What is Cyber Security?
Cyber Security refers to the responsive plan implemented by an individual or company to protect personal data targeted by cyber thieves using technology, or online means, to acquire the information they need to commit a Cyber Crime. It involves best practices to protect personal information (like financial records, names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, images, passwords or pin numbers) stored in digital records across networks, on servers, in mobile applications, or on your personal computer. It also includes strategies that limit unintended or unauthorized access to online accounts and identifies ways to bring awareness to potential scams, hacks, fraud, or personal risk to limit the risk of loss from a personal to a corporate level.
What is a Cyber Crime?
Cyber Crime is an act of violence, loss of money, loss of data, or blockage of access created by a thief that uses their knowledge of technology to prey on a specific target. While we typically hear of cases that focus their attention on children or the elderly, the truth is that literally, ANYONE can be a target for cybercrime. More and more criminals are taking advantage of the widespread use of technology in the world to complete their hidden agendas. More common examples of cybercrime or cybercriminals include:
- Online Predators – those using social communities and fake profiles to befriend a child or adult to commit a personal threat against their safety.
- Identify Theft – thieves use emails, hacking or computer viruses to seek out personal data like banking, investment, or credit card accounts with the goal of stealing your money for their own benefit.
- Cyber Bullies – people who hide behind an online personality to lash out in intentionally mean ways against others.
- Phishing Emails – mass communications distributed via electronic mail that often include links to fake websites that present themselves like a true company you might do business with, tricking you to freely enter personal information from which they will then steal for their own benefit.
- Computer Viruses – executable files that when activated, can corrupt data and functionality of a personal computer or network seeking to disable activity and/or distract users while they steal critical data.
- Hackers – are villains who seek vulnerabilities in programs or file structures to allow them the ability to hold hostage your data or business for ransom, steal your traffic, or simply hide their activity among your files to make finding their true location difficult to for authorities to track.
According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, “Smaller businesses have become bigger targets for cybercriminals because the bad guys know that they have fewer defense resources than larger enterprises to protect themselves.”
Cyber Crime is a Big Risk for Small Businesses
Based on a research study performed by the National Cyber Security Alliance and Symantec, it showed a variety of risks that are often not addressed by Small Business owners. Some of these risks include:
- Not having a written security policy for employees.
- Not having a policy in place regarding how employees can use social media.
- Not having a plan for keeping their data or business information secure.
- Don’t provide internet safety training for their employees.
Additional risks include:
- Little or no accurate knowledge on where or how the data collected from their website is handled.
- Lack of knowledge on who has access to information collected by third-parties.
- Proper disclosure to their website visitors or customers on how their data is handled.
- No pro-active security measures to protect their website from being hacked.
According to data reported by Security Magazine, the cost for a small business to recover from a cyber attack on a small business can cost approximately $50,000 or more – if they recover at all.
How A Cyber Security Analysis Helps Protect Your Business From Cyber Crime
One way to explain this is to first examine a “disaster plan” you might put in place to protect you, your family, your employees or your belongings from the threat of natural disasters like tornadoes, fire, or earthquakes, etc. This process typically includes some sort of warning system to identify a threat, having an exit plan, a kit of immediate supplies needed and a recovery process to limit the loss of life or shelter. With the magnitude of cyber threats present in the world today, we have to be just as prepared and just as vigilant. This is where we can help.
Starting with a Cyber Security Analysis, we can help you identify critical concerns with your website, employee policies and company processes for handling of sensitive data, and help you put together a strategy that allows you to execute a recovery plan that can help you stay in business.