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What is Cyber Security & Why this should be the biggest Concern of 2017?

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We live in a world, which is slowing but strongly connecting through the network. From social media to business transactions & government plans, all are interconnected. Reports say, by 2020 there will be 200 billion connected things. Cars, homes, cities, devices are being connected. Software is getting installed everywhere. This is changing the way we live and the way we behave and interact with the rest of the world around us. As technology becomes more and more important for business and integrated into our lives, we become more dependent on it. Protecting those vital business information or we can say the entire connected network is not optional, it’s extremely important. Few years ago many executives were scratching their heads and asking themselves “what is cyber security & why is it important?”

Our global economy heavily relies on data and information carried through cyberspace. It is our sole responsibility to take care of our property from potential theft, hackers or even competitors. If you remember, in between 2013 to 2015, many high profile companies in the US particularly complained that their internal information has been leaked & much data has been hacked. The cyber-attack on Sony highlighted matter and afterward many US business organizations started evaluating their IT infrastructure.

Today, the necessity of a robust cyber security measures is highly essential. A cyber-attack is causing a lot of damage to companies, governments and also individuals. Organizations need to respond to cybersecurity more actively by implementing strict measures.

What is Cyber Security?

Many aspects of our life as well as the nature of business depend on the internet and computers, which includes communications, transportation, social security, finance, healthcare and education. A lot of personal information as well as sensitive business data has been stored either on computer or mobile.

Have you ever thought is your data secure? How to keep data safe in your system? Cyber security involves protecting the information and systems we use either at home or at workplace.

There are three core aspects of cyber security.

Confidentiality: Information which is sensitive or confidential must remain so and be shared only with appropriate users.

Integrity: Information must retain its integrity and not be altered from its original state.

Availability: Information and systems must be available whenever required to those who need it.

For example, your financial details should be shared only to those employees or partners who are authorized to see it (confidentiality); the reports should be well protected so that no one can take out any information (integrity); and the records should be available and accessible to authorized users whenever they require (availability).

Cyber Security for Business

There are much sensitive information in your business. Such as passwords, financial details, security numbers, emails, employee details, source code, client details, database, quotations or any information which is critical to your financials as well as business success. Network security is the foremost important thing for any organization.

There are many steps business takes to protect themselves from cyber-attacks. IT team employs physical and software security at various layers in the infrastructure like application, network, server, and machine. Organizations train employees like never click on any links in an unknown email, never open attachments from unknown senders, never share personal information, change passwords often, protect office Wi-Fi with a password, and protect machines with passwords and much more.

“A study on data security in 2011 says, more than 80% of the data leaked from the organization because of internal negligence”

Hackers are hard. They always try to find a way to crack your security protection. If you are not keeping yourself a step ahead towards your internal data protection, there is a bigger chance that it might badly damage your brand value. Don’t take chances, when it comes to any kind security.

Apogaeis is here to help you in protecting your company network, owned software, custom web application and database from any kind of security attack. You need think and act like a hacker to protect information. It is not a newbie job.

Cyber Security for Customers

A business enterprise’s success largely depends on its customer base and relationship with them. Customers want you to provide them excellent service and address their concerns immediately. If you fail, within no time they will switch.

With the evolution of social media, the information sharing between service provider & customers are happening largely online. A huge amount of customer information is been transferred and stored digitally on an everyday basis. Don’t you think there are many hackers who always look for numerous ways to steal such important customer data? These can be your customer’s contact details, credit card details, bank account details, email id credentials, confidential source code and much more. If any customer’s information is misused because of your network security failure, you can imagine the consequences. They might take legal actions against you as well as they can use social media to destroy your brand value.

It is essential to invest on cyber-security to avoid any kind network security failure. Apogaeis helps its clients to setup entire infrastructure by identifying weak links in networks to ensure data safety.

“According to a report published in Jan 2015 on Global risks by the World Economic Forum (WEF), “90 percent of companies worldwide recognize they are insufficiently prepared to protect their information against cyber-attacks.”

Business leaders, European & US governments are very much aware and continuously try to find ways to counter cybercrimes. They invest heavily on cyber defence strategies and technical innovations. Many conferences and summits are happening around the globe to discuss cybercrimes and ways to fight against it. In the end of 2014, a cyber security conference held by The European Network & Information Security witnessed participation of 29 countries and over 200 organizations, including government bodies, telecom giants, ecommerce players, top financial firms, energy & power suppliers etc.

In February 2015, US President Barack Obama addressed a Summit on Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection at Stanford University. Many senior US political leaders, CEOs and board of directors from computer security companies, major retailers, telecom service providers, and technical experts participated to collaborate and work together in the way to develop & implement best strategies to strengthen cyber security.

To competently perform rectifying security service, two critical incident response elements are necessary: information and organization.

– Robert E. Davis

Why Cyber Security is Important?

