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Cyber Security for Businesses: 5 Solutions to Protect Your Assets

Cyber security threats have exponentially grown in the recent years, posing a risk to millions of users' data. Explore ways through which businesses can safeguard their systems against malicious actors.

By a TechBitBytes Contributor, August 30, 2023

Securing Your Business IT Assets

To start off, here is a scary statistic: According to a 2022 Data Breach Report from the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), over 422 million personally identifiable information (PII) was breached. Companies such as X (formerly Twitter), Neopets, and AT & T fell victims to cyber attackers that left hundreds of millions of personal information breached and maliciously accessed.

Today, organizations, and governments, have fully automated most of their processes, collecting users' data and storing it for future reference. The size of information collected, a concept described as big data, increases as the organizations begin to rely on the collected data for marketing campaigns, product surveys, tailored customer services, customized products and services, and more to increase a business's efficiency, uniqueness, and effectiveness. The exponential growth in information technology (IT), both hardware and software, has enabled data collection by businesses using simple platforms such as websites to complex systems identified in the Internet of Everything (IoT). As IT systems' complexity increases, the threats, and risks facing users' data have also increased. Malicious users and attackers have grown in sophistication and frequency of cyber-attack, which have seen businesses, both big and small, become compromised and billions of users' data exposed. As these cyber-attacks compromise the data stored, it also negatively affects business operations, revenue, trust by its customers, reputation, and huge costs resulting from lawsuits and regulatory fines.

Cyber Security Threats

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security involves protecting one's applications, systems, and networks from unauthorized access, which results from malicious users, who often aim to acquire data for monetary gains illegally, compromise information, or even for the fun of it.

Malicious users, known as hackers, often exploit existing vulnerabilities in an organization's systems, bypassing all authentication processes and illegally accessing the business's network and data. In the first quarter of 2023, Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) reported that there were over 89 million victims whose records of sensitive information, including home addresses, credit card numbers, phone numbers, and medical history had been exposed through a series of data breaches globally. For the Q1 report, T-Mobile topped the list with the highest number of victims, after suffering two attacks early 2023, one in January and another in April. These staggering numbers are despite the numerous calls by cyber security companies and even government agencies for companies and organizations to secure their data. However, as the vulnerabilities continue to exist, so will the every-growing data breaches.

Security Issues Associated with Cloud Computing

The advent of cloud computing has revolutionized how businesses conduct their operations. In the past, businesses maintained their applications and data in-house, relying on local networks for access. The limitations of this approach have driven a widespread shift to cloud computing solutions. Nevertheless, despite the intricate nature of cloud systems and the security guarantees offered by providers, businesses bear significant responsibility for safeguarding their data.

Cloud Computing, IoT, Cloud Security
Cloud Computing: Simply Explained
Cloud computing refers to the sharing of robust and configurable computer resources on an on-demand basis and is one of the trending topics in the computing and information sector.

While cloud computing vendors oversee cyber security aspects like firewalls and intrusion detection systems, businesses are tasked with establishing security protocols to ensure data protection. These protocols encompass various measures such as access controls, authentication mechanisms, business-oriented firewalls, employee education on information security, system security training, data backups, encryption, and managing vulnerabilities. Implementing these security measures within businesses goes a long way in mitigating potential vulnerabilities associated with cloud computing.

However, it's important to acknowledge that as businesses share infrastructure—both hardware and software—with other entities, the risk of hacking remains a persistent concern. This risk demands continuous attention and addressing to effectively counter potential threats.

Security Issues Associated with Internet of Things (IoT)

In the present era, accessing the internet and networks extends beyond mere computer usage. The realm of information technology has undergone substantial advancements, resulting in the emergence of numerous devices capable of internet connectivity and data transmission. Ranging from wearable gadgets like smartwatches to vehicles and household appliances like intelligent refrigerators and temperature controls, the digital landscape expands rapidly and exponentially. These remarkable strides in technology owe their existence to the progress in artificial intelligence, empowered by intricate algorithms. As the internet of things interconnects an increasing array of devices, the associated vulnerabilities and security considerations also escalate. In 2019, several cases were reported in the US of hackers breaching Amazon's Ring security system.

