Every company that does business online is at risk of attack from cyber thieves. But does having layers of firewalls, alternating passwords and a team of dedicated professionals really help? Or is it more a case of simply training your employees to not open suspicious emails? The reality is that the vast majority of risk does not come from teams of hacking professionals, but rather from stupid mistakes by uninformed individuals.
Read on to learn the truth about cyber security, and to dispel notions that the internet is teeming with skilled hackers.
Most Breaches Are Human Negligence
Anyone watching a few Sci-Fi movies will get a very warped idea about cybercrime. There are very few teams of hacking professionals out there looking to penetrate your business. Especially given that anyone with enough skill to really pull of a complicated hack would rather be earning a good salary. Instead the biggest risk comes from often low-tech, clumsy attempts to try and steal login details from unsuspecting humans.
An employee may receive a convincing looking email asking for login credentials. The employee may provide those details, assuming that they’ve not been properly educated on cybercrime. A breach may then occur, potentially causing major disruptions. The good news is that simply educating staff on what to avoid is fast, cost effective, and will solve most problems.
Secure Software Is Still Essential
But this doesn’t mean that having security measures isn’t necessary. Especially if you’re working with sensitive information, or your bookkeeping is done online. Standard anti-virus software is adequate for most businesses, though this does depend on the nature of the company. Although, this software is only as good as the individuals using it. If you feel like you need extra protection, it is best to get a professional to set up and monitor the security layers.
It is also important, however, to understand the software being used, and to not pay a fortune for security that your business doesn’t need. Many professional IT security providers will attempt to sell solutions that are not at all necessary. Once again, simply educating staff is far better protection than pricey software subscriptions.
Ransomware Is Real
A cyber-attack that has become more common is ransomware, and even if you play online bingo for real money occasionally, you’ll have heard of it as casinos go to great lengths to protect their users. An email is sent to a victim, and upon the message being opened the system is encrypted. A ransom is demanded in order for the data to be unencrypted.
The good news is that most operating systems these days have built in protection against such an attack. More good news is that the email has to be opened in order for the attack to be triggered. If the email is never opened, there is no risk at all. The same is true for the vast majority of cyber-attacks. Software must be unwittingly installed, or some other action is needed on the part of an unknowing accomplice.
The solution is, once again, employees that understand to not take action when they are unsure of what they’re doing. It always comes down to managing people first, and IT systems second.