Cyber Security Services
With cyber attacks, phishing scams, and malware on the rise, it’s more important than ever to bolster your organisation’s defenses with cyber security. Here’s what you need to know about cyber security services and how they can protect your business.
Table of Contents
- What is cyber security?
- 8 different types of cyber security
- Top cyber security threats to your organisation
- New IT security threats to be aware of
- Installing cyber security services in your business
- Why cyber security companies are increasingly important
- The best cyber security tips to protect yourself – and your organisation
What is cyber security?
Cyber security is a complex topic that involves many different moving parts. However, for the purposes of a broad description, cyber security is simply the process by which technology is used to defend systems, networks, devices, computers and data against threats and attacks. While cyber security is the usual term adopted by the media, it may also be referred to as information technology (IT) security, or electronic information security.
The practice covers a broad spectrum of categories, from personal and individual devices, to physical or cloud-based business data, to mobile computing and more. You will find a breakdown of the eight most common types of cyber security in the next section.
One common misunderstanding is that cyber security or IT security is only about protection against malicious external attacks. That is patently false, as there have been numerous instances where good cyber security saved businesses against internal attacks. Moreover, cyber security services also serve the purpose of recovery. That is, after a cyber attack, a healthy cyber security strategy will allow you to recover what you can and allow you to move forward with as few problems as possible.
8 different types of cyber security
When building out your business’s cyber security strategy, it’s important to take into account the various types of cyber security that will apply to you. In order to be as well protected as possible, make sure you understand the following eight types of cyber security services:
- Network security: By securing the infrastructure, this type of IT security is designed to protect a business’s internal networks against external attacks. The most common examples of network security are strong passwords and two-factor authentication (2FA).
- Critical infrastructure security: This involves real physical security measures to protect the most business-critical infrastructure. Examples may include electricity grids.
- Application security: This is all about keeping your devices and your business software secure against threats. Application security is baked in from the earliest design phases. Common examples include antivirus software, encryption and firewalls.
- Information security: InfoSec is the measure that protects physical data as well as digital data against things like unauthorised access, deletion, unofficial changes, etc. It’s a way to ensure your data’s integrity and privacy remain intact – whether it’s in storage or in transit.
- Cloud security: Many businesses these days store their data in the cloud as well as on-site. While this is a smart strategy, it means cloud security is essential to protect and monitor your data. These cloud-based cyber security services help reduce the risks of any on-premises attacks.
- Data-loss prevention: This type of security is more policy and process-driven. It’s a way for your business to predict – and prevent – the effects of data loss. This is achieved by creating policies that outline what steps to take following a breach – such as data storage policies and permissions for who can access the network.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity: Similar to data-loss prevention, disaster recovery is all about building policies that cover what to do following a cyber attack. How your business responds to a cyber security incident will impact the total loss of data or operations, how quickly you can return to pre-attack operational capacity, whether your customers will be affected, and more. Business continuity, on the other hand, is the critical documentation that will clarify how your organisation can continue operating even without access to certain critical resources.
- End-user education: There’s a saying that even the most resilient cyber security services are only as strong as their weakest link. In most cases, that weak link is the human factor. You can reduce the risk of an employee making a mistake that leads to a cyber security breach by educating them. End-user education therefore teaches your team about the latest and most common cyber threats, the best practices to follow (e.g. how to spot and avoid phishing scams), and things like never downloading suspicious files. This should be an ongoing practice so your people are always up to date on the latest risks in the cyber landscape.
Top cyber security threats to your organisation
Threats against cyber security can be split into three different categories. Cyber crimes are those intended to steal money or financial information, or to generally cause criminal disruption; they may be carried out by individuals or groups. Cyber attacks are often broader in scope and many times are deployed with political motivations – e.g. attacks on Australian government and businesses. Finally, cyber terrorism is a rising threat and one intended to incite panic or fear through malicious cyber attacks.
No matter what type of attack, there are lots of different ways that bad actors can penetrate your systems. Here are the most common threats your business may come up against:
- Malware: Malicious software (malware) is a term that covers many different types of software that are intended to disrupt or damage an individual’s system. These attacks often begin when you open an unsolicited email attachment or download a file that seems legitimate but isn’t. There are lots of ways malware can penetrate your system, from viruses and trojans to spyware, adware, botnets and more.
