By Johannes Groenewald, General Manager: Demand Factory
As a business owner, you should be concerned with your cybersecurity as a priority to protect your precious business data and steer clear of a catastrophe. The outset in securing your data is to consider your cybersecurity infrastructure. In this article, we will explore cybersecurity and what needs to be considered when endeavouring to improve your business security measures.
Cybersecurity can be defined as the processes and protective measures that are introduced by individuals and organisations to protect data, hardware and software against cyber threats. Cyber criminals perform attacks with the intent to gain unauthorised access to data safeguarded by individuals, governments or private entities. Sensitive data is often saved and stored on portable storage devices, servers, in data centres and on-site IT infrastructure. If successful, cyberattacks will often result in an individual or organisation’s sensitive data being altered, deleted, or stolen for malicious intent.
Hacking is the process of attempting to breach sophisticated IT security and cybersecurity measures that have been put in place for protection of data against strangers. Hackers aim to compromise your digital infrastructure and devices such as data storage, networks, computers or mobile devices by exploiting any weaknesses and vulnerabilities they find within these systems' built-in protections. Unethical or unlawful hacking of individual or organisational data is done for malicious reasons such as gaining unsolicited wealth, blackmailing or hacking just for fun.
White hacking, or ethical hacking, is the process where ethical hackers are employed to discover the weaknesses within your system in order to fix them and improve one’s cybersecurity defence mechanisms. To manage these risks and to protect your data, all signs point towards introducing sufficient cybersecurity measures and partnering with reputable professionals who can help repair potential problems before anything bad happens.
Back when computers were first emerging as a popular and common occurrence for use in an organisational or personal capacity, the installation of simple antivirus software was acceptable and prevented cyberattacks from occurring. Today, however, the landscape has changed dramatically and the implementation of a customised cybersecurity plan is essential. In today's digital world, data is a valuable commodity and the loss or corruption of it could cause a company to fail. Companies also gather large amounts of data on individuals. These companies have a responsibility to keep this information private and safe which is what the POPIA Act comes down to. If a company does experience a cyberattack and this information is used for malicious intent, the company that experienced the attack can be held responsible.
Cybersecurity attacks can affect a wide range of individuals, companies, organisations, and even governmental bodies. In order to do this, hackers have developed a wide range of tools and methods. These tools and methods are known as cybersecurity threats. Albeit that there are many types of cybersecurity threats, following below are some of the most common threats found:
Malware is also known as malicious software. It is a software program or piece of code that has been designed and created to harm computers, networks, or servers. Malware is a very common and effective form of cybersecurity attack. There are many types and subsets of malware, each with its own “speciality”. Some of these include viruses, spyware, keyloggers, bots and more.
Ransomware is a subset of malware and is a widely popular form of cybersecurity threat experienced by many individuals and organisations. Ultimately, ransomware operates by threatening to expose an individual or organisation's personal data and information or prevent them from accessing their own data if a fee is not paid.
Phishing is a type of socially-engineered attack that makes use of social tactics to entice individuals and organisations to share their personal information. This is commonly utilised in the forms of social media, SMSs and emails. This might ring a bell if you've heard of people falling prey to an SMS they supposedly received from their bank asking them to share their account details and pin number after which their bank account is suddenly deleted. Phishing can also come in the form of being misled into downloading a file containing viruses that will infect your computer or phone.
Denial-of-Service (DoS) and Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks are most commonly encountered by companies and organisations. These forms of cybersecurity threats attempt to disrupt important business operations in such a way that it stops production. It does this by flooding a network with false requests to access the network. While a Denial-of-Service originates from one location, a Distributed-Denial-of-Service originates from multiple locations and systems. This makes DDoS harder to block and resolve as one must identify these multiple launch locations and shut them all down.
MITM is also known and referred to as a Man-in-the-Middle attack. This form of cybersecurity threat aims to gather information without one knowing. It eavesdrops and collects information from communication occurring between a user and a web application. The data collected can consist of passwords, banking details and more. MITM attacks target both organisations and individuals.
With the countless cybersecurity threats that are lurking and with hackers getting “smarter” and more advanced by the day, it is of the utmost importance to consistently maintain and upgrade one’s cybersecurity. Some of the factors to consider when upgrading your business’ cybersecurity infrastructure include:
Taking a risk management approach towards your cybersecurity journey requires you to consistently identify, analyse, evaluate, and address your cybersecurity infrastructure. This is advisable as this will allow you to stay on top of the newest threats and improve your cybersecurity. A risk management-focused culture will decrease your chances of falling prey to an attack and save your company in the long run.
Tarsus Distribution offers a full cybersecurity solution. We offer trusted advisor insights and guidance from business executives to security and IT representatives on their cybersecurity infrastructure and ecosystems. We are able to assist you and your business as we offer and maintain:
To find out more about how you can protect your data from cybersecurity attacks, contact us today.