Phishing, malware, the dark net, email scams, denial of service attacks… all have become, to some extent, part of our everyday language, and whilst many people may not know exactly what they mean, to cyber security professionals they say one thing – cyber threats. And to counter protect, detect and react to such threats, you need a thorough and effective cyber security strategy.
So what do we mean, in simple terms, by cyber security?
Cyber security relates to the steps that are taken to reduce the risks of a cyber attack and to contain the damage should an attack breach your IT infrastructure, and quite often is referred to as Information Technology Security.
The prime purpose of Cyber Security is to:
- Secure the network of smart devices we all use in our everyday and work lives. It’s not just smartphones, laptops, tablets and computers. Rapid digital transformation has enabled a myriad of connected devices that we use to make our work, home lives and wider communities more efficient. From smart tvs, doorbells and meters in the home, to connected vehicles on the road, and the thousands upon thousands of digitally connected sensors, devices and automated systems across every sector you can think of, the opportunity for cyber crime has never been so great, more technology brings more risk.
- Secure all the services we access online. More and more organisations are shifting both their IT infrastructure, software and services to the cloud, enabling businesses to operate at scale, reduce technology costs and use agile systems that give them the competitive edge. Robust cloud security is critical to configure, deploy and use cloud services securely.
- Protect the vast amounts of personal and sensitive data that is stored, shared and processed on and across those devices and online services. Data is the prime prize for cyber criminals, their ‘success model’ is based on stealing, blocking access to, or threatening to corrupt personal and sensitive data, using it to negotiate ransomware or to sell on. From credit card data to employment records to health and patient data, all have a market value for those looking to exploit others for gain. A business needs to understand which data is attractive to an attacker and how to protect it effectively against theft, loss or damage.
- Respond to any incidents and minimise damage. It is now widely recognised that even with the best cyber security measures in place, you can’t stop every single attack, therefore containing a breach quickly is critical to protect against further attacks and to minimise losses.
A cyber attack can maliciously disable devices, steal data, or use a compromised device as a launch point for other attacks. But it can also do so much more than that. The long term implications are huge. A security incident can have devastating consequences when you take into account lost revenue, lost customer and employee trust, regulatory fines and damage to an organisation’s reputation.
Criminals use new technologies to commit cyberattacks against governments, businesses and individuals. As technology constantly evolves, security threats are becoming even more sophisticated, advancing and changing more quickly than organisations can keep up with, and cyber crime is now perceived to be the fastest growing crime in the world.
Interpol says “Cybercrime is progressing at an incredibly fast pace. Cybercriminals are becoming more agile, exploiting new technologies with lightning speed, tailoring their attacks using new methods, and cooperating with each other in ways we have not seen before. Complex criminal networks operate across the world, coordinating intricate attacks in a matter of minutes.”
To shore up your cyber security and to make it more difficult for cyber criminals to exploit your systems, data and processes and reputation, we would recommend that you call upon a specialist MSSP (Managed Services Security Provider), such as ourselves. Interested to know how an MSSP differs from a MSP (Managed Services Provider)? Read the differences here in a recent post.
Get in touch with the Infosec Partners team for more information about how we can protect your systems, your processes, your data, your customers, and your brand, against the rising tide of cyber attacks.