How Important Is Cyber Security?

All You Need to Know Around Cyber Security and How to Protect Your Business. Simply Explained in Our Know-How Article

The importance of cyber security is increasing with the ever-increasing threat of cyber attacks. In Germany alone, the number of businesses that were the target of a cyber attack was around 17.7 million in 2019 (published by Statista Research Department, 12/15/2022).

So how does the current threat situation look like, and why is cyber security becoming more important by the day? Plus, how to protect yourself and your business in the long term and effectively.

How Important Is Cyber Security and Why Do You Need It?

The term cyber security covers several categories, including operational security, information security, network security and program security, as well as business continuity and focused user awareness training.

In general, cyber security refers to all measures that can be taken to protect electronic systems, networks, data carriers and their data, servers, mobile devices and their users from malicious attacks from the network.

  • Operational Security: Includes everything from decisions and processes for securing and sharing data to the smooth and secure use of a device
  • Network Security: The umbrella term for all procedures to protect computer networks from attackers and malicious malware
  • Endpoint Security: This is about protecting devices (endpoints), for example using antivirus programs or endpoint protection services.
  • Business Continuity Management (BCM): BCM encompasses all measures and processes that an organization implements to maintain business operations even under difficult conditions, e.g., in the event of a severe incident

Information Security vs. Cyber Security: What's the Difference?

Information is sometimes one of a company's most valuable assets. Accordingly, the umbrella term "information security" refers to an unbroken chain from trustworthy handling, to the constant correctness of data, to the protected availability of this information (and to guarantee it accordingly).

Thus, cyber security can be seen as a sub-concept of information security, which refers to all measures to protect this information and data in computer systems and networks.

Two Major Attack Vectors for Cyber Threats: Systems and People

The possibilities for criminal players to cause damage from the Internet are growing steadily and seem almost endless:

Adware, malware, viruses, Trojans, spyware, ransomware, phishing, smishing, vishing, social engineering, romance scamming - phew!

And all that just to name a small selection.

Yes, it can make you dizzy (even us, and we are the pros ;).

Illustration of a phishing simulation

A Brief Overview of These Methods:

  • Adware: malware that is disguised as advertisement and makes potential customers believe that they can buy a product at a discount or even for free.
  • Malware: Malicious software is software that has been written by a hacker in order to damage another's computer and/or perform a harmful action from the user's point of view.
  • Trojan: A program disguised as a useful installation that is deliberately infiltrated into a computer. Malicious software is secretly installed in the background, but unlike a virus, it does not replicate itself automatically.
  • Phishing: This refers to fake websites, e-mails, SMS messages or similar, with which criminals pretend to be a trustworthy person in order to obtain a user's personal data.
  • Ransomware: This is extortion software (often downloaded and activated by a phishing email) that allows intruders to block an owner's access to their own data and then demand a ransom as the price for releasing the withheld information.
  • Spyware: So-called spyware is used to spy on a user's online behavior for targeted advertising placements, for example, and the data is then passed on or sold to third parties without permission
  • Virus: Unlike Trojans, viruses can spread on a computer without the user's permission or knowledge, make changes to an operating system and thus cause enormous damage very quickly.
  • Social engineering: The focus here is particularly on interpersonal influence, with which trust, fear, mere helpfulness and manipulation are used to force the disclosure of confidential information or the release of financial resources, for example.

This list clearly shows that attackers can cause damage through the attack vectors of both systems and people. Not to forget the forgotten target group behind the systems: IT admins and developers.

In 2022, Statista registered that around 46% of companies in Germany have been subject to cyber attacks at least once, with the resulting damage running into billions of euros. The number of unreported cases is high, and the trend is rising. How is it possible that the threat seems to be increasing unabated? It's simple: cyberattacks and cybercrime are becoming more sophisticated, the attackers more motivated, the loot bigger and bigger, and cybersecurity more and more important.

So How Do You Protect Yourself and Your Business From the Growing Threat Landscape?

Cyber security is more important today than ever before. Virus scanners and updated firewalls against different variants of malware & Co. are a good starting point for functioning cyber security. These systems and IT setups can help to seal off an infected computer and, at best, minimize the damage. It is also essential to keep these systems updated and at the latest security level. So much for the technical aspect.

But it is just as important to inform, educate and regularly train your employees. Naturally, increasing digitization brings with it a certain degree of convenience, but it also requires a certain sense of responsibility. Even the best IT can only do so much against a social engineering attack that specifically targets a person or department. In this case, it's up to each individual.

By the way, there are specific trainings for the people behind systems, who have a particularly high level of responsibility: admins and developers. This target group can be trained as well, e.g. with a Cyber LAB for IT administrators or developers.

But How Important Is Cyber Security Really? Our Conclusion

With the current outlook, it is unfortunately not enough to roll out a virus scanner in the company. Every user of a network or device must be aware of their role and be willing to learn. After all, 90% of the least predictable risk factors are still sitting in front of screens. Anyone can accidentally introduce a virus into an otherwise secure computer system if security rules are ignored.

A single click or download is enough to cause unimaginable damage. Therefore, it is necessary to have a well-positioned balance between trained IT, extensive systems and trained employees. They should directly recognize phishing, ransomware, social engineering & co. and know how to deal with them and how to report these attempts.

With our IS-FOX Cyber Security E-Learning, not only is every company on the safe side, but there's something for everyone! With ease, training courses can thus be integrated into the daily work routine and tailored to the respective operational needs.

Because: Cyber-Security Awareness does not stop at a firewall (not even at a good one ;), but concerns every user. No matter if in the office or in the remote office: from the trainee, to the HR department, to the CEO office.

And that's why cyber security is so important. For everyone.

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