Hence, cyber crimes have increased by 600% challenging any kind of business that makes use of digital and technological infrastructure in their daily operations.

In order to cover all aspects of this modern day threat, in the present article we are going to discuss

– What a cyber attack is,

– The consequences of a cyber attack, and

– 5 ways to protect your business from cyberattacks

So, let’s start with a short definition.

What Is a Cyber Attack?

Cyber attack is an umbrella term referring to any malicious attempt for unauthorised access to a computer system or network. This kind of access allows cyber attackers to take control of your IT assets and, thus, block, alternate and destroy your data.

Cyber attacks are carried out with the use of digital tools that are able to exploit vulnerabilities within your system. For example, malware stands as the most commonly used cyber attack tool which gets installed into your computer system and tracks your system activity or data even without you noticing it.

The unauthorised access acquired through a cyber attack comes along with a great series of implications for any kind of victimised organisation – which we will be analysing right below.

Consequences of Cyberattacks

The extent of implications of a cyber attack varies according to the size and the type of operations of each organisation.

#1: Data breach

As mentioned above, cyber attacks allow malicious actors to access the data kept within your network. In this way, they are made capable of destroying or alternating your data while blocking users of your company from accessing them.

This kind of unauthorised or illegitimate exploitation of your data affects data  confidentiality and integrity leading to severe data breach incidents and, thus, the imposition of the high fines they come along with.

#2: Productivity loss

Simultaneously, when a cyber attack, computer systems may shut down completely either due to the attack itself or intentionally so as to mitigate the damage within the network of a company.

As a result, daily operations that are executed via the use of IT tools are hindered reducing the performance of your employees during their working hours.

#3: Reputational damage

On the one hand, the loss in productivity may suddenly result in reduced quality of services while, on the other hand, repetitive data breaches make clients feel that their data may be put at risk at any given time.

The above factors decrease external credibility and often trigger clients to end or limit their partnerships with the victimised organisations in order to protect their own interests.

#4: Revenue decrease

Overall, data breach fines, low performances and possible decreases in clientele caused by cyber attacks either put an unexpected economic burden on the shoulders of a business or diminish its profit margin.

Consequently, businesses are called upon to deal with a chain of “unfortunate events” in order to sustain internal economic stability.

For each and every of the above mentioned reasons, it is crucial for every organisation to consider adopting the appropriate protection methods to defend themselves against cyber attacks.

5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Cyberattacks

Because there are numerous ways in which a business may protect its IT infrastructure from cyber attacks, we are going to focus on the following essential ones.

#1: Personnel training

As a first step to ensure its cybersecurity, each business must engage in personnel training.

Company employees should be aware of the most common cyber attack methods, e.g. spam emails or other phishing messages, and the ways they can defend against them.

That can be implemented through the organisation of special training courses, as are workshops or seminars, which will be adapted to the cognitive background of the employees and the technological needs of each business.

#2: Anti-spam software

Moving onwards, enterprise members can protect themselves from cyber attack attempts through the use of anti-spam software.

An anti-spam software is able to identify spam emails and block any attached file or link that may lead to a generalised cyber attack.

For example, N-able Mail Assure uses artificial intelligence methods to recognise real-time threats and is able to intercept 99.99% of malware attacks that are being transferred via spam.

#3: Vulnerability assessment

At the same time, vulnerability assessment stands as an equally important protection method against cyber attacks.

Vulnerabilities are the weak points in a computer system, software or application, which malicious third parties exploit to infiltrate into the network of your company.

Building a vulnerability assessment system helps you gather and track system vulnerabilities, as well as prioritise any relevant remedial actions.

Within this framework, Nessus stands as the No1 vulnerability assessment tool providing complete software vulnerability coverage, analysis and vulnerability prioritisation by severity and exploitability.

#4: Data packet filtering

Alongside the above, each business may implement a data packet filtering system to control the data traffic of its network.

As cyber attacks are mainly carried out by exchanging data packets with the victimised networks, a data packet filter serves to distinguish between malicious and secure data packets and to block the inflow of the former.

Data packet filtering can be implemented through the use of a variety of tools, but mostly through the use of firewalls or virtual private networks (VPNs).

For example, GFI KerioControl stands as a 2-in-1 solution combining both firewall and VPN services for small or medium sized businesses. More specifically, it monitors incoming and outcoming data packets, it filters web data and their content, while also protecting your IP addresses when connecting with other devices or networks.

#5: Password management

Finally, password management is a simple but equally important way to protect against credential “eavesdropping” by would-be cyber attackers.

Tools, such as N-able Passportal or Devolutions Password Hub collect all passwords used within your network and monitor their disclosure amongst its users. Furthermore, they can generate new strong passwords and encrypt them while stored in the app or disclosed from one user to another.

Completing our list of potential protection methods against cyber attacks, let’s sum up what has been said in total.

Now Over to You

So, we covered what a cyberattack is, what consequences cyberattacks bring about and, lastly, in which ways can a business secure itself from possible cyber attacks.

When concerning security methods, each organisation must select the ones that adapt to the nature of its daily tasks, the number of its users and the extent of IT use within its environment.

For such an assessment, Orthology is providing individualised IT services including the design of cybersecurity solutions strategy and the implementation of these solutions through the installation and configuration of the selected tools.

Therefore, if you wish to choose the most suitable protective strategy against cyber attacks and train your employees on its implementation, don’t hesitate to contact us so as to get the support adapted to your needs!