Although computers and the internet have introduced many conveniences in our lives, they have also given rise to “cyber crimes”. This has introduced additional pressure on businesses as they not only need to keep their revenues growing but also keep cyber crimes at bay.
What do we mean by cyber crimes?
Cybercrime is basically any crime that pertains to computer or network. A computer may have been used for committing a crime. On the other hand, the computer could be the target for the crime. Cybercrimes breach confidential information. Cybercrimes include infringement, hacking, copyright, unwarranted mass surveillance, etc.
How are cyber crimes committed?
Cybercrimes are committed by individuals, small groups or organized criminal groups. They can buy and sell data and identities. They are difficult to track as they can operate anonymously from any location in the world.
The attack techniques used can be classified into malware and vectors.
Malware is software that is designed to permit criminals to commit a cyber crime.
They are classified as:
Ransomware: It is a malware in which an amount is demanded after launching an attack on the computer. This is widely used and it costs organizations large amounts of money.
Viruses: A virus is essentially a code that can replicate itself and spread by attaching itself to a computing file.
Worms: These are also self-replicating but do not attach themselves to a program. They look for weaknesses and report to the worm author on finding them.
Spyware/adware: When you open attachments, click on links or download infected software your system faces the danger of spyware/adware being installed on it.
Trojan: A Trojan virus is one that appears to perform a certain function, but actually performs a malicious activity on execution.
There are various attack vectors used by cybercriminals to infect computers with malware or harvest stolen data.
Some of them are:
Social Engineering: Techniques such as phishing are used wherein the personal information is extracted from individuals using lies and manipulation.
Phishing: This is a means to acquire user’s information by pretending to be a legal entity.
Pharming: This is a method to redirect a website’s traffic to a fake website, compromising on the individual’s information.
Skimmers: These are devices that pick up credit card information when a card is swiped through them.
Using such techniques and others cyber crimes are being committed globally. It is essential for an individual and any organization to protect itself from any kind of cyber attack. This protection is termed as cyber security.
What is cyber security?
Cyber security can be understood as a set of technologies, processes, and measures designed to protect data, networks, and computers from cyber crimes.
Organizations need to address the issue of cyber attack on priority, so that they can secure their operations avoid losses both financial and non-financial.
There are certain steps an organization can take to minimize the risk of cyber attack:
1. Do not expose control system devices to external networks:
Any link between devices on the control system and equipment on another network should be eliminated to protect it from cyber attack.
2. Apply Network Segmentation and Firewalls:
Segmenting implies dividing IT assets, data and personnel into groups and providing restricted access to them. This reduces the vulnerability of the organization’s system. Applying firewalls help isolate inbound and outbound traffic between different parts of a network or between a network and internet.
3. Utilize Secure Remote Access Methods:
Remote access to networks is convenient. But it should be used with a secure system such as a VPN (Virtual Private Network). It allows remote access to files, printers, databases or websites if directly connected to the network.
4. Access Control should be role-based and system logging should apply:
Role-based access control permits or denies access to network resources according to their job roles. This restricts attackers from reaching files or systems they don’t need to access. Logging enables monitoring of system activity. This makes it easier to detect causes that the system may face due to the activities of an employee or an outsider.
5. Apply different access control methods:
Use different passwords for different accounts. Passwords should be at least 8 characters long with upper and lower case letters, numerals and special characters. Whenever new software is being installed, all the default passwords should be changed. Other security features such as account lockout must be used.
6. Be aware of the vulnerabilities and apply various patches and updates:
Most vendors have developed patches for the vulnerabilities systems are exposed to. But, despite this organizations do not update these fixes and many are not even aware of them.
7. Organize cyber security training program for employees:
Cyber security is a problem that needs to be addressed by the entire organization as a whole. For this, it is recommended to hold cyber security training program for the employees. This will enable to notice security lapses, if any, occurring around them and bring them to the notice of the concerned person.
Implementation of cyber security measures warrants the services of professionals in the field. Any organization needs to determine the following before availing the services:
- First of all, the organization needs to identify the threats, vulnerabilities and the risks it faces.
- The next step is to analyze the impact of those risks materializing.
- Then the measures taken for mitigating those risks should be scrutinized.
- These measures will have an associated cost. A cost-benefit analysis should be done.
- There are numerous frameworks available for providing cyber security. The organization can select one that is best suited for it.
If you are looking for professional cyber security services, you can avail the services of Global IT Services. We provide you the services of experienced Cyber security consultants who will protect your organization from any kind of cyber attack.
Make your organization free from cybercrime with cyber security services from Global IT Services! Contact us today.