Cyber Security Can’t Be Ignored

Posted in Web Technology

The tech sector is evolving by leaps and bounds but so are the challenges and threats from malware and viruses. Today, we have online records of almost every facet of our lives which provides an opportunity for cyber criminals to misuse the information. There are large-scale incidences of identity theft, accessing credit cards and illegally acquiring data.  

  According to a  survey, 90% of Americans say that in order to secure the nation’s economy a secure internet is essential, while 60% said that their job depends upon it. 73% of people said that they need a safe internet for their business and it is imperative for their jobs.  

Cyber Crime statistics

The chart below presents a record of fraud identity victims and their total losses.     Other Key Findings:
  • In the year 2014, almost 71% of users were affected by cyber attacks while only 52% were victims again in the year 2015.
  • The most affected industry was Healthcare and security incidents soared by nearly 60% in 2014-2015.
  • Corporate data breaches increased by 15% and those corporations targeted incurred losses of $3.5 billion in the year 2015.
  • Impacted organizations (31%) suffered downtime of almost 8 hours each due to security breaches.
  • 56% of organizations have asserted that they are unable to detect a cyber attack.
  Although most of us are aware of its significant online risks, there are many organizations or businesses who have neglected security for their online data. The greatest hindrance in protecting against cyber threats is the lack of security  awareness among employees. So how is it possible to defend against online security breaches?

What is Digital Security and How Can we Secure our Systems?

Digital Security is a term used for efforts aimed at the protection of your digital identity, data, or network. Digital security tools are used to secure assets, data, identity and technology in the online world, including mobile and computers.  

Email and Web Security

Today, most email service providers offer built-in protection against malware. If you use your own email server, cloud-based email security and two-factor authentication can protect your email account from getting hacked. No system comes with perfect security and therefore one should be careful with opening any emails claiming to represent banks or senders that are unknown to you with links or file attachments. A similar network-based security system can be beneficial by securing web traffic as it tries to enter your network.   Apart from an intelligent defence system, you can do the following to avoid security breaches.
  • Update software: It’s important to update your software in order to avoid any online threats. An older version of your software may have publicized security holes and vulnerabilities and is less safe than one updated with the latest security patches
  • Change your password frequently, use a longer password, and enable two-factor authentication as the best and easiest way to protect yourself from cyber criminals.
  • Many companies opt for intrusion prevention systems to protect their domain. It adds another layer of protection that can detect attackers, log their actions, and protect other network machines from getting compromised.
  • Educating yourself and your staff about a variety of online threats can help. You can arrange for a security assessment of your network from an security expert or penetration tester who can guide you to adopt measures to safeguard your network.

Cyber Security for Non-Profits

Many non-profits record considerable quantities of sensitive personal information, such as a donor’s address, credit card information, phone number, or even bank information. Cyber hygiene is imperative to these organizations. There are a few crucial points that you must keep in mind while operating online.
  • An online presence is important but don’t ignore security.
  • A well-designed security plan is a must. Create a calendar and work according to a monthly ‘to-do list’ and reminders. You should maintain a chart when data is updated, password are changed and reminders to update security policies.
  • There should be strict policies regarding who can access information and who cannot. If handling credit card data, use a PCI compliant system or vendor to secure data. Internally, not everyone is entitled to see a donor’s information.
  • Protocols should be respected and followed by every employee, this is very important for any organization big or small to function efficiently.
  • Encryption is important, especially for information like personal data.
  • Firewall and antivirus updates should be done in regular intervals.
  • Backing up critical data is another very critical step that can be done via a local server, hard drive, or cloud storage provider.
  Apart from regular updates, password changes and cloud backups, encrypting sensitive is also extremely important. Until nonprofits give adequate attention to their cyber security, they be unable to defend against real online threats. This can lead to loss of funds, data, or worst of all, their reputation and the trust of their donors and members. However, with some simple precautions, nonprofits can secure their digital footprint and ensure they reap the positive benefits of digital technology.