The rapid development of technology has caught us by surprise in some senses. A whole host of new security concerns have come about in the last decade, and a lot of us are still not keeping up. Every time we go online, we make ourselves incredibly vulnerable without even knowing it. Cyber crime is a term that we’ve only started using recently, and although governments are beginning to take measures to tackle it, we’re still on the back foot at the moment. The problem is that a lot of these online criminals are simply better at what they do than the people trying to stop them. The quickly evolving nature of technology means that every time we work out how to defend against one weapon, the criminals have developed two to replace it.
We all need to defend our personal computers from cyber crime, but when it comes to businesses, it is even more important. There is so much valuable information stored on your company’s system, not to mention all of the money that you are bringing in. Criminals are always looking for new ways to exploit your business so having a solid security plan in place is vital.
What Are The Dangers?
One of the main things that businesses need to watch out for is corporate espionage. If you are developing new products and services that set you apart from your competitors, then you are going to be keeping it quiet. By surprising your rivals with a product that only you can produce, you put them in a difficult position. They’ll all be scrambling to develop their own versions while you are bringing in huge profits. If you are the victim of corporate espionage, you won’t have this advantage. A lot of cyber criminals are hacking the IT systems of businesses and stealing valuable information on upcoming products. They can then sell this information to your competitors. You could end up losing a lot of money this way.
You could also end up losing money if your company bank accounts are not properly protected. Being defrauded by a cyber criminal will put you in a sticky situation because they are usually much harder to track than a traditional criminal, so you aren’t likely to get justice.
Some companies have fallen victim to so-called ‘hacktivist’ groups that have some moral issue with the way that they operate. If you upset one of these organizations for any reason, you might find your website being shut down, or sensitive details about your business being released to the public.
How Do They Do It?
There are so many different ways that criminals can exploit vulnerabilities in your system and it may seem impossible to keep on top of them all. If you are aware of the ways that people will try to attack you, then you will be in a much stronger position to defend against them. These are a few of the main methods that cyber criminals will use.
Malware is one of the most common forms of cyber attack out there. Malware is software that has been specifically designed to damage your system in some way or take out information without you knowing. There are a number of ways that it can get into your system, but email is the most common.
Another way of harming a business is to disrupt their systems. DDoS attacks are becoming more common these days, and it is fairly easy to download software that can do it for you. A distributed denial of service attack works by overloading a system with traffic until it comes crashing to a halt. This can cause you real problems, particularly if you sell goods through your website.
How Do You Stop Them?
Now that you know the dangers, you can start fighting back. One of the most important things when fighting cyber crime is identifying issues quickly. When running diagnostics, you will get so much information from different areas, and it can all get a bit jumbled. If your IT team have to sift through all of this data before they identify a risk, it could be too late. It is best to employ the services of a company that can offer next generation SEIM security operations, incident response, and threat hunting. That way you can view all of the relevant information in one easy to digest format, allowing you to identify threats a lot quicker. The key to combating online threats is catching them early and eliminating them before they have had a chance to do any real damage.
Hopefully, you won’t get to the point where you need to be identifying threats. You should be able to stop them from getting in to start with. Having a very clear security policy is vital. Make sure that every single member of staff knows exactly what they can and cannot load on a company computer. Encourage the use of strong passwords and tell them not to open any unfamiliar emails. Anything that has an attachment should be scanned with anti-virus software before you open it.
Putting anti-malware security in place is one of the first things you should be doing. Make sure that all of your firewalls are activated; this should stop some of the less complex malware from getting in. Unfortunately, criminals are evolving fast and they can get around firewalls quite easily a lot of the time.
Make sure that any employees that are taking laptops out of the office and working remotely are still adhering to the security protocols. If they slack off when they are at home, they might open you up to all sorts of dangers.
You should also be careful with your social media. While criminals might not be able to do too much damage with it, employees are at risk of releasing sensitive information that could help with their attempts to break into your system. Make sure that you have one or two dedicated people that post on your social media, and don’t let anybody else near it. As long as they know exactly what they can and cannot post, then you should be safe.