The rise of eCommerce and our dependency on information technology to conduct business means that every business now takes cyber security seriously. Yet, the cyber security threat keeps growing, and the number of businesses attacked also goes up every year. Why does this happen? Why are businesses vulnerable to these attacks, and what strategies can be used to eliminate these vulnerabilities? Let’s look at why the cyber security management landscape is so different for businesses.
Businesses Have Very Different Cyber Security Needs
Managing cyber security for individuals is very easy. Most of us have anti-virus applications installed on our computers which is more than enough to protect us against viruses and other types of attacks. This is a major reason many small businesses do not take cyber security as seriously as they should. They assume that keeping a business safe is similar to keeping a personal computer safe. A cursory look at the cyber attacks that businesses have suffered through will show that the reality is quite different. Businesses aren’t hurt or hacked through viruses – what they face is much more sophisticated
Businesses are Targeted by Hackers
The biggest different between normal cyber security measures and cyber security management for businesses is that businesses are targeted by hackers. These hackers earn money by hacking networks, encrypting data, and then demanding a ransom to handover access to the business. This can cripple businesses – imagine having to run your business without access to any electronic files – and many businesses end up making the ransom payment through Bitcoin or other untraceable crypto currencies.
This is the key thing to understand – anti-virus applications and firewalls are excellent at blocking the viruses that are spreading throughout the internet. They are not as helpful when dealing with a targeted cyber-attack that aims to cripple the business.
Holistic Cyber Security for Businesses
What businesses need to keep their data and network safe is a holistic cyber security management framework. It needs to be holistic because we need to go beyond just looking at the software and the technology – we also have to look at the people in the organization, the best practices, business processes, and the business policies that may have cyber security vulnerabilities. Businesses need to first perform a complete audit of their own business. Hiring an external cyber security auditor is important if the business does not have enough cyber security specialists onboard, because knowing about these vulnerabilities requires expertise and knowledge.
The cyber security audit will reveal surprising vulnerabilities. It will also let your business know where it needs to improve its cyber security risk management protocols. Most businesses end up opting for employee trainings after these audits, because that is the most vulnerable part of your business when it comes to cyber security. Most employees simply know how to use computers for their personal and professional uses and are not aware of cyber security practices at all. Your network can be the most secure network there is, and all your anti-virus applications can have the latest virus definitions, but they will not be of any use if your employees open the door for attackers to come in.
Employees that do not have cyber security management training fall for traps which opens up your network and data for hackers. The hackers may attack through phishing – creating a fake website that looks like your organization’s real website to get usernames and passwords of employees. They may spoof email headers to make it appear like the email was coming from a colleague to ensure that the employee will open the email attachment. The list goes on and on. All of these attacks have one thing in common – they are very easy to prevent if your employees know about them.
We all take care of our safety. We walk on safe roads, lock up our valuables, and much more. If businesses want better cyber security management, they will have to create a culture where employees care just as much about cyber security software as they do about the security of the physical assets of the business. The damage that a cyber intruder can cause to your business goes beyond anything a thief would be able to do within your office.
About the Company
360factors, Inc. (Austin, TX) helps companies improve business performance by reducing risk and ensuring compliance. Predict360, its flagship software product, vertically integrates regulations and requirements, policies and procedures management, risks and controls, audit management and inspections, and on-line training and qualifications, in a single cloud-based platform based on artificial intelligence.