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With more than 350 000 threats emerging globally per day, cyber security threats are not only alive and well but are also constantly evolving.
In July this year, City Power in Johannesburg was attacked by ransomware which resulted in customers being unable to purchase prepaid electricity, while their website remained completely inaccessible.
This unfortunate event has forced us to acknowledge that no corporation, big or small, is safe from a cyber-attack and that not enough businesses realize that cybersecurity is no longer a luxury, but a top priority
Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that blocks access to a system or files and threatens to publish valuable or confidential data unless a sum of money (ransom) is paid.
The answer is quite simple: everyone. Although many may assume that cyber criminals would gain more from attacking larger corporations, a shocking 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses.
The sad reality is that 70% of small to medium enterprises (SMEs) who paid their ransom after being attacked will close their doors 6 months after the breach.
The SMEs that do survive the attack will still suffer damage to their reputation, loss of valuable data and exposed customer information which is at risk of being made public, or worse being used in downline attacks using personal information such as leaked passwords.
In the event of customer information being leaked, businesses face serious lawsuits which can be financially devastating, especially for SMEs.
Investing in the right security infrastructure is only the first step of the cyber security process. Next is making sure that the system is updated regularly to take into consideration emerging threats while effectively dealing with attacks.
Although there are many parts of online security that can be managed by the slightly techno-savvy individual, the bigger picture is far more complex and requires an in-depth understanding of security risks and how to avoid them.
As the landscape of digital threats moves and evolves, so should the security of an organization. Evolution requires change, and in these changes is where potential threats lie. Therefore, security systems must be closely monitored and protected on a continuous basis.
The initial phase of protecting the organization is to ensure the right tools are put into place and that employees fully understand the security policy. The policy itself is also subject to change as the threat vs security environment changes.
One of the most important initial steps is simply hardening of your digital assets, such as your website, in order to reduce your attractiveness as a target.
No system is immune to a cyber attack of any sort and an organisation that knows this is one that will most likely sidestep a breach. This is done by putting into place a backup environment that mitigates the risk of losing information due to malicious attacks.
However, many organisations have failed thus far to put a backup system in place, immediately widening their scope of vulnerability. In terms of the best security practices, three copies of data should exist; 2 copies on different types of storage and one copy stored off site.
Some organisations choose to store their backups on the same server the primary information is stored on. In these cases, when hit by a ransomware attack, they lose their primary data as well as everything they need to restore it.
Among the many cyber security companies out there, organisations should make their selection based on reputability above all else. An organisation that wants to protect its information must remain proactive about security and should evaluate their readiness to respond to attacks on a regular basis.
Backups are a critical part of being resilient against cyber attacks and allows the business to restore critical information and function immediately. No business is immune, whether it be big corporations or SME’s, and with this in mind, preparation is key.
Too many companies are not equipped to deter cyber attacks and are even less geared to recover from one. The answer to this daunting risk is to ensure that the right security measures are in place at all times, monitored continuously and upgraded when necessary.
Fortunately, our website cyber-security services are not expensive and are readily implemented for SMEs. Speak to us about protecting your website and other online assets.
For more information about our cyber security services, please feel free to contact us or Get A Quote.
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