Cybercrime is a big problem for businesses and organizations of all sizes and there are a number of reasons why it is on the rise. First, the internet has made it easier for criminals to commit crimes who can operate almost anonymously and from anywhere in the world while virtually taking any risk. Second, there’s a growing number of devices that are connected to the internet, which provides more opportunities for criminals to exploit. And finally, as our lives move increasingly online, there’s more data available for criminals to target.
So, what can you do to protect your business or organization from cybercrime?
The first step is to understand the types of cybercrimes that are out there and how they’re typically carried out. This will help you to identify the risks that your business or organization faces. This is important and many organisations think the risks are identicals for everyone regardless of the industry or other companies, but they’re not.
If it is true that the techniques and tactics used by cyber criminals are the common to any cyber attacks the intents and targets of potential attackers can be very different, the main difference being… the victim. Each organisation has its own specificities and therefore the risks are specific. This is where following a specific cyber security strategy is important.
To understad this concept, here is a simple exercise. Think about your company and its specificities. Then try to quickly brainstorm what are the kind of data your company handle that you think is the most important, the most vital for your company’s operations. Then, ask yourself what would be the impacts of the following threats materializing:
- Hacking: Imagine a criminal gaining unauthorized access to a system handling such data. Maybe by exploiting security vulnerabilities or by using malicious software.
- Phishing: Imagine a criminal sending an email that appears to be from a legitimate source, but is actually a way to trick an employee into revealing information about this data or downloading malware and gaining access to your systems.
- Identity theft: Imagine a criminal using an employee’s personal information, such as username, smart card, or credentials to access your facilities, networks or systems.
This is a simple exercise to do, and the goal is not to get scared, but it permits to have a hint on how to start defining a cyber security strategy. Once you understand the types of cybercrimes that are out there, you can start to ideate on your strategy, define how to implement it, prioritise it and budget it accordingly. This strategy, will need to include concrete technical steps but also governance measures like the one that we will review now.
Keeping your software up to date
One of the best ways to protect your business or organization from cybercrime is to keep your software up to date. Cybercriminals are constantly looking for security vulnerabilities that they can exploit. And one of the easiest ways for them to do that is to target systems that are using outdated software.
When new software is released, it often includes security updates that address known security vulnerabilities. So, implementing a governance to keep your software up to date, you can help to protect your business or organization from attack.
Using strong passwords
Another way to protect your business or organization from cybercrime is to use strong passwords. A strong password is one that is difficult for a cybercriminal to guess. It should be at least eight characters long and should include a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
It’s also important to use different passwords for different accounts. That way, if a cybercriminal does manage to guess one of your passwords, they won’t be able to access all of your accounts. Enterprises include policies and governances on passwords including requirements for minimum length, usage of special characters and numbers, and more in their cyber security strategy. This adds an extra layer of protection for both users and businesses.
Training of your employees
One of the most important things you can do to protect your business or organization from cybercrime is to train your employees. They should be aware of the types of cybercrimes that are out there and how they can be prevented. You should also have a policy in place that outlines what employees should do if they think they’ve been the victim of a cybercrime. And you should make sure that your employees know how to report a cybercrime.
Investing in cyber security
Investing in security is another important step that you can take to protect your business or organization from cybercrime. There are a number of different security measures you can take, such as installing firewalls, anti-virus software,… but as we said, every company is different and therefore, the needs will be spcific. You should also consider investing in intrusion detection and prevention systems. These systems can help to identify and block suspicious activity. All these investments are part of your strategy, and should be reflected in your governance, policies and security operations.
Investing in security is essential for any organization. It is important to consider all of the potential investments that can improve security, such as better training, better data protection and monitoring solutions, and more secure development and operations. It is also important to consider organizational investments, such as governance, policies and security operations. All of these investments should be part of your overall security strategy, and should be reflected in your development and operations processes, as well as your physical and digital security.
Finally, it is important to remember that security is an ever-evolving challenge, and no single solution will be able to address all of your needs. As technology and threats change, you must remain vigilant in monitoring and adapting your strategy to ensure the security of your organization.