The importance of cyber security in the digital world
The more we rely on technology, the more security comes to the forefront of our primary concerns. The creators of malicious and protective software are locked in a constant race to stay one step ahead of each other, and the prize at stake in that race is our data.
What is cyber security?
At its simplest level, cyber security is the process of protecting devices, networks and programs from any type of cyber-attack, but this basic definition fails to convey the complexity of doing so in a world where hackers and scammers are getting smarter and faster.
Keeping your digital experience secure can be a challenge, but it is one that cannot be ignored, especially in your professional life.
The importance of cyber security for businesses
Being the victim of a cyber-attack in a professional setting can have a major negative impact on your entire company and your customers along with it.
Think about the data your organisation deals with every day: it is not only your employees’ information that is at risk, but depending on your field, a security breach could expose information regarding your customers’ health, finances, and even their identity.
The importance of implementing a good security plan is greater than ever when people trust you to keep their personal information safe.
What are the different types of cyber security?
Cyber security comes in many forms: here is a closer look at the most common aspects of a digital workplace that a good security plan should cover.
- User education: cyber security begins with training employees on the best safety practices, from choosing strong passwords to refraining from clicking on suspicious links. Ultimately, a digital workplace is only as secure as you make it.
- Application security deals with making sure the code and application architectures a company uses every day are well designed and secure.
- Cloud security can affect your company if it makes regular use of cloud services to store and manage data: make sure your provider is transparent about what is being done with your information.
- Identity management is a series of protocols such as multi-factor authentication that can help make sure only authorised personnel can gain access to sensitive data.
- Mobile security is paramount if your company relies heavily on mobile devices. From protecting smartphones and tablets from viruses to preventing crises such as loss or theft of the device itself, mobile security is vital if you are working on the go.
- Network security is a set of practices that protects not only individual devices, but entire systems of interconnected pieces of technology from unauthorised access and other abuses that can affect the whole organisation.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity is the name given to any plans that govern what to do when an incident does happen. Prevention is always best, but in the event that your data is threatened, you should know how to respond and how to keep providing consistent service to your customer base.
The most common types of cyber security threats and attacks
Just as security has many aspects and types, so do the threats and attacks that make these security practices necessary. Here are some examples:
- Cyberterrorism is a politically motivated attack on computer systems aimed at creating harm and disruption. Nationwide systems such as healthcare and public transport are usually the prime targets.
- Malware, short for malicious software, is a broad term that encompasses several types of harmful software that can block access to your resources or transmit data to third parties. Adware is a subtype that generates unwanted advertisements that disrupt your online experience.
- Ransomware is the typical form of cyber-attack whose ultimate purpose is to extort money: attacks that encrypt your data and demand payment to regain access to it or threaten to release your data publicly unless you send money to the attacker all fall under this category.
- Trojans are named after the Trojan Horse of classical mythology: just like the Trojans let their enemies into the city under the guise of a gift, you might be letting a threat into your system by opening an apparently harmless file.
- Botnets are remotely-controlled, malware-infected devices that can spread a large-scale attack like a contagious disease, making each new infected device a part of their system.
- SQL injections insert malicious code into SQL-using servers.
- Phishing, vishing and smishing scams are attempts to steal sensitive information or install malware through false communications. Phishing refers to phone calls or emails, vishing is a recorded voice or a real person trying to enact a scam through a VoIP service, smishing is an attempt at deception through text messages, but the concept is always the same: a communication that looks like it is coming from a legitimate source, but is actually a threat to your money, your data, or both.
- Denial of Service is an attack that overloads a system and makes it temporarily unusable.
- Zero-day attacks are cyber-attacks that exploit a security weakness in your infrastructure before it can be patched: they are particularly dangerous because they give you no time to prevent them, and are a testament to how cyber criminals operate by staying one step ahead of those who would stop them.
The benefits of cyber security
Neglecting cyber security has a cost that goes well beyond financial losses. While the aim of some cyber criminals is extorting money, implementing effective cybersecurity measures can help your budget and promote your growth in many other ways.
A disrupted system can be expensive to fix, lead to the waste of useful working hours, and expose corporate information or intellectual property to theft, all of which have a tangible economic impact on your company.
Failure to comply with GDPR and other data breach laws, moreover, can lead to your company being fined for not keeping up with the latest data security practices.
In addition, a security breach, even after it has been fixed, can have long-term consequences on your business: the loss of trust and the negative media coverage following a cyber-attack can cause a loss of current or future customers in favour of your competitors.
A good security plan, therefore, can not only save you money by preventing catastrophic damage, but also create a reputation of integrity and trust that lets your customers know their information is in good hands.
How Acer DaaS can be of help in cyber security
Acer DaaS is a complete hardware and software package that allows you to rent devices for your business for a predictable monthly fee that includes not only the devices themselves, but the configuration of the software that comes with them and a full range of maintenance, upgrade and troubleshooting services that can help make your work computers less susceptible to the risk of attacks.
With the rapid rise of remote work, the risk of cyber-attacks on your company has left the office and entered each individual employee’s home: a solution such as Acer DaaS can guarantee a unified approach to security that makes it easier to isolate and eliminate the threat without having to account for the infinite variations in the configuration and usage habits of personal devices that are typical of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).
A monthly subscription service such as Acer DaaS is a simpler, safer, less fragmented way to address your security needs: the services provided along with the hardware can keep all of your connected devices updated and in good working order while relieving your IT department of some of the responsibility of being constantly on guard against cybercrime.