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Why is cyber security important for your company?

by Mic Johnson

A lot of people might be tempted to dismiss cyber security as something relatively unimportant. An “extra,” if you will. Many people think that you should be in good cyber shape as long as you stay off of terrorist or adult sites and do not allow unknown people to walk into your office.

The reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. Hackers are becoming smarter and craftier all the time, and as soon as software gets updated to try to keep them out, they get on top of the systems and start figuring out how to break into them.

You don’t want to become a victim of this. If you’re still not convinced, this article will lay out a number of particular risks that poor cyber security carries, and supply measures that you can take to ward them off.

How can your computer network be at risk?

There are different methods that hackers use to break into your system. Some of them might be obvious to you, others less so. Risks include the following:

  • Web or email attacks. If a hacker gets a hold of your email or systems passwords, he or she can break into your system and steal any amount of data.
  • Thumb drives. This might not be something you think about actively, but leaving a thumb drive lying around can potentially expose all manner of company information to unwanted people.
  • Sharing of passwords openly or use of weak passwords that can easily be determined.

What are the types of attacks an exposed system might face?

Being savvy about cyber security means being informed about the different types of attacks that hackers can make on your system. These include the following:


As you might have guessed, malware is short for malicious software. Malware includes different types of programs that can make their way into your company’s system and uncover private data, applications, or your operating system as a whole. Once it gets inside your system, repairing the damage can cost you greatly in terms of both time and money. You could find your strategic plans, or your whole sales pipeline thrown out of whack.

Spyware in particular is on the rise in recent years. This is a type of malware that can track your activity and violate your finances. In addition, there is an increasing threat of phishing, which is a method of fooling people into giving out information that can lead to unwanted data exposure.


A related concern is ransomware. Just like traditional ransoms, ransomware asks affected people to pay a ransom in order to gain access to their own data. The way it operates is by breaking into a computer, encrypting the computer’s files with a public key encryption, and then demanding ransom for the private key. If the person being attacked does not come up with the requested amount, he or she will be subject to having their data held hostage.

Ransomware is increasing in both frequency and sophistication. As people learn how to better detect it, cyber criminals become more adept at creating subtle methods of breaking into systems.


Phishing is a way for savvy hackers to lure sensitive information out of people in order to break into their systems. They often mask themselves as normal, safe people or entities that you might do business with. It is only after providing information that you often realize you are dealing with a criminal.

A related problem is spam. Although you’ve certainly heard about this – every email system has a category for it – you should be aware of the fact that spammers are also becoming more sophisticated. Many times emails that look perfectly innocuous are ones that will infect your system if you click on them.

What can you do to protect yourself?

Given all of this, you are probably wondering what you can do to beat the cyber criminals and really protect yourself. There are several fundamental things you should do:

  • Get a reliable VPN. Getting a good, strong VPN can be a big benefit for your company. The right VPN can give you complete privacy and prevent people from being able to access your system because of weak settings.
  • Establish strong passwords. Come up with passwords that aren’t easy to figure out. Obviously, any information related to your company’s founding, its address, or prominent members will be very easy for people to figure out. When your sales team goes to sync Outlook calendar with Salesforce on Revenuegrid, you want the process to be smooth and confidential.
  • Get the right antivirus software. This might also sound like a no-brainer, but you should go about finding a program the right way. Although many computers come equipped with some kind of software, the level of protection is often minimal. Therefore – particularly if you are dealing with an entire staff in your network – you don’t want to compromise quality for the sake of price. Do your research on the leading antivirus programs out there these days.
  • Educate your staff. You might assume that people automatically know not to open suspicious emails or click on things that might be harmful, but you’d be amazed at how many people are not up to speed on these things. Particularly people who claim to be “older but wiser” can be among the least savvy about these things because they did not grow up in the computer age. Take the time to conduct formal training sessions with your staff.

Stay on top of your game!

Another thing you should remember is that good cyber security is not a one-off. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the criminals often act as fast or faster than the software developers do, so you want to act preemptively so as to protect yourself and your business.

If you don’t, you will be exposing both your business and the individuals who work in it to potential attacks that can cost huge amounts of money to correct. So make the effort now. In the end, you will definitely find that it was worth it.

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