As the business world is becoming more and more digital, staying on top of cybersecurity is one of the main challenges companies face.
Digital interactions generate considerable amounts of data. So, it’s no surprise that today’s businesses have access to more information than ever before.
But, with large amounts of data comes great responsibility, and organizations need to implement the appropriate safeguards to prevent the information they store from ending up in the wrong hands.
With cyber-attacks increasing in frequency and severity year after year, every company is a potential target. Therefore, organizations of all sizes must make cybersecurity an integral part of their overall business strategy to protect themselves and their stakeholders.
Everything you need to know about cybersecurity
|What is cybersecurity?|
|How does cybercrime impact businesses?|
|What are the 5 types of cybersecurity?|
|What are the cyber threats that companies face?|
|8 cybersecurity best practices|
|Cybersecurity in Penneo|
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity refers to the measures that protect electronic data and IT systems against cyber-attacks and unauthorized access. Examples of cybersecurity measures include encryption, role-based access control, multi-factor authentication, and antivirus software.
How does cybercrime impact businesses?
Cybercrime is very costly for businesses. The more severe the incident, the more expensive it is for the company to recover from it.
According to the Cost of a Data Breach Report, published by IBM, the average global cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million. Besides regulatory fines, this amount includes detection and response costs and the revenue lost due to reputational damage, loss of customer trust, and interruption of business activities.
Many cybercriminals exploit security vulnerabilities to gain access to the Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of your clients and employees. Such data includes social security numbers, copies of government-issued IDs, usernames and passwords, and credit card details. Hackers then sell the PII on the dark web or use it to commit identity theft.
Having their personal data compromised because your company failed to protect it makes customers lose trust in your organization. And rebuilding trust is a time-consuming and expensive process.
What are the 5 types of cybersecurity?
The five main types of cybersecurity are:
- Critical infrastructure security
- Application security
- Network security
- Cloud security
- Internet of Things (IoT) security
Critical infrastructure security comprises a country’s efforts to safeguard its essential systems and assets against cybercrime. Critical infrastructures include power grids, telecom networks, financial systems, transport networks, public health, and other services indispensable for maintaining vital societal functions.
Application security refers to the measures taken to protect apps from cyber threats throughout their entire lifecycle. Examples of application security features include authentication, encryption, and access control.
Network security encompasses all the steps involved in defending computer networks against unauthorized access. Firewalls, proxy servers, VPNs, and intrusion detection systems allow you to ensure the security of your corporate network and keep hackers out of it.
Cloud security consists of policies, procedures, technologies, and controls that safeguard cloud-based applications and data stored in the cloud. Some of the most common methods of ensuring cloud security include encryption, access control, multi-factor authentication, backups, anonymization, and password management.
Internet of Things (IoT) security protects IoT networks and devices such as medical sensors, smart appliances, and fitness trackers from hackers. Enforcing password management, notifying users about updates, and introducing access control policies for APIs are just some of the steps manufacturers can take to protect IoT devices.
What are the cyber threats that companies face?
Some of the most common types of cyberattacks companies are exposed to include:
Malware are malicious software such as viruses, worms, and Trojan horses that can damage or exploit computers, servers, or networks.
There has been a significant increase in fileless malware attacks in recent years. Since fileless malware don’t contain executable files, they are challenging to detect and remove.
Ransomware is malicious software that takes control of computers and prevents access to data, files, and systems until a ransom is paid to the attackers. Cybercriminals threaten to delete the data or make it public if the victims don’t pay the ransom.
Phishing is a type of social engineering that tricks the victims into divulging confidential information or sending money to cybercriminals.
Threat actors carry out phishing attacks by sending emails or text messages that appear to come from a legitimate person or company. For example, an attacker may impersonate the CEO of a company and email employees, asking them to make a bank transfer, share their PII, or click malicious URLs.
Sometimes, cyberattacks are carried out by people within the organization. For example, disgruntled employees or business associates can misuse their access permissions to steal confidential information or harm the company.
