Cyber Security Basics - What Your Business Needs To Know
Technology has helped bridge the gap between businesses and their customers by giving a variety of ways to strengthen relationships with customers and meet their demands. All of our devices are connected to the internet in some way to allow us to access information and make transactions with ease, leaving them vulnerable to harmful attacks from hackers, such as phishing, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), Man-in-the-middle (MitM), SQL injection attacks, data breaches, and many more. The threats are becoming more common and sophisticated as technology advances, putting businesses at risk of losing hundreds, if not millions, of pounds. Company owners are becoming more aware of the severe consequences that result from neglecting cybersecurity practices. Therefore, a lot of companies exert massive efforts and invest huge sums of money in increasing their cybersecurity practices to shield themselves from these harmful threats. These practices are best known as cybersecurity solutions.
It is essential for business owners to understand the basics of cybersecurity and be aware of the most common types of cyberattacks to make the best decisions when building up their systems and network, ensuring a safe environment for exchanging sensitive information.
Why is cyber security important?
Cybersecurity has become an essential pillar in the success of any business in the modern world. Especially with the increasing number of cyberattacks. A cyber breach can have a devastating impact on all types of businesses. Even major companies and brands are still struggling with attacks. Recently, supercar giant Ferrari announced that their system was the target of a vicious data breach attack in March 2023, but lucky for them, no bank account details or sensitive payment details were compromised. Such attacks could destroy the reputation and credibility of a company. The most valuable asset that companies have in the digital world is their reputation. The digital world depends on trust between companies and their customers. According to several studies by researchers such as Zamry A. D. and Nayan S. M., customers are unlikely to purchase an item from a company if their security levels are low. Reinforcing your cybersecurity systems and adopting multiple cybersecurity practices is proof of reliability for customers to feel safe when submitting their sensitive data to your business systems. Failing to do so would risk losing the trust of the customers, which can lead to less loyalty to your business and decreased sales. A great way to show your business is trustworthy is through the cyber security essentials certificate which is backed by the UK government to help business owners obtain the minimum level of security for their networks and systems.
Cybersecurity for businesses is extremely important because without it you could be left with massive financial losses and legal liabilities. There have been a lot of incidents in which companies failed to recover financially from cyberattacks. According to a report by Cybercrime Magazine in 2019, approximately 60% of small businesses closed within six months after a cyberattack on their business. Target was the victim of one of the largest data breach incidents in history in 2013. The hackers stole 40 million credit and debit card credentials, forcing them to pay around $18.5 million in settlements. Other examples of vicious cyberattacks include TalkTalk in 2015, which cost them approximately 42 million euros in compensation, and Code Spaces in 2014, which was extremely severe and destroyed almost all of their data, which they were unable to recover from, forcing them to shut down their operations.
Cyberattacks could have a devastating impact on your business; therefore, it is essential to obtain a top-notch cybersecurity solution that can prevent those massive losses and protect the company from the different types of cyberattacks.
Cyber security solutions explained
Imagine if you have some money set on a table; just by doing so, it is extremely easy for someone to take all the money and run away, right? However, imagine that you put that money in a safe, built a strong wall, hired security guards, installed an alarm system, and locked the place. Now, it is extremely difficult for a robber to steal your money. Using cybersecurity solutions is the same concept, where the money represents your company’s data and the other elements represent the different cybersecurity solutions for your business. In a nutshell, cybersecurity solutions refer to the measures and procedures taken to protect digital systems, networks, and information from various threats that could steal, damage, or corrupt them. As hackers are developing new ways to attack us every day, we need to equip ourselves with various ways to prevent their attacks. Cybersecurity solutions can include a variety of layers to provide comprehensive protection against attacks. The more layers involved in the process, the better it is at defending against attacks. One of the key factors in possessing the right cybersecurity solution is understanding the different types of threats and the methodologies by which they could infiltrate your systems.
There are several entry points that hackers rely on to infiltrate the network of your company. It is important to create a robust cybersecurity strategy that serves at protecting the different layers of components in your network and system while closing any potential entry points. Below are the five most important cybersecurity solutions for businesses that your company should focus on to create a solid and powerful cybersecurity strategy:
Firewall solutions are the first line of defense that protects the network. Their main objective is to monitor and filter all the incoming and outgoing traffic on the network. They are the wall that separates the private internal network from the public Internet. They work as a filter for all the malicious traffic on the network and block them from infiltrating the private network.
2. Antivirus and Anti-malware software:
This is one of the most popular cybersecurity solutions that we as individuals or companies adopt; however, it is crucial to keep them updated to obtain the best performance. The main purpose of the anti-virus and anti-malware software is to detect and remove any potential threats to the system. It removes any potential viruses, malware, or malicious software by regularly scanning the files and programs on the system. They require continuous updates because threats are developing each day, and old software will not be able to detect the new versions of threats on the system.
