Cyber Security Basics: Is Your Business Protected?

Imagine you’re a retailer with inventory to protect: You’ve taken important steps to deter thieves, installing alarms, a video surveillance system, and locks on all doors and windows. But what about your computer system? Is it vulnerable to data breaches that could endanger your finances, private client and employee details, and other sensitive material? Cyber security measures protect hardware, software, and information. The best options prevent ransomware, malware, and more.

Cyberattacks: What You Should Know

Hackers and thieves work overtime to keep up with technology, quickly learning how to exploit weaknesses in systems of all types. Automated tools constantly search for vulnerabilities, entering via backdoors, using keyloggers, phishing via email spoofing, and more. Individuals and companies of all sizes are at risk of falling victim to ransomware, often opting to pay the requested ransom, which in turn funds thieves’ efforts to further develop their ability to carry out sophisticated attacks.

Endpoint security breaches can cause severe financial damage, particularly when banking and credit card details are stolen. Even without an outright theft, news of a data breach causes serious concern among clients, reducing their trust and putting your business at risk.

Some businesses make the mistake of believing that attacks tend to target major corporations and financial institutions. The truth is that cybercriminals don’t concern themselves with company size. Even small businesses face cyberthreats, meaning that computer security should be a top concern.

Targeted Industries

While every business should take proactive cyber security measures, certain industries are at an elevated risk.

·         Financial services are among the top targets for hackers and thieves, and the implications of a data breach are both enormous and devastating.

·         Because retailers host important customer data and conduct financial transactions, they are under constant attack. Catching point of sale skimmers early on and adoption EMV Chip and PIN technology are important methods for stopping some attacks, but are only part of the overall cyber security picture.

·         Media companies are at risk of intellectual property theft and more. IP theft motivates over one-third of attacks.

·         Manufacturers of all sizes are at risk; cyberthieves target these companies to gain access to intellectual property theft, financial details, and more.

·         All U.S. companies with employee W2 forms on file are at high risk due to the lucrative business of IRS tax scams via phishing attacks and social engineering attacks.

·         Healthcare providers are at an elevated risk due to the lucrative “business” of medical identity theft, in which patient data is resold. Hackers target electronic health records at incredible rates.

·         Energy and utility providers are at an elevated risk of cyberattack, particularly as nation-state cyberattacks increase; for example, a 2015 attack knocked out power to 225,000 subscribers.

Although threats can come from a variety of sources, the motivation for attacks on industries like these is typically financial gain. Preventive measures such as firewalls and cryptography aren’t normally enough to stop cyberattacks. Because endpoints serve as gateways for access, countermeasures that provide threat prevention are preferable to those that simply attempt to neutralize attacks after a data breach has occurred.

Endpoint Prevention Blocks Attacks and Prevents Damage

It’s true that tactics such as internet use policies, content filtering, strong passwords, and WiFi safety can help prevent some attacks, but they only go so far.

Most cyber security programs feature layers of perimeter security that detect attacks as they are in progress, and then attempt to mitigate damage by providing a response. While these are somewhat effective, they don’t keep cybercriminals out. A solid endpoint security plan blocks even the most sophisticated attacks before hackers have the opportunity to make headway. Up to 80% of cyberattacks exploit flaws located at endpoints located in browsers, operating systems, and applications, and the newest endpoint prevention tactics offer a proactive solution to this issue.

The best cyber security programs assure that attacks are neutralized as soon as they happen, stopping hackers rather than waiting for an attack to occur. Scalable to business size and taking as little as 2MB of computing power, they offer a solid solution to current challenges and allow companies to carry out day-to-day business with complete confidence, without disrupting operations.


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