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What is Cyber Security?

In insight / By Lee Savery / 01 November 2019

Cyber Security is a collective term for the different technologies, processes and controls involved in the protection of our data, programs, devices and networks from online attacks. It relates to protecting online information, whereas information security applies to both digital information and printed copy.

Why is Cyber Security Important?

In a world where almost everything can be done online, from emails to banking, cyber security is a topic which is of utmost importance. Its relevance is perhaps best highlighted by the ever-increasing number of devices that we now use to access the internet and the vast amount of personal data available online as a result.

Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly complex. Ransomware attacks that demand payment after launching a cyber attack on a computer now have more personalised options in the form of emails that appear to be sent from the receiver to their own email address. As a result, this particular form of cyber attack is becoming much harder to trace, with many giving money to the individuals behind the cyber attack in exchange for having copies of their personal information deleted by the individuals.

It’s worth remembering that cyber security can affect organisations as well as individuals. Thanks to regulations like GDPR, cyber security is considered a prevalent issue for businesses, which are now obliged to take certain measures to help protect their employees.

What Are Some of the Consequences of Cyber Attacks

Within the GDPR, it stipulates that businesses that do not comply with regulations around cyber security and data will risk being penalised in the form of a fine for each breach. In addition to the financial consequences for businesses that breach GDPR, cyber attacks that enable data to be leaked, have huge implications for reputational damage, sometimes with disastrous consequences for the business.

The financial consequences of cyber attacks can be very significant, with professional cyber crime now accounting for billions of pounds. According to a study by Bromium, it was estimated that overall cyber crime was worth 1.5trillion dollars in 2018.

How Can You Protect Against Cyber Crime?

The most effective way to deal with increasingly sophisticated cyber crime is to ensure that you have adequate protection in place, this will usually come from a third party expert. One option to protect your valuable data is via a hosted cloud service, which ensures your sensitive information is backed up should anything happen to it.

If you’re unsure of where to start, please see our cyber security checklist below.

Cyber Security Checklist

1. Keep your password secure and regularly updated

To most of us, it may seem obvious to maintain a complex password and to regularly change it. However, a recent study found that millions of people are still using insecure passwords. Of the accounts that were compromised and subject to security breaches, the study suggested that many people’s accounts were compromised due to obvious passwords making it easy for criminals to hack their accounts and gain access to sensitive data.

In addition to regularly updating the passwords for office accounts, it is also advisable to educate your staff on password policies in order for them to understand the importance of practicing data security both in the workplace and at home.

You should ensure that staff are informed of best practice recommendations when it comes to creating strong passwords, such as incorporating symbols and choose words and numbers at random. Learn more about creating strong passwords in our blog.

2. Make Staff Aware

In addition to informing staff of the latest password advice, it’s good practice to offer training courses for employees which provide information regarding staying safe online.

3. Optimise Network and Application Security

Protecting your data is always more manageable when you utilise network and web application security. Effective network security enables you to protect your network. You can check how secure your network connection is using a network penetration test, which will scan your network and highlight any issues.

4. Stay Secure by Installing Antivirus Software

Installing an up-to-date antivirus software will help you to maintain optimum security levels. It allows you to stay protected by periodically scanning for viruses and assessing your network’s vulnerability. It’s also important to have malware protection in place, in order to prevent or resolve any damage to your server, client data and computer.

5. Keep Your Software Updated

Ensuring that you always have the latest version of any software installed is another way to protect against attacks. This is because newer versions will be released by software providers, often offering more sophisticated protection compared to earlier versions that could be vulnerable to attacks.

Whether you’re looking to protect a legal or financial business, or a recruitment agency, contact us today to find out how Nasstar can help protect your sensitive data and files from being compromised.

Lee Savery

Lee Savery

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