- Ransomware: This malicious software is designed to extort money from you by blocking you out of your network or stealing valuable files. They will tell you that they will unlock your system (or return your files) as soon as you pay a ransom. This ransom is often in the form of Bitcoin. However, even paying the ransom doesn’t mean you will get what you want.
- Phishing: Phishing scams are all about mimicking legitimate sources or businesses and then getting the user to give up their sensitive data unknowingly. For example, you may receive an email that appears to be from your bank asking you to re-enter your password. Instead of sending you to the actual bank’s website, however, it will be a copy of the site where you will enter your login details. Once the attacker has these, they will be able to access your bank account themselves.
- Social engineering: This is the generic term for lots of different attacks that ‘trick’ you into handing over or revealing sensitive information.
- Denial of service: Denial-of-service attacks have been common for decades, and they can take down your business in a matter of minutes. This attack is achieved by overwhelming your networks and servers with traffic, which prevents you from fulfilling legitimate requests from customers. In short, it means your business will be unable to operate for the duration of the attack – potentially costing you serious money.
- Man in the middle: Whenever you send information digitally, there is the sender (you) and the receiver (someone else). A man-in-the-middle attack is where an individual inserts themselves between that connection in order to steal data. Unsecure Wi-Fi networks are the most obvious and common ways for this attack to occur.
- SQL injection: If you have vulnerabilities in your business critical software, attackers can use SQL (structured query language) injections to take over your databases and steal sensitive information. This is done by inserting malicious code directly into the database itself.
New IT security threats to be aware of
The cyber security threat landscape is constantly evolving. That means even if you have robust measures in place or outsource your security needs to cyber security providers, you still need to be aware of new threats.
Recently, romance scams have been on the rise. These attacks occur on dating websites and apps like Tinder. A malicious actor takes on the persona of someone looking to find love, and when they find their victim they will take advantage of them in order to attain sensitive data, most often financial information that they can steal. These romance scams have already cost Australians close to $30 million in losses – and those are only the figures that have been reported.
There are also malevolent malware attacks that have been running for years and are still wreaking havoc on businesses around the world. The Dridex malware, for example, harms victims through phishing emails or existing malware and has been stealing passwords, personal data and banking information since 2014. The financial losses due to Dridex are well into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
In circulation for just as long as Dridex is the Emotet threat. It’s an intelligent trojan that can not only load additional malware onto a system but also steal vital data. It works by attacking unsecure – i.e. easy to guess – passwords and is so harmful and widespread that even the Australian Cyber Security Centre has released multiple warnings about it.
Installing cyber security services in your business
So, now that you understand how vulnerable your business systems are without a solid cyber security strategy in place, how can you actually implement some solid solutions?
The first step is to build a cyber security framework that details exactly how your organisation will manage both attempted and successful attacks on your systems and networks. There are lots of online guides that cover the most important elements and cyber security services. However, to get the most value out of your strategy you’ll want to speak to cyber security companies who truly understand your business-specific needs.
It’s also essential to consider your organisation’s technology needs for IT security. Implementing the right cyber security tools is what will stand between your sensitive data and a potentially damaging cyber attack. You’ll want to speak to your cyber security provider about the best technologies to integrate with your systems – these may include firewalls, malware protection, antivirus programs, DNS filtering, email security software and more.
Why cyber security companies are increasingly important
For individuals, a cyber attack can mean they lose their financial information, their identity is stolen, they are forced to pay a ransom they can’t afford, or they lose their most valuable data like digital photos of loved ones. The same is true for businesses, but the risk is quantified to a much higher level. A damaging denial-of-service attack could put your business out of operation for hours, days or even longer. A phishing attack could make your company vulnerable to ongoing attacks and fall victim to major financial theft. And an SQL injection could mean your customers’ private data is taken over and stolen – damaging not just your finances, but your company’s overall reputation.
In response to these online dangers, cyber security companies can work to understand your business’s security needs, deploy the necessary software and hardware to bolster your defences, and provide ongoing cyber security services to ensure your organisation is always protected – even against modern and evolving threats.
Here’s how cyber security providers can bolster your defences
The best cyber security companies understand that businesses need proactive security solutions – rather than reactive strategies. That’s why expert providers like Quorum deliver a holistic cyber security approach to architect, deploy and manage cloud, on-premise and hybrid environments.
