What you're missing about cybersecurity

What You’re Missing: Cybersecurity 101

There’s a lot of info out there on cybersecurity. And most is jargon-filled nonsense that doesn’t apply to real life. Not here.

Let’s start with a real understanding of the basics. What you’re missing about cybersecurity and why you need to know.

If nothing else, know these three things:

  1. Cybersecurity isn’t one-and-done. It requires constant vigilance.
  2. Cybersecurity needs an expert touch. Only pros can protect you from hackers’ evolving tricks
  3. Cybersecurity is an investment in your business’ longevity. It can be the difference between bankruptcy and success.

Definition: the state of being protected against the criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data, or the measures taken to achieve this.

Basically: Guarding against people who use digital methods to harm you.

Key Terms

  • Anti-virus: software designed to keep you protected from viruses while browsing the internet
  • Breach: unauthorized exposure of confidential data, often for malicious intent
  • Encrypt: concealing confidential data from prying hackers
  • Exploit: how hackers breach your network
  • Firewall: software that limits and controls internet traffic based on what’s allowed and not allowed
  • Hacker: the bad guy who’s trying to take your money, confidential information or reputation
  • Malware: software that compromises your computer and network
  • Phishing: Tricking people into providing information
  • Public hotspot: Open WiFi connection
  • Spoof: Using a fake address that appears like a real one to trick people
  • Virus: programs that infects computers and can spread like wildfire

Cybersecurity 101 centers around four areas of concern:

  1. People
  2. Passwords
  3. Email
  4. Internet

Let’s talk about the basics you’re missing in cybersecurity.

People

Your own employees can cause the most damage. And it’s not a case of the disgruntled employee. Usually, it’s accidents and ignorance that create cybersecurity problems.

Most people aren’t trained to be cyber-aware. They don’t know how to be suspicious — a hacker’s dream. Just one phishing attack and you could be paying thousands in ransom.

It’s up to you to educate your employees on threats. Host monthly security trainings. Ensure cybersecurity practices are followed from the top down. Above all, instill a company-wide commitment to vigilance. 

Your employees are the front line. Give them the tools to defend themselves.

Training Your Staff on Cybersecurity
Learn who to teach and how to do it.

Passwords

This may surprise you. Admin, p@ssw0rd and 12345 are still the most common internet passwords. It’s 2019. 

But we’re all guilty of it. Almost every site we use requires a password. How are we supposed to:

  1. Have a different password for each site?
  2. Keep track of those passwords?
  3. Change each one regularly?

It may seem impossible. But when you’re faced with a crypto-attack, you’ll be kicking yourself for not changing a password.

And there are tools to help, including Google Password Manager and Thycotic SecretServer. 

Email

A great invention for professionals and hackers alike. Let us throw some stats at you.

  • 91% of cyberattacks start with a phishing email
  • 85% of email attachments sent every day are dangerous
  • 61% of data breach victims were companies with less than 1000 employees (2017)

Source: Cyber Defense Magazine

Email is a huge cybersecurity threat because it’s hard to tell a fake email from a real one. Sure, we all know about the Nigerian Prince scheme. But, hackers are smarter now. 

They can spoof contacts you know. Or make attachments look like legit Word Docs and PDFs.

There are three things to never trust in an email

  1. The “FROM:” AKA sender
  2. Links
  3. Attachments

Double check everything. Triage information when you’re suspicious. It’s better to give the sender a call to confirm rather than opening a full-blown malware attack.

Internet

Videos of fluffy kittens and the dark web. We all know the internet is dangerous. But sometimes we get a little too comfortable. 

To mitigate that, set up precautionary measures before you browse. Anti-virus and anti-spam protection are a must. Same with firewalls. Only visit websites with HTTPS in the URL (this goes back to people and education).

Another tip: your local Starbucks or other public hotspot is not safe.

Open WiFi spots allow anyone to hijack the connection and get to you.

If you must use one, never allow auto-connect. Your computer may connect to the fake hotspot belonging to the hacker across the street.

When is the right time to get cybersecurity?
Find out when you should get cybersecurity.

There’s plenty to learn about cybersecurity. But if you understand the basics, you’re already ahead of the game. Leave the rest to the pros.

iVenture Solutions is an award-winning managed service provider delivering superior IT solutions to clients across Florida.

As a leading-edge IT firm for small and medium-sized businesses, we provide a diverse range of services covering the entire scope of IT including maintenance, support, hosting and more.

Through rapid response time, reduction of chaos and the right people, our expert team of IT professionals will fulfill your technology needs. At iVenture, we give you more time to do what matters most.

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