Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting systems connected to the internet, including hardware, software, and data, from attack, damage, or unauthorized access. This includes protection against a wide range of threats, such as hacking, malware, phishing, and other forms of cybercrime. Cybersecurity also involves developing and implementing security policies and procedures to protect against these threats, such as using firewalls and anti-virus software, implementing strong passwords, and regularly updating systems to correct security flaws.
Essentially, it is the practice of protecting your information and devices from hackers and other malicious actors in the digital world.
Cybersecurity is important for several reasons:
Protecting Sensitive Information: Cybersecurity helps protect sensitive information, such as financial data, personal information, and confidential business information, from theft, manipulation, and unauthorized access.
Maintaining Information Integrity: IT security ensures the accuracy and consistency of information and prevents unauthorized changes, which can lead to incorrect decisions, loss of trust, and reputational damage.
Ensuring Information Availability: Authorized users have access to the information they need, when they need it, and avoid downtime and service interruptions.
Protecting Critical Infrastructure: Cybersecurity helps protect critical infrastructure, such as power grids, transportation systems, and financial systems, from cyberattacks that can cause widespread damage.
Preventing Financial Loss: Cybersecurity protects against financial loss due to theft of sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and bank account details, as well as cyberattacks on businesses.
Regulatory Compliance: Cybersecurity is also important for businesses to comply with various regulations, such as the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and Bill 25 in Quebec.
Although technology plays a significant role in cybersecurity, the human element in protecting computer systems is often overlooked, as demonstrated by the fact that 95% of security breaches are due to human error.
So how can you ensure good cybersecurity within your organization?
Develop a comprehensive cybersecurity policy: Establish a comprehensive cybersecurity policy that outlines your organization's expectations, responsibilities, and procedures for protecting data and systems.
Train employees: Educate employees about cybersecurity best practices and the importance of using strong passwords, avoiding phishing emails, and keeping software up to date.
Use strong passwords and two-factor authentication: Ensure that all employees use strong passwords and enable two-factor authentication for access to critical systems.
Implement security software: Install and maintain antivirus software, firewalls, and other security software to protect against malware and other cyber threats.
Regularly update software and systems: Keeping software, systems, and applications up to date is essential to address known vulnerabilities.
Regularly perform vulnerability assessments: Regularly assess system and application vulnerabilities and implement appropriate measures to address identified risks.
Control access to sensitive data: Not all members of your organization should have access to all information, particularly sensitive information. Limit access to sensitive information and encrypt data in transit and at rest.
Back up important data: Important data should be regularly backed up and stored securely to ensure that it can be restored in the event of a cyberattack.
Have an incident response plan: Develop and test an incident response plan to quickly and effectively respond to cyber incidents. Evaluate and rank vulnerabilities based on four measures (likelihood of occurrence and severity of impact) and develop response plans for each of them.
Regularly reviewing and updating cybersecurity policies and procedures is essential to ensure that they remain effective in protecting an organization's data and systems.
Even if your organization is small, you can still take steps to protect yourself, such as controlling access to sensitive data, enforcing strong passwords for employees, backing up data regularly, and keeping software up to date.
For everything else, we can help you develop an awareness plan, suggest software that fits your budget, and build an incident response plan tailored to your needs.
Don't neglect your organization's cybersecurity. A study conducted in France found that more than 50% of small and medium-sized businesses that suffered a cyber attack went bankrupt and closed down within two years of the attack.
Contact us to learn more or take advantage of 20 minutes of free cyber consulting on the occasion of Kereon 20th anniversary (it’s our sister organization).