The volume of cyber security threats and cyber-crimes has been increased since last decade- which includes data theft, system hacking, online vulnerabilities. The unprotected computers connected to the internet can be compromised in moments. Thousands of effected websites, email ids and also data centres are being discovered every day. Hundreds of millions of records have been involved in data breaches. Hackers are continuously implementing new cyber-attack methods. These are few examples which came into limelight in last decade. They highlight the importance of information security as an important approach to protecting data and systems.

The security threat is rising only because data available online. Technical developments and new innovations are helping but these innovations are also a part of these threats.

  • Migration of data into Cloud allows data to store in a globally accessible system. This becomes target and an opportunity for cyber criminals.
  • Extensive use of mobile applications.
  • Large amount of data (Big Data) puts additional concern.
  • IoT allows more machine communication.

Technologies are future of the business advantage, but at the same time adds concerns.

Cyber Risks

There are various types of cyber risks. Some are serious and few are more serious. Some examples of how data and system could be affected by a cyber security incident whether because of poor cyber security controls, natural disaster, or malicious users wreaking havoc- include the following factors:

Denial-of-service

This type of cyber-attack can successfully prevents the authorized functionality of systems, networks, devices or applications by exhausting resources. What impact could a denial-of-service have if it shut down a business website, thereby preventing its employees, vendors, customers, partners from accessing information or performing payments? Similarly if it impact government website, it will deny citizens to access any information. Just imagine a healthcare organization which got affected by denial-of-service, might fail to provide critical services such as medical systems, patient management, report management, ambulance services etc. Denial-of-service can make applications, websites, and systems unavailable for hours, days, or even a week.

Malware, worms, and Trojan horses

Malware, Trojan horses, web worms spread by email, instant messaging, malicious websites, and it infect other systems and webpages. Few of the applications and website will automatically download malware without user’s approval. This is known as “drive-by download.”

Botnets and zombies

A botnet, short for robot network, is an aggregation of cyber-attack effected computers that are connected to a central “controller.” The compromised computers are often referred to as “zombies.” These threats will continue to proliferate as the attack techniques evolve and become available to a larger user, with less technical knowledge required to launch successful attacks. Botnets designed to steal data are improving their encryption capabilities and thus becoming more difficult to detect.

“Scareware” – fake security software warnings

This is one of the most common form of cyber-attack. This type of scam is profitable for cyber criminals, as many users believe the pop-up warning messages indicating them their system is infected and they have to pay for the password or special software to protect their system and network.

Social Network Attacks

Social network attacks are major sources of attacks because of the volume of users and the amount of personal information that is posted. Users’ inherent trust in their online friends is what makes these networks a prime target. For example, users may be prompted to follow a link on someone’s page, which could bring users to a malicious website.

How to counter cyber risks?

What organization need to do is build effective cyber security solutions to monitor & control real time flow of inside/outside data flow, business process, systems, database, networks, business applications and customer information. This is exactly what Apogaeis’s cybersecurity solutions are based on.

The first step is to identify the security risks and strategies for dealing with them. By adopting standard security measures you should disable functions which are not required and keep security locks on other functions.

Malware Protection: Regular malware scanning of systems, limited use of personal devices, email policies, web policies are very important for data security.

Network Protection: Network protection is very important, as it can a weak link. It is crucial to follow proper network design principles and ensure all the connected systems are configured according to the security standards.

Application Security: Application Security Architecture must be thought well at the early stage of SDLC. Optimum security implementation helps to identify and fix any critical vulnerability before it is too late. Application security testing, Open source software analysis, web application firewall, service protection are the focus areas. It costs less in long run.

Identity and Access Management: As your business expands, you connect with more and more vendors, partners, and customers. At the same time, the identity and access management becomes a challenge. With the advancement of BYOD, IoT and M2M communication, organizations are more protective in managing their business information. IAM should be the first line of cyber defence.

Beside these, Information Security Policies should be added in employee NDA at the time of joining & regular training should be provided for internal safety. All the machines used inside the work premises should be tracked, monitored and inspected on regular basis. Inflow and outflow of data should be monitored and filtered.

Our Take

Cyber security is a global threat. It should be managed strategically at all the levels in an organization, from an individual perspective to the in-house IT department. Networks are been the target of cyber criminals and will continue. There are precautions which organizations can take internally, as well as they need to consult expert cyber security solutions providers. There is no silver bullet cyber security solution, a layered defence is the only solution. With the proper monitoring and specialist assistance, it is possible to protect business and personal information.

Apogaeis is a specialist cyber security consulting firm and a solution provider. We streamline your current software solutions, mobile applications, web applications, and set up data backup. We do work on recovery strategies, remote network controlling solutions, technology consulting, application development, product management and IT solutions. We have the expertise to offer the security of information assets, structured risk assessment, applications security services, data encryption services and much more.

Click Here to talk to our consultant for a FREE CONSULTATION to understand more on how to protect your network.

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