Further, more reports were made of compromised home network hubs, vehicles, and medical devices, including cardiac devices. These devices' security responsibility remains a contentious issue as users, governments, and products developers' debate on the security policies and controls involved. However, it is evident that the IoT continues to be a critical security endpoint that should be addressed with utmost urgency not only for informational security but also for the users' physical security.

Cyber Security Solutions in Businesses

Businesses and organizations are often responsible for the security of the organizational data and collected from users. Businesses are provided with an array of implementable options and strategies to ensure information security. As discussed herein, the most significant vulnerabilities lie within weak security policies within organizations.

1. Effective Business Information Security Policy

An effective information security policy should contain guidelines and standards for internal business security. Any information within an organization should be classified according to its sensitivity and value. Classifying this data helps develop adequate access controls to determine who should not only be authenticated by also authorized to access this data.

2. Secure Business Critical I.T Infrastructure

Another basic mitigation strategy is physical security protocols. The security of the business's physical premises and the network and computing infrastructure can help prevent attacks on the information systems. Critical network infrastructure and devices such as servers and routers should be secured appropriately and access to authorized according to the access control policy.

3. Employee Training and Awareness

Further, businesses are tasked with creating awareness on matters relating to cyber security within their organizations. Employees should be made aware of how information is compromised and their roles to ensure the information's security. Some issues to address during an employee security awareness program should be creating strong passwords, how to avoid social engineering, how to avoid using an organization's secure network for personal use such as access to personal social media accounts, and how to handle a suspected data breach.

4. Secure Network Configuration

Businesses should set up networks with strong encryption, unique passwords, and proper segmentation to reduce the risk of unauthorized access. Furthermore, cyber security personnel should implement penetration testing within a business's applications and networks to ensure all possible vulnerabilities have been mitigated. This testing helps ensure that the information systems are secure to the latest cyber-attacks, and any vulnerabilities can be patched before a real attack happens. Further, businesses should invest in the latest security systems such as intrusion detection systems (IDS), firewalls, and encryption tools, both hardware and software, to remain ahead of the cyberspace's malicious attackers.

5. Secure Backup and Recovery

Secure backup and recovery is a critical component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy for businesses. It involves the systematic creation and storage of copies of important data and systems in a secure and separate location. This ensures that if data is lost, compromised, or becomes inaccessible due to cyberattacks, hardware failures, natural disasters, or human errors, it can be restored quickly and effectively.

Secure backups are an integral aspect of information security, as they guarantee operational continuity for businesses in the event of data loss or corruption. Adhering to sound backup practices is essential, encompassing the following guidelines:

  1. Identification of Data Types to Backup: It is imperative for a business to selectively back up critical data, including databases, files, configurations, and user profiles.

  2. Frequency of Backup Creation: To ensure that backup copies are current and accurate, businesses should establish a routine schedule for creating backups.

  3. Implementation of Incremental and Full Backups: Employing a combination of incremental and full backups is advisable. Incremental backups capture recent modifications since the last backup, while full backups encompass the entire dataset.

  4. Offsite Storage: To safeguard against physical threats and localized incidents, backups should be stored offsite. This can be accomplished through physical offsite storage or secure cloud environments.


In Conclusion..

Cyber security is a growing concern among businesses and governments globally. As information becomes valuable, business' data is often targeted by malicious users with the aim to illegally access this information. The security of the data is a huge responsibility for the businesses who should implement mitigation strategies to help protect their data and that of their users. There are numerous strategies that a business can use to protect its data against unauthorized access and data breaches. However, it is imperative to note that hackers frequently employ new and sophisticated tools to carry out attacks. Consequently, today's solution will not work tomorrow. Businesses have to keep up with the trending attack types and integrate mitigation strategies early to protect their data and applications. The business' end-users should be regarded as casualties of a war between attackers and business on the control of sensitive information. With this in mind, businesses should ensure that the technology available to the end-users is secure, and governments should enforce strict policies and laws to ensure cyber security and discourage cyber-attacks worldwide.


  This article is written to the best of the author's knowledge. TechBitBytes(TBB) ensures that all articles are constantly updated with the latest information.