Cyber 101: The Basics of Cyber Security

Would you be comfortable living in a house where all the doors are left wide open for anyone to enter? What if someone had access to a hidden pathway to the house – does that make you feel secure? Now, think of that house as your business’s internal systems and the hazards surrounding it as cyber threats.

Cyber security is one of the most widely discussed topics in the world of technology. However, it is often not seen as a priority for companies, until something bad occurs, such as a data breach or malware attack. According to Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021, 38% of UK businesses experienced a cyber breach or attack in the last 12 months. With cyber attacks on the rise, it may no longer be a matter of ‘if’ your business will be attacked, but ‘when’.

What is cyber security?

You use a lot of devices each day – computers, phones, and tablets – and they are all connected to the internet. Data and intellectual property can be found on all these devices, or it can be stored on servers and networks that you use, including banking sites and even email servers. Cyber security is a broad term that encompasses the protection of all of these forms of data storage from attacks, and related cyber events. Your data is valuable, and if it isn’t properly protected, hackers could steal your data and sell it on the dark web. Cyber security uses techniques to help secure various digital components, such as networks, data, mobile devices, applications and computer systems, from unauthorised digital access. Just like a house alarm system provides security and protects your house, network security protects your IT systems and data.

Cyber threats

With the increase in the production of global digital data, it is anticipated that cyber attacks will continue to increase in the near future. According to the Annual Cyber Security Industry Report 2021, by Bulletproof, 86% of UK organisations expect cyber attacks to increase significantly in 2021. Small businesses are often prime targets for network attacks because they aren’t protected by the same level of security as larger companies, yet they still have valuable data to offer. Cyber threats can take many forms – many aim to steal customer data, while some try to disrupt or shut down sites for malicious purposes. Common cyber attacks include:

  • Identifying theft of sensitive customer data, such as names, emails, password and credit card details. Hackers and other cyber criminals are often looking for valuable data like this to sell on the black market and may do so with malicious software.
  • Email compromise, particularly where organisations use Office 365, and where the hacker takes over the organisation’s emails to initiate fraud. This can include malicious code.
  • Data breaches, through human error, IT theft, or due to a hacker gaining unauthorised access.
  • Ransomware – this is where unpatched security allows the hacker to encrypt data files and operating software. In this instance, you won’t be able to access your files and company information until you pay the ransom. A denial of service attack and spear phishing attacks are concerns.

The associated risks and costs of cyber attacks are enormous. Vulnerabilities such as these will never completely diminish because they’re built into the internet’s architecture. Internet-based risks are part of today’s online infrastructure and must always be accounted for business continuity.

 

Cyber security business insurance

How can you stay protected with cyber security solutions?

The good news is that, even though there are many cyber risks associated with the internet, there are simple things you can do to protect yourself and your business. As threats evolve, IT security is a critical part of every business and should be continuously improved. You can take measures – and put in security controls – to protect yourself against cyber threats and reduce business disruption. The cyber security measures you take to protect your data and files will reduce your risk of being a victim of various types of cyber attacks. Antivirus protection is most certainly a step in the right direction, as is hiring cyber security professionals – both efficient security tools.

A Cyber Insurance policy is just another fundamental step towards complete cyber protection. The Insurance Octopus has access to tailored Cyber Liability Insurance policies which protect you from the financial implications that may result from cyber incidents. If a hacker damages your business’s operating systems, websites or data files, Cyber Insurance will reimburse the costs of repairing, replacing or restoring such items. With one comprehensive policy providing protection for your computer systems and data, you can feel assured your business is protected.

To learn more about the Cyber Insurance policies we have available and how we can tailor cover for potential cyber security issues, call us today on 0161 968 2030 for your specialist insurance quote. You can also access our quote form here.