Commonly, there are three types of anti-virus software, and even though they share the same purpose, they differ in their detection methods:
- Signature-based.: The signature is a trace or a pattern that’s associated with an attack, usually, it could be a series of bytes, unauthorized access on the network, unauthorized software execution, unauthorized network access, or unauthorized directory access. This type of Anti-virus software focuses on the code, and compares the signature of any malware that it detects on the system with its database and acts accordingly.
- Behavior-based: This type of Anti-virus software relies on the behavior or actions of the threat rather than its code. It detects the behavior or actions of typical malware. It detects the unusual behaviors that could occur.
- Machine Learning: This type relies on algorithms to detect attacks. It is considered as the most recent type of anti-virus.
3. Intrusion detection and Prevention systems:
The role of intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDPS) is to detect and block cyberattacks that occur in real time. They mainly monitor the traffic and identify any suspicious activity or unauthorized access to the system. They are very handy in providing real-time protection from any cyberattacks. Besides blocking the attacks, the IDPS sends alerts and reports directly to the relevant IT team to initiate an immediate investigation into the attempt. Redsquid’s gateway security solutions are an easy-user-friendly solution that grants your company real time monitoring and protection. There are mainly five main categories of the IDPS, each differing in its approach to blocking activities:
- Network Intrusion Detection System.
- Network Node Intrusion Detection System.
- Host Intrusion Detection System.
- Protocol-Based Intrusion Detection System.
- Application Protocol-Based Intrusion Detection System.
It is also important to understand that each IDPS operates differently when identifying suspicious activity. Three methods of detection are being utilized by the IDPS:
- Signature-Based Intrusion Detection.
- Anomaly-Based Intrusion Detection.
- Hybrid Intrusion Detection
In reverse, you can protect systems by securing your endpoints. They provide centralized management and visibility into the security posture of each endpoint on the network. This would help your company to secure the different points in your network and raise your security levels even more. Your company can benefit more from the endpoint security solutions and our experts will guide you step-by-step on how to utilise and implement them effectively on your system with our managed endpoint security solution
Encryption means transforming the data into a code with a specific key and password to decrypt and protect it from any unauthorized access. Mainly, there are two types of encryption: symmetric and asymmetric. The main difference between the two types is that symmetric uses the same key for both the encrypting and decrypting processes, while asymmetric uses a different key, which provides more security to the data. Data backup and recovery is an important factor in ensuring the safety and security of data even in case of physical disasters and damages to your business.
5. Data Backup and recovery
It is a defensive mechanism that comes in handy when the company faces a cyberattack. It provides the company with a backup version of the data; one of the most common solutions for this is a cloud-based backup solution.
There are plenty of other cybersecurity solutions that you can implement for your business to help you protect your system and data from any malicious attacks that threaten your operations. Based on the type of activities and the data stored in your company, you might select multiple solutions to ensure several layers of protection and give you the strength to stop any attack. Our experts can help you find the cybersecurity solution that suits your business’s size and needs.
What are the different types of cyber security?
There are six major types of cybersecurity, each of which tackles a specific entry point for threats:
- Network Security (Firewalls, gateway security, pen testing); Intended to protect the network.
- Cloud Security (cloud solution in ICT); intended to protect activities on the cloud.
- Endpoint Security (endpoint security page); intended to secure the end users i.e employees device from malicious threats when interacting with the company or working outside of the office.
- Mobile Security (Mobile device management page); intended to protect the devices that have access to the company’s data.
- IoT Security (More general)
- Application Security (Intended to protect the interactions of applications and APIs)
How to protect your business from cyber-attacks?
Protecting your business from cyberattacks does not have to be confusing and can be achieved with a managed solution that fits your company’s needs. There are three main elements that businesses need to address to have a solid cybersecurity system: people, processes, and technology. The main element is to understand the different types of threats and the nature of your systems to choose the most appropriate solution that would fit your requirements. It is essential to have a solid strategy that covers all the different entry points whilst highlighting the weak points in your system. The strategy should contain several layers of defense; you cannot count on the firewall’s protection alone, as if it fails to protect the system, your company’s data will be vulnerable and at risk of being captured. This strategy is called a cybersecurity risk management plan. It demonstrates the roles of the different IT team members in the event of any threats and how they could mitigate this risk in the future.
The strategy should highlight all the procedures that should be taken in case of any infiltration into the system; additionally, it should include an incident response plan highlighting the weak points in the system through which the company was being targeted and the procedures taken to prevent the attack. The training of staff is a crucial element in this process because if the staff are not well trained, they could miss the chance to prevent a malicious attack that would cost the company massive financial losses. At Redsquid we offer a host of managed cybersecurity solutions that are tailored to your business. Our experts will train your staff and guide you to the right solution for your business that will bolster your security. Contact one of our experts today to get started.