim to be from reputable organisations that supposedly have found malware on a computer. The criminal will attempt to install a piece of software which, according to them, removes the malware from the machine when in fact it’s installing actual malware. Hackers will ask for passwords to enable access to the machine.
Pop up scams work similarly to cold calling. Websites will often display many different pop ups all indicating that there is malware on the machine. They will show a solution to follow to remove the supposed harmful software when in fact, like the cold calling, they lead to installing real malware.
Strong passwords and general awareness of these scams are imperative cyber security measures to take. Train staff to make them fully aware of cyber security risks to ensure they don’t fall into these traps.
Take Care Of Data
Businesses will have data that is invaluable and cannot risk it being stolen. This data must be backed up and encrypted for extra protection.
There must also be controls of how data is stored and accessed overall. If there is only one way to get into the data then it makes it easier to protect. However, if there are more ways than one to get into it, extra security measures must be put in place.
There is also the matter of protecting data leaving the business. For example, if emails are not encrypted, there is potential for them to be intercepted, leaving data exposed to cyber-criminal activity. Sensitive data should never be leaving the organisation. There must be systems in place to ensure valuable information is safe and secured.
It Doesn’t Stop There
Technology is constantly evolving so businesses must stay one step ahead. The principles that have just been discussed are just a handful of important measures to take.
Cyber security should be kept constantly near the top of an organisation’s priorities. Any sort of breach can result in penalties from governing bodies which will result in heavy costs. But it’s not just financial loss. Reputations will be destroyed and customer faith along with it.
Contact us for more information on cyber security.