Cybersecurity is a game of cat and mouse. Every day, attackers discover new ways to exploit software vulnerabilities and users find new ways to defend against them. This perpetual struggle requires organizations to constantly balance the risks of cyber threats with the benefits of digital transformation. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what cyber security is, how it applies to businesses today, and why it’s a critical part of any company’s future.
What is Cyber Security?
Security is one of the most important aspects of cyber risk. When organizations think about security, they often focus on protecting their IT infrastructure or physical assets. But when it comes to cyber, security also involves protecting your data and the people who use it. In fact, security is a big part of cyber because it involves managing the risk of any digital transformation or new technology implementation.
It’s important to remember that security isn’t a one-time event or a project with a set timeline. Instead, it’s an ongoing process that organizations need to continuously prioritize and improve. Cybersecurity is the protection against malicious use of digital technology to disrupt operations, damage property, steal money, or obtain sensitive information like personal data, trade secrets, or government secrets.
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Why is Cyber Security Important?
Cybersecurity is a critical part of any company’s future. Organizations that don’t prioritize it are at greater risk of experiencing an attack, which can lead to significant reputational damage and financial losses. In fact, hackers have created huge financial challenges for companies and governments across the globe.
Ransomware attacks alone have grown from a $300 million industry in 2003 to a $6 billion industry in 2017. As cyber threats become more pervasive, the stakes are higher than ever. And companies need to adjust their security strategies to be prepared for a rapidly evolving threat landscape. Here’s why:
- More digital transformation means an increase in digital risk - When organizations implement new technology or create new digital offerings, they often open up new points of vulnerability. For example, organizations that rely heavily on the cloud run the risk of losing control of their data because they don’t own the infrastructure. Meanwhile, organizations that put AI and machine learning solutions to work need to make sure they have the right security protocols in place to protect customer data. In each case, organizations need to add an extra layer of protection to mitigate the increased risk.
- Increased collaboration and connectivity add to collaboration risk - Collaboration and new ways of working are valuable aspects of digital transformation. But when you introduce new tools that allow employees to communicate, share information, and collaborate, you also create new points of risk. For example, collaboration tools like Slack have become a popular way for teams to communicate and work together more efficiently. But, hackers have taken advantage of this, creating fake channels and tricking users into clicking on malicious links. So, organizations need to take extra precautions to protect their team members.
- Growing dependence on technology makes us more susceptible to technological risk - The same technology that makes our lives easier can also put us at risk. For example, many of us rely on smartphones and other devices with wireless capabilities to handle everything from communication to commerce. But as wireless technology has become more popular, it has also become a target for cybercriminals. As a result, we’ve seen Bluetooth-enabled devices become a source of malware, botnets, and other cyber threats.
Types of Cyber Crimes and Incidents
Although cybercrime is often discussed in general terms, it’s important to understand the different types of cyber crimes and cyber incidents that organizations face. Knowing the different types of crimes and incidents and their potential impact can help you prioritize your cybersecurity strategies.
- Cybercrime - Cybercrime is any illegal activity that involves the use of computers and networks. It includes crimes such as online fraud, data theft, ransomware attacks, and denial-of-service attacks.
- Cybersecurity Incidents - An incident is a security breach or other disruption that has yet to result in a crime. When hackers breach a system, it’s considered an incident, not a crime.
- Cyber Threats - A cyber threat is any scenario that could lead to a cybercrime or cybersecurity incident. Threats include malicious software, such as ransomware, and botnets that can be used to create disruption or steal data.
- Cybersecurity Breaches - A breach is the unauthorized acquisition or theft of sensitive or private data. For example, a breach could occur when an employee mistakenly sends sensitive data to the wrong person.
Strategies to Build a Stronger Cyber Security Culture
As you navigate the cyber risk landscape, it’s important to make security an ingrained part of your culture. To do that, you need to put in place processes and protocols that make cybersecurity a priority for everyone in the organization, not just IT.
Here are three strategies to make cybersecurity a priority for your organization: Invest in Cybersecurity-savvy employees and leaders who understand the cyber landscape and take a proactive approach to security will go a long way toward protecting your organization from cyber threats.
To make cybersecurity a priority for employees, you can:
- Hold training sessions to educate employees on the latest cyber threats. - Include cybersecurity topics in your company culture and leadership discussions.
- Create an organizational structure that makes cybersecurity a top priority.
- Engage in Risk Assessment - Risk assessment is an important part of any risk management strategy, including cybersecurity. When you conduct a risk assessment, you evaluate the threats your organization faces and determine what you can do to mitigate those risks. You can also use a risk assessment to identify areas where you can improve your cybersecurity strategy.
- Follow a Security-first Approach - The best way to protect your organization from cyber threats is to build security into every new technology or digital transformation initiative from the beginning. This means working with experts to make sure you know what threats you face and how to address them.
Cybersecurity is a critical part of any company’s future. To protect your organization against the growing number of cyber threats, you need to make security an ingrained part of your culture. Cybersecurity requires a combination of investment, risk assessment, and following a security-first approach to new technology and digital initiatives.