With the current digitalization, we depend on information technology more than ever from our health systems, education, happiness, and lives in general. Computerized appliances have great significance in our lives today and have become part and parcel of our lives, from the medical equipment in hospitals, security systems in our homes, using the latest cars and smartphones.
Moreover, information technology is essential not only in our lives but also in our businesses. One of the most important assets in companies is information. Organizations must ensure confidentiality and integrity of information by investing in information security.
The demand for information security increases daily with the growing risks of cyberattacks to governments, individuals, and organizations. Cybersecurity has presented major challenges in the world that need to be solved.
Recently there have been numerous cases of ransomware and identity theft leading to the loss of billions. According to the FBI, there has been an increase in losses due to cybersecurity from $1.4B in 2017 to $4.2B in 2023.
Why Information Technology (IT) Security is so Important
Information security involves preventing unauthorized access, disruption or destruction of information and information systems.
Additionally, it is about allowing the right people to access data at the appropriate time. Information security is crucial to the entire society, including people and businesses. Information security performs the following essential functions:
- Improves organizational performance
- Protects information that businesses collect and use
- Ensures safe operation of the applications in IT systems
- Safeguards the systems and technology the company uses
Information, employees, equipment, and premises are building blocks of any organization. Organizations use information to communicate and express knowledge. Thus, they need to take the necessary steps to protect their information from unauthorized access and data security threats that may disrupt businesses and cause data breaches.
Weak data security measures will cause businesses to lose their information, thereby creating a poor client experience and loss of business. Businesses that fail to implement adequate security measures over client data and exploitation by hackers face the risk of reputational harm. The good news is that protecting information enables data availability, confidentiality, and correctness.
Common Types of Attacks
Businesses, whether small or big, need to invest in information security to protect their information and improve performance. Information is valuable to all organizations, so it should be appropriately protected. Information security began with computer security history in 1980.
At this time, computer use concentrated on computer centers and security involved securing physical infrastructure. The widespread use of the internet allowed businesses to adopt the technology quickly, but it also opened up many weaknesses. Companies are exposed to a wide range of sophisticated threats and vulnerabilities.
There have been several cases of viruses, computer hacking, worms, and malicious software, which have been costly to businesses. As a result, many organizations have implemented information security to protect their systems and data.
The organization’s management and Information Technology specialists are responsible for implementing security measures to protect the company’s assets and functionality. As mentioned earlier, information is a crucial element for companies to do business. Companies need this information for them to run efficiently.
Moreover, organizations have clients’ information; therefore, it is critical for them to secure all data. Some of the most common threats that information systems are exposed to include:
Malware is malicious software designed to harm computer systems. It is a program intentionally developed to create an environment that allows the reproduction of viruses that steal data from information systems. The malware usually gets into the computer with the user’s help.
The program uses all means to fool the user into running the software on their computer. Then the software attaches itself to pictures and animated GIFs or hides in videos to disguise itself and launch. Malware is categorized according to its distribution, working, and launching.
Malware is also classified as malicious programs that are more harmful than single viruses. Malware and viruses differ in their action strategies. You may fail to notice malware for a long time as it causes unconventional behavior systems.
Phishing is another type of online fraud that aims to steal identification data. Fraudsters who use this method can cause severe actions from stealing information on a banner on a computer or loss of business content without the possibility of getting it back.
Individuals who do phishing steal valuable data and use it to compromise or destroy one’s business. Phishers target the following:
- Company access codes
- Bank account and debit card details
- Login details and passwords of different accounts
- Personal data like identification card or passport details
- Information for accessing personal accounts
Ransomware is another threat to information systems. It is developed by highly trained professionals and can enter the computer or system through a file attached to your email or browser when you visit a webpage infected by the software.
Furthermore, ransomware can also penetrate your organization’s systems from the local network. You can easily recognize ransomware with your naked eye. The malware locks your device and prevents you from accessing or using it.
Some information security incidents are caused by internal threats. These threats include information leaks, thefts, damage to computer systems. Internal threats can be grouped into threats due to selfish acts and threats resulting from technical incompetence. Some employees may hold a grudge against the company and trade secrets as revenge. However, most internal security incidents result from the unintentional actions of workers.
What Can Lack of Information Security Lead to?
Organizations that fail to implement information security suffer various consequences. First, they are unable to conduct business efficiently since they lack accurate information and reliable information systems. They also fail to protect the company’s integrity and experience disruptions during important social events.
What’s more, unreliable information and computer systems affect organizational, physical assets. When a company’s critical infrastructure is damaged, they risk fatal consequences. Incidents destroying such systems may also affect financial systems and company security. If you lack proper security systems, clients may sue your company when their data is breached. In addition, customers will lose confidence in your services. Frequent disruptions can cause confidence crises which may spread to other areas and lead to losses.
Although the degree of protection will vary from organization to organization, the bottom line is that all businesses need adequate protection from security threats and vulnerabilities. Information security involves the protection of information from any virus threats. Individuals and companies with an online presence face the risk of malware and cybercrime. Therefore it is critical to ensure organizations keep their information secure.
Information security is key as it protects confidential data, enables an organization to operate smoothly, and allows for the safe operation of the information technology systems. Most companies face challenges when it comes to protecting their data and systems. If the employees lack vast knowledge of information security, it is easy for hackers to attack the business and attempt to steal confidential information.
To prevent these incidents, firms should train staff on information security to understand the importance of securing data. Data breaches are time-consuming and pretty expensive and that is why organizations need to invest in information security measures. Companies can hire reputable information security providers to mitigate the risks of threats, maintain the safety of the systems and prevent cyberattacks that disrupt business. They will also create security controls that will prevent unauthorized access to the company’s sensitive data. If you are looking for a company that can help, we recommend MyTek.
It is necessary to develop a solid relationship with the service provider to increase organizational productivity, maintain a great reputation and minimize disruptions. The professionals will also offer advice on the best data protection systems that will suit your business needs.