July 1, 2020

Cyber security: How to recognize and avoid an attack

Home / Blog / Cyber security: How to recognize and avoid an attack

Nowadays, it is no longer possible to work without the use of the Internet. To web hackers, this provides many opportunities for stealing, launching cyber attacks and collecting data.

 

Why is it important for a company to be aware of cyber security?

There are several reasons why the risks of cyber attacks and personal data leakage should be taken into account.

First, data theft can cause a significant cost. For example, the average cost of a data theft in an SME is about 22 000€.

The risk of data loss or theft is also increased by the use of handheld devices. With the health crisis, the use of telework has become much more widespread in most companies. Due to a lack of resources, some structures have not been able to provide their employees with electronic devices (business telephone, laptop, etc.) dedicated to their sole professional activity. The use of personal equipment for business purposes has increased, raising this way the risk of data loss and theft.

In addition, besides the corporate data that may be compromised in a cyber security attack, it is also important to be concerned about sensitive customer data.

The company is, indeed, legally responsible if its systems are compromised. Finally, in the event of data leakage, the negative impact can damage the company’s reputation adding a high risk of loss and of trust from current and future customers.

 

How to recognize a cyber attack?

First, we need to find out where the cyber attack may come from. The threat can come from different parties: employees, opportunistic or premeditated hackers etc.

The attack can also appear in different forms. One of the most common is phishing, but it is not the only one. The lesser known attacks include ransomware attacks. A ransomware is a malicious software that takes personal data hostage in exchange for payment of a ransom. The threat can also come from jeopardy.

In any case, it is important to be vigilant. This is why it is essential to train employees to detect a cyber attack and to use technological tools: firewall, anti-virus, intrusion detection technologies, DLP (data loss prevention) technologies.

 

How to prevent a cyber attack?

In order to best prevent a cyber attack, it is necessary to lay out a risk management strategy , as well as to set up technical means (pseudonymisation, data encryption, use of a VPN etc.).

Effective protection must be built on three focal points:

  • Protecting data

Many data breaches occur due to employee errors. For this reason, staff should only have access to information that is essential to their particular role within the company. Record retention programs that require employees to purge files on their computers and all paper copies they keep, thereby appropriately destroying the information, should also be taken into consideration

  • Always use strong passwords:

To remain protected against data breaches, companies and their employees must use strong passwords for each site they visit daily. In addition, passwords should never be shared among employees.

  • Use and regularly update security software :

It is essential for a company to use security software: firewall, antivirus, anti-spyware. This ensures that sensitive data is protected from hackers in the best possible way. However, make sure to update them as often as possible. In fact, the technologies used by hackers and cyber pirates are constantly changing and protection software can quickly become obsolete if it is not up to date.

 

In conclusion, it is essential to take appropriate measures to prevent cyber attacks, as they can pose a significant threat to a company.

For all these reasons, you should always put up a plan to limit cyberattacks.