With the way the landscape is evolving, top cyber security providers are also recognising that identity is the new security boundary – rather than the traditional mindset of the perimeter defence methodology. That requires investing in a company’s cyber security defences to ensure resistance against targeted attacks like spear-phishing, data exfiltration, compromised accounts, changed admin settings, spyware/bots, malicious code and more.
Quorum also understands that while every business is different and their cyber security journey will vary from one to the next, Zero Trust Security Architecture is becoming an increasingly valuable solution. The experts at Quorum have developed a framework that provides clear and actionable insights to support organisations in their move towards a Zero Trust Security Architecture. This framework includes artefacts supplemented by deep expertise needed for effective planning, readiness and the deployment of a production-ready pilot.
The best cyber security tips to protect yourself – and your organisation
Utilising the services of an experienced cyber security company like Quorum is the best way to build and deploy sturdy defences around your organisation’s systems, networks and devices. However, it’s also recommended that you have a firm understanding of typical cyber security measures to ensure your day-to-day business activities are protected. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:
- Make your passwords complex: Easily guessable passwords are a nightmare for IT security teams – simply because they are so easy to avoid. Make sure your passwords are long and complex, and that you don’t use the same one across all your accounts. If it gets to be too much of a headache, use a password manager to keep all your passwords centralised and protected.
- Don’t mess with unfamiliar emails: Whether it’s an attachment to download or link to click on, don’t interact with emails sent from someone you don’t know. Similarly, for any emails that require you to enter private information or logins, always double-check it is from the official source and not a copycat that is trying to phish for information.
- Avoid public Wi-Fi wherever possible: Unsecure Wi-Fi networks are a breeding ground for cyber attacks, particularly man-in-the-middle attacks. So steer clear of them as much as you can.
- Keep your systems up to date: By downloading and installing the latest updates for your operating system and business-critical software, you will have protection from the most recent security patches.
- Download antivirus software: Many devices will already come equipped with baked-in antivirus software, but it pays to check for yourself and download the latest updates whenever they become available.
Want some guidance on cyber security threats, providers, and options? Let’s talk.
For more information about cyber security and how to ensure your business is always protected against threats – both internal and external – contact Quorum on +61 2 8966 1400.
You can also contact the Cloud Collective on +61 2 8966 1496 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are a proud Microsoft Gold Partner with two Advanced Specialisations in Microsoft Security, and we understand the critical need for solid cyber security defenses.
1. What is meant by cyber security?
Cyber security is a broad term that compasses a range of ways to protect your data and systems against malicious attacks. This can include lots of different security types – e.g. network, application, information, operational security, and more – and may even involve additional measures like disaster recovery, business continuity and end-user education.
2. What skills are needed for cyber security?
There are lots of ready-made cyber security solutions that individuals can take advantage of – downloadable antivirus software is one example. In instances such as this, you don’t need specific cyber security skills. However, for businesses and particularly companies that house sensitive data in-house, you will either need to employ an IT expert who is proficient in cyber security, or outsource your needs to cyber security providers. A company like Quorum, for example, has a team of cyber security experts who can work directly with you to understand your needs and deploy cyber security services that protect your organisation.
3. What are the types of cyber security?
Because cyber security covers such a broad spectrum of technological and educational defences, it’s difficult to outline every single element of cyber security. However, cyber security as a whole is generally broken into eight different types: critical infrastructure security, network security, application security, information security, cloud security, data-loss prevention, disaster recovery (and business continuity) and end-user education.
4. Who uses cyber security?
In a perfect world, everyone would embrace various levels of cyber security to protect themselves and their data. Unfortunately, the instances of malicious attacks are only rising – which means you need to bolster your defences today against the threats of tomorrow.
Every organisation needs a solid cyber security strategy and a deployment of up-to-date cyber security services. This is even more important when a company is housing sensitive data or private customer information. The result of not securing your business against external threats could be devastating.
5. Why is cyber security important?
While cyber security is mostly seen as a preventative measure to protect your systems against viruses, malware, phishing attacks and more, it’s equally a reactive solution that can keep your business in operation even after falling victim to an attack. That means you need a holistic cyber security solution – one that not only creates solid defences in your systems and networks, but that also includes a strategy for how you will move forward after a cyber attack.