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What is Cyber Security and Why Should You Care?

15/02/2019


Today’s businesses rely heavily on computers and networks to operate. And while the digital revolution has proven fruitful in terms of accelerating workflows, reducing costs and increasing collaboration – those benefits have obvious downsides. Namely, the risk of unauthorized parties breaking into the network and accessing private, personal and proprietary information.

Business owners, managers and employees alike all have a responsibility to protect the company’s information. However, it’s difficult to predict where, when or how a cyber threat may emerge. And worse, criminals are constantly devising increasingly clever and sophisticated means to bypass existing security controls – making a robust cyber security program even more important.

Protecting the Business

Cyber security professionals leverage a broad range of technical, psychological and business insights to defend businesses and networks from criminals and unwelcome intruders. They are trained to understand where an organization is vulnerable, where a would-be hacker is most likely to gain access, and how to prevent or stop that from happening.

While certain common-sense tools such as anti-virus and firewalls are an excellent place to start – these alone are rarely enough to prevent or contain a potential attack. Cyber security today requires a broad approach that includes crisis management and scenario planning, threat analysis and a review of cyber security controls and protocols, simulated breaches to test network resilience and comprehensive employee training.

Risk and Consequences

Depending on the size, scope and duration of the attack, a network breach is a serious concern which has the potential to cause significant damage to an organization, its employees and customers. If cyber criminals manage to access customer payment information or personnel records, for example, clients and staff could face the risk of identity theft and financial turmoil that could take years to repair.

Hackers could also seek to access proprietary business information like secret blueprints, unfiled patent applications, executive correspondence and more which, in the wrong hands, could destroy years of work and nullify a business’ competitive advantage.

Ransomware incidents are also on the rise, whereby a piece of unauthorized software prevents the organization from accessing their own computer network until the perpetrator receives a specified amount of money – generally in the form of cryptocurrency.

And above these are the potential legal, regulatory and reputational harm that an organization will contend with in the fallout of an attack. Not to mention the cost of lawyers, public relations consultants and cyber security specialists required to restore services and repair the damage.  

Peace of Mind

Information is the currency of today’s business landscape. Businesses use it to connect, collaborate and transact with trusted sources. Customers are willing to part with it, provided the organizations they patronize prove worthy of their trust. And governments want assurance that organizations act in good faith of the public interest.

Cyber security, therefore, is no longer the sole responsibility of the information technology team. It is a critical business development tool, a public relations imperative and compliance issue which must be top of mind for everyone in the organization.

In this environment of growing uncertainty, the businesses which succeed will be those who invest wisely in protecting their information assets.

To learn more about how MNP can help you build an effective cyber security strategy, contact Jason Murray at 647.333.6241 or [email protected]