The importance of cyber security is often gravely underestimated by business owners.
Many modern businesses operate online, which means they are inextricably linked to the use of computers and information technologies. Regardless of the size of the company, all of them at different stages of development interact with large amounts of various kinds of data.
Here is a far from complete list:
- employees, managers, owners, and shareholders personal data
- information about customers (partners, suppliers)
- contracts and supplies data
- technological and logistic information
- schemes, prototypes, information on the development of new products, etc.
Without a doubt, information is critical to any business and therefore demands a careful approach to its security.
For example, physical documents may be well-secured by a lock on a safe in the manager’s office, but the information stored in cloud services, on employees' computers, on dedicated storage facilities, or in databases requires a well-thought-out cyber security system.
Cyber security trends
If earlier the targets of cyber attacks were mainly giants with an annual turnover of several billion dollars, today even political leaders, show business stars, and heads of various companies become victims of cyber criminals, as is often the case with Deepfakes.
Naturally, those business owners who understand the importance of cyber security in business are interested in taking into account all modern trends.
That is why when talking about cyber security trends it is important to be aware of what threats you are likely to encounter.
Let's talk about the most common ones.
Ransomware has been one of the most serious threats in modern cyberspace for the past few years. Such software blocks the operation of devices until the “victim” pays the attackers the required ransom.
At risk are government agencies, private businesses, hospitals, and even ordinary users.
A striking example of the ransomware virus is Djvu, which arose in early 2019. Malicious software can quickly subdue an infected computer because it bypasses the user's vigilance by disguising itself as a system update.
Previously, Windows equipment was most at risk, but now cybercriminals have significantly expanded their range of activities. Cases of viruses designed to attack Linux, Mac, and even smartphones are rising. According to CSO's assumptions, the next target of such viruses could also be the growing “Internet of Things” market.
System Weaknesses with Big Data and Cloud Services
Cloud storage is a favorite for cybercrime, as it’s no secret that many companies store important commercial information there.
One of the biggest examples of recent years was the hacking of the Equifax credit company, of which hackers gained access to confidential data (including social security numbers, dates of birth, and home addresses) of about 147 million customers of the company. Claims by regulators and customers cost Equifax a lot - the company pledged to pay between $575 and $700 million under a global agreement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 US states.
Cyber security experts are confident that situations with large-scale data leaks will continue to be repeated in the future because on the DarkNet stolen information with personal data is in great demand.
Human Factors and Malicious Spam Links
Often, business owners think in a very stereotypical fashion about the process of hacking a computer system. Their perception is that there is one or a group of cybercriminals who prey on company corporate data.
It’s not always like that. Very often, the cause of information leakage is the company employees themselves due to their own inattention. In particular, this concerns the discovery of malicious spam links from the internet. Thus, malicious programs gain easy access to the corporate computer network making jobs much easier for hackers - with access to bank account numbers, personal data of employees, etc.
To minimize such risks, the best that managers can do is pay more attention to the issue of employee information literacy. It is appropriate to periodically conduct training and lectures on personal and corporate information security.
Challenges Without Cyber security
Let’s take a closer look at the problems that insufficient attention to cyber security within the company can lead to.
- Violation of confidentiality
Example: new product data, customer bases, or a marketing plan have become available to your competitors. You can safely assume that they will take full advantage of this information- they will take customers from you, take advantage of ready-made technological solutions, and break the entire marketing strategy.
- Data integrity violation
Example: attackers gained access to the databases of counterparties and changed their bank details. As a result, after financial transactions are made, the money does not go to the suppliers' accounts, but to the accounts of the attackers. The loss of financial assets can be devastating to the company even result in complete bankruptcy.
- Access violation
Example: as a result of hacker intervention and the introduction of virus programs, the work of the company's information systems was completely disrupted, which means that the company's business processes, production, and logistics are at risk.
How do you like these scenarios? Not at all, surely.
But there is good news! Such cases can be avoided if you build the right cyber security system.
It is important to remember that a universal security system does not exist. It should be built individually and take into account the needs, requirements, and nature of each company.
For example here at YSBM we follow some key rules:
- the server can be accessed only with ssh key
- all source code is stored in git and shared with persons who it may concern
- all server ports except those which are needed for work are closed for access
- all of that is controlled by a responsible DevOps & security engineer
Of course, there are certain procedures for sharing, using corporate profiles, etc., which are also regularly monitored.
Such a responsible attitude to cyber security within our company gives us confidence in the safety of important information and a significant competitive advantage, as well as being key to the trust of our customers.
Thus, we can safely say that cyber security should become an indispensable part of your business strategy, and you need to pay special attention to it, as it can reliably protect your company’s business from information leakage, unforeseen situations, and financial losses.