Is Your Business Safe Online? A Guide to Cybersecurity Basics

Is-Your-Business-Safe-Online-A-Guide-to-Cybersecurity-Basics

Cybersecurity Basics

In simple terms, Cybersecurity is protecting our Internet presence from harmful intentions. Websites and applications require some form of identification from their users. This identification, along with other user information, is collected and recorded to ensure efficient and easy access for users and also to process payments. In the past few years, there has been an exponential increase in Internet users primarily due to the digitization of businesses. With the gathering of all this data, there is a looming threat by people with malicious intent who would love to steal, copy, or misuse the data that belongs to the businesses and their users.

The Crisis:

There are multiple ways in which your data is susceptible to harm on the internet, like cyber-attacks or hacking. Therefore it is necessary for us to protect ourselves and our businesses online. The worst thing about cyber-attacks is that it is tough to determine precisely when it happens. Researchers at the Clark School, University of Maryland have determined that a cyber-attack is carried out every 39 seconds.

The situation is truly alarming, and it is nothing short of a crisis. Especially for businesses, incidents of data breaches have enormous costs. As of 2021, it has been estimated that the global cost incurred to businesses with lax data security could be up to US$6 trillion. In 2019, researchers also found that in a survey of 3600 IT-oriented companies, more than 77% did not have a robust plan to construct cybersecurity systems to make sure that their data is secure.

This must make you curious, and also worried about your own business and user data.

Let’s start with a detailed list of internet systems that require cybersecurity protocols.

Types of Cybersecurity:

There are five strategic ways of integrating cybersecurity into our businesses:

  1. Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity
  2. Application Security
  3. Network Security
  4. Cloud Security
  5. Internet of Things Security

Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity:

In today’s world, human societies and settlements rely heavily on critical physical infrastructures that are heavily integrated with cyber networks. A few examples of cyber-physical systems are:

  • Electricity grids
  • Water purification systems
  • Traffic lights
  • Hospitals and health care networks

Institutions that are responsible for operating and maintaining these systems should understand the crucial need for cybersecurity. To minimize the impact of cyber-attacks and malware, institutions should assess the strength of their systems periodically and consistently. It is important to prioritize the consistency of due diligence so that any apparent vulnerabilities in the system are regularly found and fixed. The security and resilience of these systems are vital to our society’s safety and well-being.

Organizations that depend on these systems also have a role to play: they should develop contingencies and fail-safes to safeguard their own interests should the institutions fail to do so. This is how an attack on critical infrastructure can be avoided.

Application security:

Application development is a process that involves multiple software networks and the usage of data and files from end-users. In some cases, this information is very sensitive and in the wrong hands; it can cause severe damage to businesses and their user base. Cybersecurity measures need to be set up during the development and regular maintenance, to protect an application from being attacked, as well as preventing the data from being leaked.

Tools for application security framework:

  • Antivirus Programs
  • Firewall Programs
  • Encryption Programs

Network Security:

Network security makes sure that the internal networks are made secure by blocking the access points to the network’s infrastructure. Network security guards your internal networks against unauthorized access. This also includes the internal networks of businesses, such as LAN and WAN. It is the responsibility of network administrators, website owners, and website maintenance teams.

The objective is to use tools, procedures, and policies to keep the network’s security updated, modified, and safe. A few ways to prevent your network from exploitation are:

  • New passwords
  • Antivirus programs
  • Antispyware software
  • Firewalls
  • Data Encryption
  • Monitoring user access
  • Incognito access

Cloud Security

Cloud networks allow us to easily access our data without storing it on our own devices. When all of our data is up on the cloud, we need to protect it from threats by utilizing the tools and policies of cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.

Cloud security has a vast scope, but there is still much to be done. There are myths around cloud security that have given it a bad reputation. Businesses incorrectly label it as less secure than on-premises security or blame it for having lapses in security when originally they are at fault for not following basic protocols. There are also real challenges such as high expenses, lack of data privacy from insiders, intellectual ownership issues, etc.

However, as work is being done to overcome challenges and disband myths, most businesses are shifting to cloud systems due to the ease of access. When you shift to cloud systems, you should make sure that your business has security professionals who can implement cloud security protocols to protect your business in the best way possible.

Internet of Things Security:

The Internet of things (IoT) is the next big technology trend that will revolutionize technology. It comprises a wide variety of physical devices, such as appliances, sensors, televisions, printers, and wifi routers that are all connected via the internet.

The IoT is backed at its core by data centers, analytics, consumer devices, extensive networks, and embedded systems of connectivity. This new level of tech connectivity welcomes a plethora of new security issues and leaves room for multiple weaknesses in the system. One of the main challenges in integrating the IoT is the threat to security, which can be avoided if security is prioritized from the start of the development process.

IoT is a broad field with expansive possibilities. The connectivity of several devices exponentially increases the opportunity of an attack. The IoT faces a wide array of vulnerabilities and is susceptible to malware and data breaches from cybercriminals who are looking for easy targets.

How to Protect Your Business:

In online businesses, all levels of management need to be well aware of the risks of cyber security. Often, there are gaps in security simply due to human factors. Negligence and human error from your coworkers can lead to vulnerabilities in your system. It is well-advised to have dedicated people who specialize in effectively implementing security protocols.

In some businesses, there are even cases of specialized IT security personnel being incompetent or underskilled at implementing appropriate protocols. In such cases, the best thing to do is to outsource cybersecurity to specialists who can take care of everything from planning, execution, and maintenance for your IT infrastructure.

As global interest in cloud services and the IoT increases, investors and vendors are looking to expand the scope of strategic solutions to the security crisis. Rather than implementing security protocols yourself, it is far easier to outsource cybersecurity and to find an IT service provider that can manage your network’s security for you.

Goals of Cybersecurity:

As a tech business ourselves at Genetech Solutions, we understand and are always proactive about security measures for our internal systems as well as the work we do for our clients. We have a dedicated team for this service and recently we have worked with a customer in the healthcare industry to set up a secure network system providing end-to-end data encryption and protection. We have also worked on building data backups and setting up disaster recovery protocols.

The priority is to make sure that there is minimum exposure to risk. This is only possible when we have a strong grasp of network and data security. A strong cybersecurity structure has to be multilayered and locked with separate collaborative systems in place to protect users and admins in as many ways as possible.

Need of the Hour:

Due to the ever-evolving nature of technology all over the world, it is now necessary to realize that our interaction with computer systems needs to be safeguarded from suspicious behavior and harmful intentions. We are exposed to new challenges and hurdles as technology and business continue to grow hand in hand, but we can choose to innovate creative solutions for cybersecurity and focus on safety as much as we focus on growth.

If your business utilizes digital services, then we hope that this article was helpful for you. If you are looking for cybersecurity experts to assess and plan your security protocols, feel free to leave a comment or contact us!

Muhammad Abdus Samad

I am a technical content writer at Genetech Solutions, one of Pakistan’s leading software houses. I have done a bachelor in Social Sciences, majoring in Political Science, from IBA. Thinking critically and reading is my passion. I like meeting new people and travelling to old historic places to experience life from different perspectives.

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