Cyber security certainly seems like a straightforward concept from the outset, right? It’s all about safeguarding your data from hackers and their various malware. Of course, once you dig just a little deeper you find out that threats to cyber security come from many more fronts than just the typical external one. Human error is still one of the highest contributing factors to compromised computer systems, only second to phishing/malware, which is reliant on human error. Once you realize some of the largest data breaches happen because of simple mistakes made by employees at opportune moments, things get a lot more complicated.
The best way to be proactive and prevent cyber attacks before they can manifest into anything unmanageable is to educate ourselves. Once we have the basic and most frequent questions answered, we are ready to make calculated decisions about security policies. In that vein, here’s a brief discussion of some frequently asked questions about data security.
How Does Good Cyber Security Operate?
Even if you aren’t the most tech-savvy person at your company, you know the importance of cyber security to the success (or even the survival) of your business. But since cyber crime is evolving at such a rapid pace, it’s a given that one of the top questions regarding security is what are the best practices? What constitutes good cyber security?
Improving employee awareness of good cyber hygiene regarding the use of the company network and the strength of the network’s infrastructure itself are vital. Good cyber hygiene consists of (but is not limited to): instilling good habits about things like strong password policies, avoiding connection to secure company systems via insecure personal devices, and mixing personal documents and emails with work-related ones.
A good way to ensure that cyber hygiene and secure network infrastructure is achieved is to enlist the expert opinion of security consultants who can assess for risks within your company’s systems and organization.
What Is the Best Way to Train for Cyber Security?
It’s often asked what ways one can enforce best security practices. Even if you are teaching yourself good cyber hygiene, the key emphasis is on the word “practice.” It’s not enough to just gain the knowledge of what best security practices are. It’s key to put that knowledge to work so that you’re actively improving you and other employees’ habits.
One great example of practical training for cyber security is having a security partner like Foresite attempt a scheduled mock-cyber attack on the company system. This is considered white-hat penetration, which is when tech professionals execute a hacking attempt as part of the risk assessment process. This prepares you and your company for a real threat (especially of the social engineering type) and identifies exactly where your vulnerabilities are within your organization and digital infrastructure. And since it’s based on the information collected during the risk assessment (with the express permission of a corporate IT contact), the results of this mock-attack are very accurate. Once these vulnerabilities are known, you and your employees will have practical experience in responding to, as well as mitigating, future attacks.
What Are the Costs of a Cyber Attack?
With all the news stories in recent years about big organizations and data breaches, we have a general idea of what cyber attacks cost. Money and reputations are lost, which impacts the survival of a business. CEOs have had to step down from their jobs on several occasions. But there are hidden costs to an attack that tend to emerge later when dealing with the incident. For one, mission-critical data and technology might be disrupted during the recovery process, which halts important progress at work. And the longer that your system is remedying its compliancy, the costs of an attack become steeper. In the end, keeping your networks secure is about the continuation of daily operations.