25 Feb Cyber defences: The importance and potential ramifications of not having them
Cyber threats are everywhere and are now more likely to cause potentially business-debilitating ramifications than ever before.
Cybersecurity is largely about never letting your guard down, being aware and alert at all times. Many do not know how serious of a threat cyberattacks are. The data that the average business keeps in the system is sensitive and therefore contains information that the wrong people should never have hold of – and that’s not only bank details but can be addresses and medical records, and anything personal to the client that entrusted you with their data. With knowledge and insight, you can work to ensure your team are empowered to do the right thing as your ‘human firewall’ to today’s most common threats. Throughout the blog series, we will explore some of the many different types of cyber threats and what you can implement to ensure that you are safe against them.
Cyber threats; the different forms
When asked to name something that seriously affects their computer’s health and security, most would say ‘a virus’. They wouldn’t be wrong but advances in technology in the modern age have been mirrored in the way our computers are at risk too. Each new threat comes with its own individual set of challenges and ways of dealing with those challenges. Some of the most prevalent of these are:
Let’s take a look at what Ransomware is and what the potential ramifications on your business could be if you are targeted.
Ransomware is a form of malicious software that locks and encrypts your computer or device data and then demands a ransom to restore your access. The cybercriminal (otherwise known as a hacker) encrypts all of your data – making it completely out of your control – even though the files are still on your computer. They force business owners into an almost impossible decision; either pay them within a set period of time and they will give you your access back or don’t and they will wipe your system. These threats are usually completely hollow, as once having paid them they will often ask for more money knowing that you were desperate enough to pay once and probably will again.
A Ransomware attack can be disastrous for your business – not just for the immediate potential financial cost but for the long term damage to business reputation, finances, and integrity. If, for example, your business gets targeted by a Ransomware attack, you must inform the clients whose information it is that it’s being ransomed and admit you could not protect their data as promised. Again, let’s say for example that the client is the biggest client you do business with, will he keep using your services? Can he trust you with his sensitive information? Are you to be trusted? All questions of which they will ask themselves. The same applies to any customer – whether they have spent five pounds or a hundred thousand pounds everyone’s data is important and if word gets out that you can’t look after it securely and keep it safe, your business’ reputation will soon plummet no matter the quality of product/service you provide.
Phishing is the practice of trying to gather private information using fraudulent emails and websites. The attacker cleverly disguises their illicit activity in an email. Usually, the email is designed in such a way as to trick the recipient into thinking it is from a trusted receiver, is of urgent importance, or both. This is all a smokescreen to trick you into opening an attachment (which will allow them access to the system).
Like Ransomware, a third party having unauthorised access to your system is bad news. Just because the hacker hasn’t contacted you for a ransom doesn’t mean they are not extracting your data and selling it on to the highest bidder or, even worse, living in your system absorbing information for elongated periods of time. All of which – depending on the size of the attack – could, in the worst-case scenario, cause you to close permanently, or spend a lot of money creating a secure infrastructure in future.
Malware is malicious software designed with the specific intention of causing damage to devices, with the aim of stealing sensitive private data or just to cause chaos within your system. Malware is usually used by hackers as a quick easy money-making scheme, when they often either sell the software over the dark web or spread the Malware themselves.
Now we know what some of the most predominant forms of cyber threat are, in the following blogs in the series we will explore how to combat them and put whatever measures are necessary in place to stop the attackers in their tracks.
Making technology your ally against cybercriminals – Netcom
We at Netcom take our time getting to know you, we build a relationship with you based on dependability, trust, and the belief that our knowledge will guide you into a more prosperous future with IT as your ally. We want to be part of your team whilst working alongside you to anticipate your ever-changing needs going into the future, whilst providing technological know-how that keeps your business functioning and thriving. Don’t hesitate to get in contact.
Your Cyber Essentials assistant is here to guarantee you qualify – Netcom
At Netcom, we have provided proactive Managed IT and cybersecurity support to our customers across the whole of the UK for over 15 years. Our team of experts will ensure that you are protected against Malware and alleviate any other security concerns you may have. Contact us now to find out how.
For guidance on IT strategy, cybersecurity and digital transformation why not book a free, no-obligation discovery call today by calling 0114 361 0062.