The Priceless Cybersecurity Information You Need to Know – At No Cost to You
One of the most common questions we get from clients we work with is how they can take a better and more strategic approach to cybersecurity. Thanks to all the business disruptions this year, cybersecurity has become an even more important priority for organizations who are adjusting to remote working arrangements.
Our team of IT professionals are well-versed in all things cybersecurity. In fact, before COVID hit, we had gotten in the routine of stopping by local organizations and business councils to offer comprehensive presentations on cybersecurity definitions, myths, realities, and most importantly: strategies for defense.
Now that making regular, in-person presentations are more difficult, we got to thinking – why not put all our presentation specifics in an easily accessible and comprehensive guide. This way, all our current and potential clients will have anytime access to reliable cybersecurity tips in these unpredictable times. Sound worthwhile? Let’s dig in!
When your organization is looking to take a more proactive and strategic approach to cybersecurity, a good first step is getting familiar with important cybersecurity terms. The more you come to know potential threats and call them by name, the more prepared and empowered you’ll feel to implement reliable defense strategies. Check out the list of important cybersecurity terminology you should be familiar with below.
- Phishing – A cyberattack that occurs when a hacker poses as a legitimate service provider and tries to get you to hand over login credentials for company accounts in an effort to gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. Phishing attacks often occur via email and hackers will often be looking to steal user data including company email addresses, employee numbers, usernames, and passwords.
- Ransomware – A type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system. Ransomware attacks occur by either locking the system’s screen or by locking a user’s files, making it impossible for them to work unless they pay a ransom to the hackers.
- Dark Web – The dark web is an unsafe part of the internet that is not visible to search engines and requires the use of an anonymizing browser called Tor in order to be accessed. The dark web houses a variety of criminal activities, including the sale of personal and financial information stolen from various cyberattacks.
- Data Breach – A data breach is any security incident in which organizational information is accessed by unauthorized parties.
- Botnet – A botnet is nothing more than a string of connected computers, coordinated together to perform an assigned task. This task could be something as simple as maintaining a chatroom, or could be something more insidious like taking unauthorized control of your computer.
- DDoS – A type of cyberattack wherein black hat hackers shut down a company’s web presence by incorporating multiple users and hosts to bombard a website with requests that freeze it and shut it down.
- Malware – A ‘malicious software’ that infects your computer or device in order to extract information and cripple its functions in order to hold you and your device hostage until a ransom is paid.
- MitM (Man in the Middle) – This type of cyberattack is usually performed when a hacker is able to get a hold of organizational information by breaking through your WiFi’s encryption and snagging personal messages.
- Spoofing – A cyber attack that occurs when a hacker changes the IP address of an email to seem like it is coming from a different place than it actually is in order to gain your trust so that you offer up information that you normally would not.
- Brute Force Attack – This attack refers to either black hat hackers or botnets random attempts at guessing a business’ or an individual’s passwords.
- APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) – Are attacks performed on a large scale usually by malware that has been installed in secret to topple a network or system over time.
Cybersecurity Myths & Realities
Now that we’ve defined some of the key threats your organization should be aware of, let’s work to bust some of the myths that exist about cybersecurity. In an increasingly tech-based world, myths and rumors about cybersecurity can spread fast and this often results in professionals thinking they know what’s going on.
However, the reality is, cybersecurity hearsay can often be misleading and leave professionals misinformed and vulnerable. So, let’s get to busting some of the most persistent cybersecurity myths that exist.
Myth #1 – A strong password is enough to keep your business safe.
Reality: A single password is simply never enough to keep organizational accounts secure. Organizations should be deploying multi-factor authentication technology and exercising regular data-monitoring to keep user accounts secure.
Myth #2 – Small-medium-sized businesses are rarely targeted by cybercriminals.
Reality: In 2018, a Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that small-medium-sized businesses represent more than half of data breach victims.
Myth #3 – Only certain industries are targets for data breach.
Reality: Any organization that houses any kind of sensitive data is a target for data breach.
Myth #4 – Installing anti-virus and anti-malware software is enough to keep your organization completely secure.
Reality: Anti-virus and anti-malware software do not protect your organization from all kinds of cyber threats.
Myth #5 – All cyberthreats come from outside your organization.
Reality: Insider threats are just as likely and are much harder to combat and detect.
Myth #6 – Cybersecurity is the sole responsibility of the IT department, management and employees don’t even need to think about it.
Reality: All employees can and must play a role in keeping your organization secure against cyber threats.
Myth #7 – If your WiFi network has a password, you’re completely secure.
Reality: All public WiFi networks can be exploited and hacked – even those with a secure password.
Myth #8 – You’ll know right away if your computer or network has been breached or infected with a virus.
Reality: Malware is increasingly stealthy and hard to detect and cybercriminals are becoming more and more sophisticated about hiding their breach strategies.
Myth #9 – Personal devices don’t need to be secured in the workplace.
Reality: All smart devices (phones, tablets, etc.) can be exploited – including wearables like smart watches.
Myth #10 – Complete and total cybersecurity can be reached once and for all.
Reality: Cyber preparedness is an ongoing task. New threats emerge everyday, so organizations need to be committed to continual adaptation and vigilance.
Strategies for Defense: Keeping Your Organizational Network Secured
- Multi-Factor Authentication – A cybersecurity system requires more than one method of authentication to verify the user’s identity for a login or other transaction. Ensure that every user account in your organization is set up with multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access.
- Employee Awareness Training – Every member of your organization can be either a point of weakness or strength when it comes to cybersecurity. That’s why it’s so critical to invest in cybersecurity awareness training for your employees. By helping your team understand what to look for and what to be suspicious of, you’ll be going a long way in terms of implementing a continual line of defense against cyber threats.
- Cyber-security planning – As mentioned, cybersecurity is an on-going job. This can seem daunting, but if you commit to regular cybersecurity planning, you won’t feel so overwhelmed by what’s required. Set a schedule for discussing cybersecurity goals and threats. Come up with quarterly and monthly plans for addressing cybersecurity concerns. The more time and effort you spend on cybersecurity planning, the more comfortable you’ll feel responding to ever-changing cybersecurity conditions.
- Professional Consultation – When in doubt, call in the professionals. In today’s increasingly ‘online’ world, we believe strongly that all organizations should consult with an experienced team of cybersecurity professionals. Cybersecurity experts are trained to help organizations like yours be more prepared and they have a finger on the pulse of evolving cyber threats and strategies. Invest in your organization’s continuity by reaching out to a professional cybersecurity services team for a consultation.
Let’s put your cybersecurity concerns to rest. Give us a call anytime at (303) 893-4350, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at www.initialit.net to chat with a live agent and book a consultation.
President and CEO of Initial.IT,inc. A computer network consulting firm in Denver providing outsourced IT support and Managed Services for a multitude of industries. Initial.IT has extensive and unique experience supporting clients in the Architectural, Engineering and Construction Industry. We are a Microsoft Certified Partner and employ Microsoft Certified Professionals.