What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity consists of technologies, processes and controls designed to protect systems, networks and data from cyber attacks. Effective cybersecurity reduces the risk of cyber attacks and protects against the unauthorizsed exploitation of systems, networks and technologies.
Cybersecurity is often confused with information security. Cybersecurity focuses on protecting computer systems from unauthorized access or being otherwise damaged or made inaccessible.
Robust cybersecurity involves implementing controls based on three pillars: people, processes and technology. This three-pronged approach helps organizations defend themselves from both organized attacks and common internal threats, such as accidental breaches and human error.
Information security, is a broader category that looks to protect all information assets, whether in hard copy or in digital form.
The three pillars of cybersecurity
Robust cybersecurity addresses people, processes, and technology.
- Every employee needs to be aware of their role in preventing and reducing cyber threats, and specialized technical cybersecurity staff need to stay fully up to date with the latest skills and qualifications to mitigate and respond to cyber attacks.
- Processes are crucial in defining how the organization’s activities, roles, and documentation are used to mitigate the risks to the organization’s information. Cyber threats change quickly, so processes need to be continually reviewed to be able to adapt alongside them.
- By identifying the cyber risks that your organization faces you can then start to look at what controls to put in place, and what technologies you’ll need to do this. Technology can be deployed to prevent or reduce the impact of cyber risks, depending on your risk assessment and what you deem an acceptable level of risk.
Why is cybersecurity important?
The costs of cybersecurity breaches is rising
Emerging privacy laws can mean significant fines for organizations. There are also non-financial costs to be considered, like reputational damage.
Cyber attacks are increasingly sophisticated
Cyber attacks continue to grow in sophistication, with attackers using an ever-expanding variety of tactics. This includes social engineering, malware, and ransomware.
Cyber crime is a big business
In 2021, the cyber crime economy was estimated to be worth $6 trillion. Attackers can also be driven by political, ethical, or social incentives.
Cybersecurity is a critical, board-level issue
New regulations and reporting requirements make cybersecurity risk oversight a challenge. The board will continue to seek assurances from management that their cyber risk strategies will reduce the risk of attacks and limit financial and operational impacts.
Boost your cyber defenses with these must-have security measures:
1. Staff awareness training
Human error is the leading cause of data breaches, so you need to equip staff with the knowledge to deal with the threats they face. Training courses will show staff how security threats affect them and help them apply best-practice advice to real-world situations.
2. Application security
Web application vulnerabilities are a common point of intrusion for cyber criminals. As applications play an increasingly critical role in business, it is vital to focus on web application security.
3. Network security
Network security is the process of protecting the usability and integrity of your network and data. This is achieved by conducting a network penetration test, which scans your network for vulnerabilities and security issues.
4. Leadership commitment
Leadership commitment is the key to cyber resilience. Without it, it is very difficult to establish or enforce effective processes. Top management must be prepared to invest in appropriate cybersecurity resources, such as awareness training.
5. Password management
You should implement a password management policy provides guidance to ensure staff create strong passwords and keep them secure.