Cybercrime is a lucrative business and it’s on the rise, which means IT cybersecurity has never been more vital. Here we explain the importance of constant monitoring and vigilance, and offer tips for how companies can best protect themselves.
The increasing importance of cybersecurity
One of the many fallouts of the global pandemic is the rapid increase in stay-at-home workers, which has caught many businesses unprepared.
As more and more employees conduct their business from home offices and remote locations, we have seen a sudden surge in cybercrime and IT cybersecurity breaches.
This has been compounded by the acceleration in the worldwide digital transformation, the two factors creating a “perfect storm” that has led to an exponential growth in attacks on organizations.
There is more to cybersecurity than file security and knowing how to protect files, although both these things are essential.
Here we consider the global increase in IT cybersecurity breaches, its effects and how Ceiba is leading the charge to protect businesses from malicious attacks.
Take preventative steps: Follow Ceiba’s cybersecurity tips
How does cybercrime happen?
Hackers use a multitude of tactics to facilitate a cybersecurity breach. Some of these, such as taking advantage of data leaks, are well-known and when they occur, especially on a large-scale, they make headlines worldwide.
Others are less familiar, and it is important that businesses increase awareness among their staff to take simple, preventative steps.
Companies can lose data through credential theft, whereby hackers steal passwords and other login details and use that information to gain access.
There is also social engineering, where employees are manipulated into divulging confidential information, as well as information leaks, where sensitive data is shared accidentally – either physically, through a lost laptop or hard drive, or online.
Attackers sometimes send phishing emails or messages that trick employees into downloading ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malware that locks out legitimate users while hackers steal, delete, or encrypt the data on the device.
Keyloggers are software programs that trace the data entered into keyboards, such as passwords, credit card details and website addresses, and hackers operate various forms of viruses and malware, including trojans, spyware and adware, which maliciously hijack systems.
A ‘man-in-the-middle’ attack occurs when an attacker intercepts the data passing between two communicating parties, and an ‘exploit’ is a malicious program or segment of code that takes advantage of vulnerabilities in hardware or software.
In short, hackers’ tactics are constantly mutating and are now more aggressive than ever, which is why businesses must act to keep their assets safe.
What are the effects of IT cybersecurity breaches?
The tactics we mention here involve planning, patience and expertise, which suggests the rewards of cyberattacks are high and that is certainly the case.
Businesses can suffer economic losses and reputational damage, as well as the loss of information and the theft of data or equipment.
They may also provide hackers with an unauthorized income, and expose themselves to serious legal liabilities.
That’s why it’s essential for companies to take cybercrime seriously and ensure they avail themselves of every possible means of protection.
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Why is cybercrime on the increase worldwide?
We have already touched on the “perfect storm” that brought together the sudden increase in remote working with the accelerating digital transformation.
Most businesses were, unsurprisingly, unprepared for the swift action governments took to combat the covid-19 pandemic, which was to order as many workers as possible to stay and work from home.
Most companies implemented their remote working schemes in a hurry, unable to prepare their work teams for IT cybersecurity breaches and similarly unable to provide staff with the appropriate tools and training.
This has led to the “professionalization” of cybercrime, whereby cybercriminals have become increasingly active and creative. They are not just focused on national level breaches but are turning their attention to small businesses in order to steal funds.
That’s why it’s essential that companies generate a cultural shift, guiding staff towards a thorough understanding of cybersecurity to ensure they are the first line of defense.
How can businesses better protect themselves?
As cyber-attackers evolve their tactics and reinvent their strategies on a daily basis, it’s essential for companies to remain vigilant and constantly on the hunt for potential vulnerabilities.
There is, worryingly, a cybersecurity talent shortage, but businesses can still put plans and mechanisms in place in order to mitigate risks and develop a risk-aware culture that prevents staff from unwittingly aiding attackers in their quest.
Many of the tactics we mentioned above, such as credential theft, social engineering, phishing, and information leaks start with a company’s employees and, although they present a serious challenge, they are certainly preventable.
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IT cybersecurity is a top priority at Ceiba
At Ceiba, we take cybercrime extremely seriously and demonstrate a multitude of techniques to address the issue, many of them complementary and dependent on one another.
Some of the measures we take include constant monitoring of new Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) as well as using legal, licensed and permanently updated software that patches over any new CVEs reported.
We run awareness campaigns for employees, use protection endpoints on workstations, and execute internal and external penetration tests that validate our technical mechanisms.
Ceiba secures all communication channels with protocols that guarantee the non-interception of information (such as SSL/TLS, IPSec and OpenVPN), and has a contingency plan that includes D&R mechanisms and a solid backup system.
Our staff use services that shield the network, such as DoS, DDoS, WAF and CDN, as well as certified collaborative cloud services in our security practices.
We also guarantee authentication mechanisms in the different applications we use that allow for this and, alongside DLP mechanisms, our policies control the domain that facilitates data being shared in the cloud.
These are just some of the things businesses can do to mitigate the risk.
Act now on cybercrime to protect your business