There is no denying that cyber-attacks present a grave danger to organizations and employees. With the growing dependence on technology to help store vital information, any cyber-attack can destroy a thriving business and harm a person’s reputation and personal life. This is the reason why organizations around the globe have started considering cyber-attacks an imminent threat, and are spending a lot of money on cybersecurity and training their employees on what they should and shouldn’t do to protect their digital assets.
Here are some cybersecurity FAQs that will help you understand the graveness of cybersecurity and why it’s essential for businesses and individuals to protect themselves against cyber-attacks.
What is Cybersecurity?
First, what is cybersecurity? As the name suggests, cybersecurity is a set of technologies, practices, and procedures that help protect networked computers from unauthorized use and access. Cybersecurity can be further divided into two components — cyber-attacks and cyber defenses. Cyber-attacks are offensive techniques that let attackers take control of somebody else’s digital assets, while cyber-defense is protecting digital assets from unauthorized use and counter-measures that intend to mitigate attacks.
What are the Different Types of Cyber Threats?
Although most cyber threats are unique, they can broadly be categorized into three main categories:
Confidentiality Attacks — These attacks include stealing somebody’s personal information, such as social media profiles, bank accounts, and credit card data. Usually, this stolen information reaches the dark web, where it is sold to interested parties.
Integrity Attacks — This is the attack that usually worries organizations the most. In this case, cybercriminals get access to the sensitive information of businesses and organizations. These criminals can then share this sensitive information with competing firms or expose all the data to the public. Such an attack can often destroy a business.
Availability Attacks — If a cyber-criminal is successful in carrying out an availability attack, they can stop business or individuals from accessing their own information on the internet until the victim pays a ransom. If this happens, organizations sometimes have to pay the ransom before fixing the vulnerability.
Why Do Organizations Need to Worry About Cybersecurity?
We have become increasingly reliant on cyber networks. This has made our information vulnerable to cyber-attackers. These attacks don’t just target individuals and their digital information, they also target government, private, and even military facilities. The volume of such attacks has grown over the past few years making it necessary for organizations to protect their infrastructure and information from cyber espionage and theft.
How to Prepare Your Staff Against Cyber-Attacks
Adequate preparation and training are the keys to protecting your digital assets from cyber-attacks. Make sure that your IT staff is training the rest of your employees on best practices to prevent cyber-attacks. Here are a few things that should be on their list:
- Encourage your staff members to visit only trusted websites. Also, tell them not to share their credit card details or their social security numbers on websites that they don’t trust (if at all).
- Don’t open emails or attachments that come from people that your employees don’t personally know. In most cases, cybercriminals use emails as a source of forwarding malicious software which, when downloaded and installed, can open the gateway of your network to cybercriminals.
- Your IT staff should always keep all anti-virus software, including operating systems, updated. Cyber-attackers love outdated devices as they usually don’t have the latest security software installed.
- Tell staff members to always keep an offline backup of all important documents and files. This way, even if a cyber-criminal manages to take control over a particular computer, the owner of the system still has a backup of all hijacked files.
Cybercriminals and cyber threats are evolving at a rapid pace. Staying informed and updated can protect you and your digital assets from unauthorized use and access.