Protection of sensitive data has become more vital than ever in an era where cybersecurity breaches seem to increase at an alarming rate. According to Gartner’s estimates, global spending on cyber security solutions will reach $188 billion by 2023.
Recent high-profile breaches have underscored the necessity of businesses and organizations defending against cyber threats. In these incidents, confidential data was exposed or stolen and may result in financial loss, customer attrition and damage to company reputation – potentially devastating outcomes for any organization that operates over computerized networks such as medical services or retail. While some industries may present more attractive targets to cyber criminals (e.g. medical services and retail), all companies operating over computer networks remain susceptible.
Even as cybersecurity solutions advance rapidly, cybercriminals continue to find more sophisticated ways to breach company systems and steal information stored therein, disrupt operations or obtain money or valuable resources for themselves. Therefore, maintaining cybersecurity requires ongoing effort in keeping abreast of emerging threats.
Cyber safety can often be misunderstood; for instance, many may mistakenly believe it refers only to protecting children online and teaching them not to click suspicious links. But in truth cybersafety covers much more – from how individuals interact with social media networks such as Facebook or Instagram through to selecting passwords and what happens on computers and mobile phones.
An effective cyber risk management strategy protects businesses against threats that exploit vulnerabilities, from hackers seeking to access and manipulate a network’s internal or external data, to those seeking financial gain by stealing confidential information or disabling operations of systems. This may include those acting for political or ethical motivations.
Malware and phishing pose two of the greatest cyber threats, with malware being particularly damaging. Malware refers to any kind of software developed and deployed by cybercriminals to cause harm on a computer or its users, such as infiltrating clean files with harmful code or monitoring their internet activity for financial or other gain; or as ransomware attacks which lock users out and demand payment to unlock access back.
An effective cybersecurity posture requires encrypting all information in transit and at rest to protect it from being intercepted or stolen, using multiple layers of defence such as firewalls, antivirus software and antimalware tools to keep out unwanted visitors, backing up critical data in case anything goes wrong with primary systems, having backup plans in case something disrupts operations or requires emergency measures, disaster recovery plans detailing responses should incidents cause information loss or operations disruption occur as well as business continuity plans to respond effectively in such instances.