“Among the 39 percent of businesses and 26 percent of charities that identify breaches or attacks, one in five (21% and 18% respectively) end up losing money, data or other assets.” – from the UK government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 (https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/cyber-security-breaches-survey-2021/cyber-security-breaches-survey-2021).
With statistics like that, cyber security is more important than ever to protect businesses from outside attacks. Luckily, there are ways to keep your business safe and protect your data.
What is cyber security?
It’s a rare business these days that doesn’t rely on the internet, along with devices such as laptops and mobile phones. It’s convenient, efficient, and makes for easy communication, even when people work remotely or in different branches. However, there are cybercriminals out there who make a living from, among other things, stealing data from businesses or demanding ransoms to release encrypted files.
Cyber security, in a nutshell, is an umbrella term for the means to protect your digital infrastructure to keep your business and your customers’ data from attacks. This includes everything from antivirus software and firewalls to password management, mobile security, and more.
What is network security?
Network security is a part of your overall cyber security plan, involving both software and hardware to protect your computer network from outside cyber threats.
Top class network security should be:
You control access to your servers, routing, cabling, and any physical parts of your network by securing your network with locks, keycards, biometrics, and other options, so only authorised personnel can gain entry.
Technical controls, such as network access control, protect your incoming and outgoing data, both from cybercriminals and from employees.
Control your network users’ access, password security, what they are allowed to do, what sites they can access, and more. You can also control how your IT department works and what procedures they follow when making changes to your network infrastructure.
Network security may involve firewalls and antiviruses, access controls, and virtual private networks (VPNs).
What is email security?
We send literally millions of emails each day and most businesses couldn’t function without it, but email is a tempting target for cybercriminals. With a phishing scam or social engineering, which gets employees to click on an attachment or a web link in their email, criminals can attempt to obtain sensitive data, such as passwords, financial information, and credit card numbers. Any revealed passwords can then be tried against other areas in your network to see if they have been used more than once, thus opening up your company to further breaches.
Email security is vital to keep your data safe and can block scams and phishing emails from ever reaching your employees. You can set up spam filters, antivirus email protection, image and content control, and even data encryption to encrypt your emails. Even the business version of Office 365 can help by setting up malware and ransomware protection for emails.
What is cloud security?
Cloud computing is more popular than ever for businesses. It is fast, flexible, scalable, and highly efficient. But, again, cybercriminals are keen to attack the cloud to obtain sensitive data, cause damage to files, or even use ransomware to encrypt them.
Cloud security is a vital part of your cyber security to keep your data safe. Cloud service providers do all they can to ensure the service they provide is secure at their end, but weaknesses can creep in on the user end as cloud providers can’t control what users do and who they allow access to.
Services like Office 365 (now Microsoft 365) have a range of security measures you can put in place (https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/admin/security-and-compliance/secure-your-business-data?view=o365-worldwide). You can control your cloud data, including with encryption, access and collaboration controls, and use malware detection and prevention to keep everything secure.
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