Why is cyber security more important than ever in 2019?

 

If you are a consumer or IT professional or company owner then chances are you use either a smartphone, tablet or computer in your life. Because of this, more of us are putting our lives online in an interconnected online world and more and more people are seeking ways to target us and steal our information or personal data.

 

Why do we need Cyber Security?
For companies, data breaches can have a big impact on their bottom line. These days the news is all about data being stolen or leaked and available for anyone with an internet connection to download. This data can range from personal pictures stolen from an iCloud account to leaked episodes of the latest TV series stolen right from the servers of the broadcaster. For consumers, it can be stolen credit card information or personal data from social media. The fact is that more and more people seem quite happy to put their entire lives online without thinking first of the consequences and how they would deal with something bad happening. That is why cybersecurity has grown exponentially in recent years. But still, many people don’t feel the need to protect their online data or presence when using the internet, and that’s bad.

 

How can companies protect themselves?
Companies need to invest in corporate antivirus for their entire network. They need to train their employees to use a strong password to access secure systems. They must stop the use of USB drives or cloud storage so that nothing that may contain viruses can be downloaded and infect the network or the employee’s computer. They must also lock down any site that requires personal information (e.g. banking sites) or where there is a high chance of data being stolen (such as illegal download sites). They must also make sure no programs are installed on the machines that are done so without the consent of the IT department. Using two-factor authentication to access sensitive company intranet pages or email servers are also recommended and give you an extra layer of security. Making sure each employee uses a corporate phone that is locked down is also recommended. If a business follows the above guidelines then they have taken a large step in increasing their cybersecurity and implementing effective measures to keep their employees and their data safe and secure in the workplace.

 

How can consumers protect themselves?
For consumers, the same rules as above generally apply. For parents monitoring their teenagers, using antivirus and locking down websites that are not appropriate is always a good start. So is making sure a strong enough antivirus software is installed on the computer. For general users, all the above, as well as strong passwords, stored in a password manager application, is also recommended. Either way, you look at it, cyber security is a big market and it is a hot topic now that more and more companies move their businesses to the cloud. The last thing any user wants is for their personal data to end up all over the internet. For example, nearly 6 billion Yahoo Mail accounts were hacked in 2013. That is an example of poor corporate IT security and lack of any kind of protection against data breaches. But just by following the rules above, consumers and companies can help improve their cyber security profile at home and in the workplace and that helps overall to keep us all safe when we are online.

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