What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is all about protection. It’s a way of ensuring that networks, devices and programmes are as safe as they can be when it comes to the threat of attack. That threat can arise from anywhere today and may be designed to steal data or identity or to extort money from individuals or businesses. Strong cybersecurity provides protection against this kind of attack - it encompasses not just systems and technology but the way that employees and individuals behave too.

Comprehensive cybersecurity

There are three key elements to comprehensive cybersecurity - IT security (which protects both physical and digital data), the protection of data on your digital networks, computers and devices and network security, which is the use of software to protect data that is being sent through your computers and devices to the network. There are many different types of cybersecurity that could be useful to your business including:

  • Data loss prevention - this is the creation of policies and processes that focus on preventing data loss and ensuring optimum recovery where this does happen.
  • Network security - intruders are kept from internal networks by securing them, for example by using two-factor authentication.
  • End-user education - sometimes the biggest cybersecurity vulnerability is people. End-user education focuses on training and awareness so that people are following best practice standards, such as not downloading suspicious files or clicking on links in emails from unknown senders.
  • Application security - this could include encryption, antivirus software and firewalls.
  • Cloud security - this is software that is used to monitor and protect data from the cloud. It can be useful when it comes to minimising the risks that may come with on-premises cyber attacks.

An evolving range of threats

Cybersecurity is designed to keep systems and networks safe from a range of threats that are evolving every day. One of the most common of these is malware, which is a type of software that is created to gain access without the owner of a computer or network being aware of it. Social engineering is another threat, as this involves manipulating people into taking certain actions or giving away information - phishing is the most common example of this. Advanced Persistent Threat attacks occur when a network is broken into and the perpetrator stays there for some time - the purpose is usually to steal data. Ransomware has increasingly become one of the most persistent threats, where software is used to hold files or data hostage until a fee is paid.

Protecting your business with cybersecurity

Comprehensive cybersecurity can help you to avoid expensive and time consuming attacks that may damage your reputation as well as your organisation’s financial future. It can involve ensuring that you have key application protection in place, training your team so that they understand what a potential threat looks like and making sure that best practices are being followed when it comes to links and attachments coming into the business via email.

Effective cyber security can be transformative for any enterprise and help to ensure that your business isn’t being held back by the malicious acts of others.

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