“Cyberattacks are a very real and growing threat to the American economy, political infrastructure, and way of life.” – John Gilligan, Center for Internet Security Chair & Interim CEO, Atlantic Council.org Conference; Oct 14, 2017
What is cyber security?
Cyber security involves protecting computers, networks, applications and data from tampering, corruption or destruction by unauthorized third-parties. When most people think of cyber security, they think of hackers and scam emails, both of which may seem unlikely or easily avoidable. However, there are many more insidious cyber threats out there than most people assume. Below is just a brief overview of the threats that exist today:
- Malware: Any software meant to disable or harm computers and computer systems.
- Spyware: Adware, rootkits, tracking cookies and Trojans are all common examples of spyware. This is a software that gathers a user’s information or takes control of their device without their knowledge or consent.
- DoS (Denial of Service) Attacks: DoS attacks are malicious attacks that hurt companies by overloading their networks with excess traffic, making it unusable. This excess traffic is created by other compromised systems which have been infected with some form of spyware. There are several types of DoS Attacks: DDos (Distributed Denial of Service) Attacks, Traffic Attacks, Bandwidth Attacks and Application Attacks, all of which are used to wrench the network out of the owner’s hands.
- Phishing: Relatively common, especially in emails, pop-up ads or fake download buttons on web pages. Phishing is an attempt to trick a user into providing personal information like usernames, passwords, credit card information or social security numbers to the cyber criminal. Phishing scams are disguised as a part of a reputable company or entity’s virtual presence. For example, if you’re on an unsecured online shopping website, the data fields where you enter your credit card information may submit your information to a cyber criminal, not the website.
- Ransomware: You’ve probably heard of the WannaCry ransomware attack that occurred in May 2017, wherein major corporations and national services comprised of over 230,000 computers were infected across the globe. Ransomware is a malicious software used to gain access to private files and make them inaccessible to the original owner. The owner is then typically asked for money to regain access to the stolen data. In situations where the data contains confidential or sensitive information, the cyber criminal or hacker may threaten to leak the information if the ransom isn’t paid.
Another common assumption is that these threats are perpetrated by random strangers in foreign countries. The reality is that anyone with the means and motive to target your organization can launch these attacks, from former employees to building staff.
Cyber security covers a wide range of measures that proactively identify vulnerabilities and neutralize these threats. Some facets of cyber security include two-factor authentication, data encryption, anti-malware and virus protection software, and regular system updates that incorporate the latest patches and security implements.
What are the benefits of cyber security?
Taking precautionary steps with your cyber security, and implementing a stringent disaster recovery plan, can protect your business network, data, employees and clients from unforeseen attacks. Cyber security adds valuable peace of mind and very real protection to important systems and sensitive information.
How can Performance Connectivity help me with cyber security?
At PCI, we always implement the most-effective, up-to-date forms of cyber security available. Additionally, we proactively monitor our clients to ensure that any suspicious activity is investigated right away. Cyber security is a very important facet of what we do, and we take it seriously. If an attack does happen, we’ll have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place to restore your data and get you back in business quickly.
Are you ready to improve your cyber security?
We’re ready to create effective IT solutions that meet the needs of your business. To get started, just ask our experts how we can help improve your business’s cyber security. Don’t worry, there’s no commitment necessary – we provide the quality service we’d like to receive ourselves. When you reach out to us for help, we’ll take the time to discuss your current situation and help you make smart decisions as you move forward with your business tech. Let’s get started today!