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack attempts to make a server or an online service unavailable by overloading it with traffic from multiple compromised computers or devices.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)
Cybercriminals carry out APT attacks by gaining access to a system or network and remaining undetected for as long as possible. APT attacks allow malicious actors to spy on your organization, steal valuable data, or pave the way for follow-up attacks.
A man-in-the-middle attack occurs when a malicious actor intercepts communications and data transfers between two parties. Cybercriminals often exploit unsecured or poorly secured Wi-Fi routers to read, and sometimes even alter, data exchanges between the target’s device and the network.
SQL injection is a type of cyberattack where a hacker injects malicious code in SQL statements to access, manipulate, or destroy the information in your database.
8 cybersecurity best practices
These 8 cybersecurity best practices will help you protect your organization against cyber threats and keep your business data safe.
1. Develop and implement a cybersecurity program
A cybersecurity program is a formal document designed to ensure the protection of an organization’s IT assets from external and internal cyber threats.
2. Conduct periodic cybersecurity risk assessments
The threat landscape is constantly evolving, with hackers finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities every day. Therefore, companies need to conduct periodic risk assessments to identify new threats and take appropriate action.
3. Protect your IP address
If your business’ IP address is compromised, it could allow hackers to access your network, resulting in cyberattacks and data theft. To avoid such security breaches, it’s advisable to mask your IP during online activity. Using a residential IP proxy, for instance, will ensure that your devices’ IP cannot be tracked by cybercriminals, thus providing an extra layer of network protection for your business.
4. Encrypt confidential data
Encryption algorithms make data unreadable to prevent unauthorized third parties from accessing it. By encrypting both data in transit and at rest while using packet encryption and source authentication, which are among the capabilities of IPsec VPNs, companies can ensure that stolen data is useless to hackers since all they will see is a bunch of gibberish.
5. Implement strong access control measures
Access control is a method of authenticating the users and ensuring that they only have the necessary access permissions to data. By restricting access to information and systems and verifying the identity of users, companies can significantly reduce cyber risks.
6. Rely on third-party solutions that can demonstrate a high level of security and compliance
Don’t just trust anyone with your confidential business data. Before choosing a third-party service provider, do your research regarding their cybersecurity. Ensure that they have appropriate measures in place to keep your data safe, including encryption, multi-factor authentication, and access control.
7. Provide cybersecurity awareness training to all employees
Human error plays a significant role in making your organization vulnerable to cyberattacks. That’s why it’s crucial to educate your employees about cybersecurity. Everyone in the organization should be aware of the different types of cyber threats and know how to recognize them and what they can do to prevent them.
8. Implement robust technical controls
Technical controls use technology to protect an organization’s IT systems. Examples of technical controls include antivirus software, firewalls, data backups, application updates, patch management, and intrusion detection systems.
Cybersecurity & Penneo
Penneo Sign is a digital signing solution that allows users to save time on manual work and provide a more convenient experience to their stakeholders. With Penneo Sign, you can rest assured that your documents are in safe hands.
How we protect your data:
- Robust technical controls, including two-factor authentication, firewalls, and antivirus software
- Encryption of sensitive data and PII using unique 256-bit encryption keys
- Role-based access control to restrict access to the production environment
- Periodic review of our employees’ access privileges
- Daily backups (data is only stored in data centers located in the EU)
- Disaster recovery plan
- All changes are tested, reviewed, and approved by at least 2 employees before being released to the production environment
How we demonstrate our security and compliance:
- IT security report ISAE 3000 type II (International Standard on Assurance Engagements) issued with the highest security level within this international standard and signed by an Independent System Auditor/certified public accountant and Partner from one of the Big 4 accounting firms
What our users can do to add extra layers of security:
- Add, edit, and remove access permissions for different users in the organization to ensure that they only have access to the documents they need
- Set up automatic data deletion to comply with the GDPR’s data retention requirements
- Enable end-to-end encryption for sensitive data and documents