Cyber Attacks: Prevention and the use of technology to enhance business security

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The technological revolution has changed the way we do business. No matter the size of your business, technology plays a crucial role in achieving your profit objectives. Technological advancement comes with business efficiency; firms effectively communicate with their customers, understand cash flows, carry out effective marketing, advertising, research, and many other roles. However, the advent of technological development comes with security threats. 

Modern-day companies use computers, printers, scanners, servers, switches, access points, routers and other software tools to streamline functions. While the devices and applications help businesses operate effectively, they have enormous risks and vulnerabilities.  

Business enterprises all over the world are facing severe threats from cybercrimes. They have incurred substantial financial losses and experienced working disruption due to hacking, data breaches and malware infections caused by cybercriminals. 

Cyberattacks

Cyber attacks are malicious intent by a threat actor to exploit a vulnerability or weakness in an online system, organisation or individuals aimed at stealing, destroying, disabling, altering or gaining access to a system or using an unauthorised asset.

In its 2018 annual report, ENISA Threat Landscape said that 39 per cent of global data breaches caused by malware were ransomware. The report indicated that the virus hit 15 per cent of businesses in the top 10 industry sectors such as education, financial services, government, manufacturing, transport, entertainment, IT and healthcare. For instance, 17 per cent of the total UK healthcare breaches were caused by ransomware.

“58.8 per cent of the respondents to a security incident was using tools for ransomware prevention and 83 per cent of them claimed that these tools were helpful to them,” stated the 2018 ENISA Threat Landscape report.

In May, Colonial Pipeline, one of the USA’s largest pipelines, which carries refined gasoline, was forced to shut down after it was hit by ransomware, halting systems for its 5,500 miles of pipeline.  

A study carried out by the University of Maryland in the US shows a rise in the attack on computers by malicious hackers. The research reported that an average of one computer is attacked every 39 seconds. Ransomware is also a matter of concern for many companies. If not for anything, the latest ransomware attack in the USA and other parts of the world calls for serious attention. According to Huntress Labs’ cybersecurity company, hundreds of American businesses have been hit by a ransomware attack ahead of the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Apart from the Miami-based IT firm Kaseya incident, more than 200 American businesses have become victims of a ransomware attacks. With the latest cyberattacks suspected of operating at the Russian government’s direction, many cybercriminals are making millions from illegal businesses, often aided by the ease of payment with the cryptocurrency. 

No system is foolproof due to the internet; any person can infiltrate and compromise your system. Cybercriminals do not target specific companies; both small and big enterprises are at risk. Yahoo, Equifax, an American credit company, Sony and Adobe are some of the largest firms that have borne the brunt of a cyber-attack. However, Small and Medium-size enterprises are major causalities because they lack the solid financial backbone to install security measures to prevent criminals from infiltrating into their systems.

As cybercrime rears its ugly face, measures should be put to counter any form of cyber-attack. Even though cybercrimes evolve annually with new threats emerging, Kata Kata Cartoon Magazine has compiled some security measures to secure your business from cyber-attacks. Although the effort might not give your business 100 per cent protection, it provides some degree of security against cybercriminals. Here are the ways to make your business secure:

1. Safe environment and innovative home technology

Secure your computer and use it in a safe environment. When your laptop is stolen from your premises, you run the risk of being exposed to cybercrime. Furthermore, cybercriminals might steal the information on your computer and use it to cause harm to your firm. Therefore, it is advisable to set your premises in a safe location. Moreover, you may consider controlling access to your facility by using technological equipment like drones when you are located in remote areas.

2. Network security

Make sure you have network security to protect both your entire network and data. Identify and limit network user administrators. Identify your baseline security level and identify security loopholes in your network. 

3.Passwords and Login Authentications  

Use unique and strong passwords as well as multi-factor authentication. Provide the same for your workers and require them to use an added log-in credential together with their secure password as well. Furthermore, change your passwords and other security details frequently. 

4. Back up Data

No system is 100% risk-free; things could still go wrong despite taking security precautions. Hence the need to have data backup to enable you to recover your original files in case of any loss. 

5.Endpoint Detection

Often, hackers can gain access to a system through end-user devices such as mobile phones, laptops, and desktops and infect a network with viruses or malware. Using Endpoint security, you can easily monitor activities between your network and devices. 

6.Use current software and update regularly 

The older your software, the more vulnerable they are to cyberattacks. Therefore, it is advisable to use the latest software and regularly them the software on all devices and networks. Apart from your laptops, software on your mobile devices like phones must be current and updated periodically to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your sensitive information. 

7. Cloud computing

Oxford dictionary describes cloud computing as the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage and process data. It is a secure and convenient way to store information. Cloud data storage is fully protected from any external attack. Furthermore, it is cost-effective and convenient as it allows the company management and employees to access data from anywhere in the world. However, cloud computing requires knowledge and expertise about the implementations, updates and security concerns involved in storing data. In some cases, the business owner has no option but to employ a cloud computing service provider to maintain the system and safeguard data.

8. Data encryption

Data encryption converts data from a readable format into an encoded format that can only be read or processed after being decrypted, as per Kaspersky. Encrypt your confidential information such as bank account numbers, debit or credit card information before entering it on your computer. Data encryption will help to minimise cyber-attack.

9. Drainware

This technology allows your company to identify, prevent and respond to data leaks on computers, making it easier for companies to consolidate security stacks and better protect their important documents and computers.

10. Octopus

The FutureShield defines octopus as an innovating Physical Security Information Management (PSIM) that combines a comprehensive security management software with a robust smartphone application, enabling the organisation to effectively manage all their security, safety, and cybersecurity. It offers the following solutions: PSIM command and control, visitor management, mobile distress signalling, Live Mobile Video Transmission and fleet management. Octopus is another intelligent application to safeguard business security.

Although cybercrime has become a daunting business challenge, various businesses and organisations are doing what they can to thwart the inglorious efforts of cybercriminals. The cyberwar is not left for businesses; multiple governments have enacted anti-cybercrime laws to counter the menace. The EU, US, UK, and Canada have stepped up their efforts to counter the threat amongst many others. Hopefully, with enough attention to cybercrimes globally, the dirty cyberwar will be minimised – but sadly, not defeated.

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