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What is cybersecurity and why does it matter?

A good cybersecurity strategy can offer strong security against attacks designed to access, change, destroy, or delete a company’s sensitive data. Cybersecurity can also prevent attacks that may disrupt or disable a device’s or system’s operations. 

In this post, we’ll explain to you the various elements of cybercrime to help you understand the importance of cyber security.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to the techniques that protect sensitive data, devices, applications, computers, programs, and networks from cyberattacks. It aims to prevent unauthorized access to personal accounts and data breaches.

A successful cybersecurity strategy should have multiple levels of protection spread across networks, computers, apps, and the information you want to secure. Malware protection, email security solutions, antivirus software, and DNS filtering are some of the most effective tools you can use to protect your data online.

5 reasons why cybersecurity matters

If cybercrimes are carried out successfully, they can have negative consequences for businesses and ordinary users leading to reputational ruin and large financial losses. 

Companies are increasingly experiencing social engineering attacks, phishing attacks, and ransomware that steal information or block access to critical operating systems and files. That makes cybersecurity efforts critical to protect against data loss and theft.

So why does cybersecurity matter?

  1. Cyberattacks pose real-life threats

While most people think cyberattacks only target data security, they can also affect infrastructure and threaten safety and health. For example, in 2020 ransomware attacks targeted American hospitals. The attacks tried to steal information to force healthcare facilities to pay a ransom. 

Unfortunately, hospitals aren’t the only target. Governments, law enforcement agencies, and learning institutions have also been the victims of cyberattacks. 

  1. Cybercrimes are increasing

Cybercrimes can cause major disruptions in an increasingly digitized world. In late 2020, the number of cyberattacks rose as more businesses embraced remote work. One study found a 400% increase in cyberattacks in 2019-2020.

In addition to the rising cases of cybercrimes, the types of attacks have also grown. DDoS attacks, phishing, and malware can take down established corporations, risking the private information of millions of people. 

  1. Cybercrimes result in financial losses 

Cybercrimes’ economic costs run into trillions, making it more important to implement security strategies and increase online safety. According to Cobalt, the global cost of data breaches amounts to $1 trillion annually. Ransomware attacks can tank users’ personal finances, disrupt financial markets, and bankrupt businesses.

  1. Your devices can be exploited

Each day, hackers use different methods to access systems and exploit devices. For example, when it comes to cryptojacking, hackers mine cryptocurrency for the hacker using a target’s devices. Add to that a long list of cyberattacks like password attacks, proxy phishing, and malware.

  1. Your information is valuable

Cybercriminals target both systems and individuals, seeking out valuable, private data such as dates of birth, addresses, and financial information. Stealing someone’s Social Security Number makes it easy for cybercriminals to use their victim’s credit cards and run up debt. 

How to protect your organization against cybercrimes and hackers

There are several simple steps you can take to prevent cyberattacks and make your data safer. Here are some strategies you can implement to protect your information from hackers. 

  1. Adhere to password best practices

A strong password can prevent hackers from accessing your accounts. Create unique, complex passwords for websites that store credit card information or private data instead of reusing the same password on different sites. 

If you’re worried about remembering all your passwords, consider getting a password manager to help you store your passwords.

  1. Learn to identify phishing attempts

Most email addresses receive spam emails from unknown sources. Unfortunately, some people click on phishing emails that claim to ask customers to verify their details or offer prizes. 

These phishing attempts lure people into providing their personal information. However, you can dodge cyberattacks if you understand some common phishing red flags like threatening language or a sense of urgency. 

  1. Update your passwords after a breach

There’s a good chance you will hear about data breaches if you pay attention to current events. Although most people rarely change their passwords after a breach, you should update yours. 

If you don’t, you will leave your information vulnerable to cybercriminals. The site haveibeenpwned.com allows users to check if their accounts have been compromised. 

  1. Install antivirus software

Installing antivirus software on your devices such as Palo Alto Networks Firewalls helps protect your information against viruses, malware, and other cybercrimes. These software programs protect your financial information during online transactions, block malware and secure your passwords. 

Before downloading or installing antivirus software, consider your needs and then choose the right provider to protect your online safety. 

Sources

Maclean Odiesa
Maclean is a tech freelance writer with 7+ years in content strategy and development. She is also a pillar pages specialist and SEO expert.

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