What is cyber security?
The virtual computing world is often referred to as cyber space, and most organizations have claimed their slice of cyber space (websites, online networks, connected devices). As with owned physical spaces, cyber spaces must be kept secure. Cyber security is a means of protecting virtual spaces and their resources. You wouldn’t leave your organization’s building unlocked, and you don’t want to leave your cyber spaces accessible to nefarious individuals either.
What are the risks of inadequate cyber security? The risks of inadequate cyber security include:
- Data theft. This includes theft of credit card numbers, social security or social insurance numbers, driver’s license information, or other type of data belonging to customers and/or employees.
- Altered files. A hacker can cook the books, so to speak.
- Purchases made in your organization’s name, but were unauthorized.
- Use of your computing infrastructure to send computer viruses to other computer networks.
- Malware that can cause damage to your networks and systems.
- Ransomware extortion demands, leading to high clean-up costs.
What are the consequences of inadequate cyber security?
Organizations with inadequate cyber security that suffer a data breach are liable to face reputational damage, customer losses and/or litigation. In turn, these consequences are liable to affect an organization’s ability to attract prime talent, suppliers, and investors.
How can organizations become cyber secure?
Implementing strong cyber security requires a multi-pronged approach that leverages the latest technologies, strategic processes, and human resources.
Cyber threat prevention is critical. “Real-time prevention is the key to protecting our organizations and employees from a cyber attack of cataclysmic, cyber pandemic proportions,” state industry experts. Cyber security measures that your organization can take include:
- Investing in firewall technology. Firewalls are security gateways that offer authentication protection, traffic inspection, network address translation and more. Firewalls are ideal for protecting all types of network environments. In 1994, Check Point Software Technologies created the world’s first firewall, and the company continues as an industry pioneer and leader when it comes to innovative cyber security systems. To view Check Point’s firewall products, click here.
- Backing up your data. This may seem like an obvious step, but many organizations miss this measure. You will not regret taking the time to do this, especially if ransomware hits your system, and the hackers hold your data hostage. Third-party vendors offer data backup services.
- Consider a zero-trust model. The zero-trust model focuses on network segmentation, and limiting access privileges, minimizing the potential for data theft or data loss. While it is possible to implement a zero-trust approach in conjunction with point-solutions, due to the complex deployment process, it may be most convenient to obtain a zero-trust security product in conjunction with a single, consolidated cyber security architecture. To learn more about consolidated cyber security architectures, click here.
- Turn automatic updates on for all of your systems. Ensure that your software stays up to date, and always install any newly released patches immediately. You can use free online services to identify any software on your system that is due for updates.
- Cyber security awareness among employees. Ensure that your employees understand their role in assisting with cyber security, and that they are aware of company policies and protocols. Help employees recognize potential threats, and learn what to do in the event of a cyber incident.