Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing sectors in the digital economy. According to the latest research from IDC, worldwide spending on security solutions is set to reach almost $134b in 2022.

The reason is simple. The threat of cyber attack is one of the most serious any organisation can face. A cyber breach can shut down operations, ruin reputations and lead to crippling loss of revenues.

If you’re a business owner, it’s time to take cybersecurity seriously. Protecting your website should be your number one priority. If you handle sensitive information, a failure to protect your website could lead to serious financial and legal consequences,

Even if you’re just a blogger, you owe it to your readers to ensure a safe and uncorrupted site for them to visit.

In this article, we’ll take you through the essentials of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Basics

The purpose of cybersecurity is to protect computer systems and networks from theft or damage. Cyber attacks can be directed at:

  • Hardware – not just the obvious components like the casing, monitor and keyboard, also includes motherboards, graphics/sound cards and data storage
  • Software – computer programs, libraries, online documentation, digital media
  • Data – internal company data, client data, personal data, medical records, ID and financial information
  • Services – disruption (eg DDoS) or misdirection (eg malicious botnets) of a company’s services
  • Website – hackers can attack your website through the introduction of malicious code, malware, SQL and viruses

Cybersecurity is therefore a vast field with a huge range of tools and countermeasures. It involves everything from physical measures like locks and guards to sophisticated cryptography and cybersecurity alerting.

For the remainder of this article, we’ll focus on protecting your website from attack.

Why Is Cybersecurity Important

Cybersecurity is critical for any business for two main reasons:

  • We live in a hyper-connected digital world. Wireless network standards like Bluetooth & Wi-Fi, “smart” devices and the “Internet of things” ensure that cyber breaches can quickly spread.
  • The world is increasingly reliant on computer systems. Banking, medicine, transport, infrastructure and communication are all software driven. This means that cyber hacks can cause unprecedented harm.

You can see how it’s essential to follow sound cybersecurity principles to protect your website. A vulnerability in one area (a weak password for example) could lead to an attack on the rest of your business.

Unfortunately, most businesses don’t have a cybersecurity expert on the staff. Even if you try to manage it yourself (see below), the landscape changes very quickly. New threats appear all the time, and best practice guidelines are soon out of date.

Can I Manage My Own Cybersecurity?

If you choose to manage your own cybersecurity, start with the basics of good digital hygiene:

  • Use strong passwords and change them frequently
  • Ensure that staff members only have access to areas of the business that are essential to their role
  • Use network firewalls, anti-virus and anti-malware shields
  • Take regular backups, ideally to both cloud and solid state drives
  • Use multi-factor authentication, particularly when dealing with sensitive data

Without a background in cybersecurity of software engineering, this is probably as far as you will be able to take it. If you’re just running a blog or a simple sole trader business, this might be enough.

What To Look For In A Cybersecurity Expert

However, when your business grows beyond a certain size (and especially if you need to hold client data) you should really consider a managed cybersecurity service.

Make sure that your cybersecurity provider covers every possible type of attack. For example, CyberAlpha’s cybersecurity alerting service protects your website against both DDoS and malware. It even notifies you in case of a change in the status of your website (which is sometimes an “early warning system” for a cyber attack).

To talk to one of our aspects about how CyberAlpha solves all your cybersecurity concerns in one package, please get in touch.