With cybercrime on the rise, it is essential to be aware of the risks and take action to protect yourself and your data from cyber threats. By understanding the importance of cybersecurity, you can take steps to protect yourself and your data from malicious actors. From keeping your data safe to preventing hackers from accessing your accounts, these simple tips should motivate you to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself online.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting computers and networks from cyber threats, by which we mean any potential dangers to the networks or computers in your organization. This includes protecting against computer viruses, malware, and hackers. By implementing the right security measures, you can reduce the risk of any potential cyber threats. If a cyber threat does occur, you can reduce the severity of the damage by having the right response strategies in place.
Why is cybersecurity important?
Cybercrime is a serious global threat that affects everyone. By understanding the risks and implementing the right safeguards, you can reduce the risk of cyber threats and protect yourself from malicious actors. There are many different types of cyber threats, and understanding the risks of each can help you assess your risk and implement the right measures to protect yourself.
If a cyber threat occurs, it can have significant financial and reputational consequences. IBM Security’s “The Cost of a Data Breach Report” found that the global average cost of a data breach increased from $4.24 million in 2021 to $4.35 million in 2022 — the highest it’s been in the history of the report.
In 550 organizations and 3,600 interviews, 83% of organizations have had more than one breach. The average cost of a critical infrastructure data breach was $4.82 million. The average cost of a ransomware attack was $4.54 million, not including the cost of the ransom itself.
A cyber attack could result in a significant loss of data, an interruption to your operations, and reputational damage for any information leaked or used against your company.
Different types of cyber attacks
There are many different types of cyber attacks. Understanding the risks of each can help you assess your risk and implement the right safeguards. They also come in different degrees of severity, so it’s important to understand the risks and take the necessary precautions. A few of the most common types of cyber-attacks are listed below.
- Malware: Malware is software designed to damage your computer network or allow someone unauthorized access to your systems. It is often used to steal information and consumer data.
- Ransomware: A type of malware, this occurs when a group gains access to your system and locks you out, threatening to delete your information and continuing to bar your access unless you pay a ransom.
- Phishing: Phishing occurs when another group sends out an email pretending to be someone else (like your information technology department) and uses the information it garners to gain access to your systems
1. The importance of passwords
One of the best ways to protect yourself from cyber threats is to create strong passwords. IBM Security found 19% of breaches were caused by stolen or compromised credentials. Passwords are used to authenticate and authorize users, and a weak password can leave you vulnerable to cyber threats that access your accounts and steal your data.
It is recommended to use at least 16 characters and a combination of letters, numbers, capital letters, and symbols.
- Example of a bad password: “LedZeppelin1975”
- Example of a good password: “hJ3jSrMTGq=mnv>S”
Do not reuse the same password for every site and if remembering passwords become too much you may want to research password management sites.
An important thing to note is that passwords are not infallible. The best way to protect yourself from cyber threats is to use a multi-factor authentication (MFA) system. An MFA system involves a code being sent to the user to confirm their identity as they are logging onto the system. This adds another layer of security to your login process and can help you avoid a data breach.
2. The importance of data encryption
Another important way to protect your data from cyber threats is to encrypt it. Data encryption is a process whereby you “scramble” your data and protect it with a password so that only authorized users can access it. This can help protect against data breaches, theft, and other cyber threats. It is important to remember that encryption is not 100% bulletproof, meaning that someone could break through it at some point. It is, however, useful for protecting your data against the average hacker.
There are different tools you can use for encrypting to protect your data. It is important to choose the right level of encryption that is appropriate for your data.
Microsoft 365 has tools that allow for the direct encryption of files and sensitive documents. This tool requires the recipient to be authorized via a secure key token sent via text message before they can even open the file.
Other tools, such as BitLocker, allow servers and computers to be encrypted with a program that if data or documents are compromised and stolen all access and data is removed.
3. The importance of updating software and hardware
Another essential way to protect yourself from cyber threats is to update your software and hardware. It is important to keep your systems up to date with the latest software updates and patches. This can help to fix existing vulnerabilities and protect against new cyber threats. Updates can sometimes have various bugs and issues, so it is beneficial to test them before deploying them to your systems. You may be thinking that the required updates are too expensive or time-consuming. Our IT consulting services use their expertise to help you get the best bang for your buck with any software application. We also help you stay up-to-date on the latest applications and software so that you don’t fall prey to obsolescence.
When updating your software you should also remember to update your hardware. This includes updating your operating systems, browsers, apps, and more. This can help to protect against new cyber threats and keep your devices up to date. It is fundamental to remember that hardware will become outdated over time and needs to be replaced. If you ever feel uncertain about your next steps or overwhelmed with hardware options, our IT experts help find hardware that fits your needs and budget.
Evans Consulting Services protects your digital assets
As we have covered above, cybersecurity is critical for staying protected in an increasingly digital world. It is important to stay up-to-date with the latest threats and developments in cybersecurity. This can help you understand new threats and take the necessary precautions. It can also help to identify threats earlier and take action before they become a problem – costing you time and money.
Stay updated and protected against cyber threats by reaching out to Evans Consulting Services to manage your cybersecurity!