The growing importance of business data in recent years has benefitted companies of all kinds, but it’s not without its downsides. In order to make the most of data, your company will have to depend heavily on technology, and this opens you up to a plethora of potential problems. Protecting your business’s data is a necessity, because hackers tend to target businesses for their data. That’s where cybersecurity comes in.
The internet is made a more secure place via the use of the encryption and description of data as it moves from one place to another online. Encryption is the scrambling of data in order to make it incomprehensible to parties who intercept it, and decryption is the process of reversing that encryption. However, these security features are notably absent from the standard HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) framework of the internet as you know it. Instead, it falls upon individual sites, and the businesses that operate them, to provide that additional security feature via TLS. You might be wondering, “What is TLS?” TLS stands for Transport Layer Security, and it is a cryptographic protocol that serves as a successor to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). You’ll need to purchase a certificate for this security feature in order to qualify as an HTTPS website, and that means that it’s not only protected, but also publicly listed as such. This is a big deal, because search engines prioritize results that have this added security to protect internet users from potential dangers. Likewise, it protects your network from potential cyber attacks by hiding your data in plain sight.
DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are a pretty rare form of cyber attack, but this doesn’t mean that they’re not a serious threat. They’re uncommon, but they are also hard to counteract. This is because they are accomplished by hijacking several computers that can be remote controlled to make fraudulent requests of a business’s servers en masse. This has the profoundly detrimental effect of crashing the server in question, resulting in lost operational time and, more importantly, compromised data. This is especially dangerous if the data in question includes the private information of your customers and clients. Because of the intricacy with which these attacks are orchestrated and executed, it would be impossible for a human being to see it coming in order to do something about it. However, DDoS prevention software fights fire with fire by scanning for suspicious server requests and removing them before they achieve the numbers necessary for the desired effect. While these attacks are uncommon, their extreme potency and consequences necessitate preparing for them in advance.
Network Traffic Analysis
On a similar note, you can use software to monitor your network’s traffic in more detail in order to anticipate potential threats in advance. Like DDoS prevention software, network traffic analysis monitors server activity in order to suss out suspicious activity, but the difference is in the execution. Network traffic analysis runs on a larger timeline in which a direct attack can be seen coming from a mile away. For example, this kind of software could detect a user trying to access restricted information on the network, and it could identify failed attempts at cracking a password. At this point, this software would report back that someone is trying to find a way into the network and provide the IP address of the user in question. As mentioned above, elaborate DDoS attacks are far less common than simpler, more intimate threats, and that makes network traffic analysis one of the more integral tools in your arsenal.
The basics are so ubiquitous for a reason, and there’s no better example of a basic but foundational cybersecurity tool than antimalware. Malware remains a constant threat across the internet, but there are numerous softwares designed to prevent you from downloading them or to mitigate the damage they cause once they've infiltrated your machine. Malware takes a variety of forms, some of which are more catastrophic than others. The Trojan, for example, gives a hacker the ability to take over your PC remotely. More savvy internet users often know how to spot malware at a glance, but this threat remains a credible one because you’ll only know what to look for after research or, worse, experience.
There are countless opportunities for bad actors to take advantage of unsuspecting internet users, but cybersecurity experts are constantly devising new ways to protect users from these threats. These are just a few of the tools in the cybersecurity toolkit, but they’re a great place to start.