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What is IT security and why is it important?

Egle Grasys
Content Writer

Setting up locks and alarm systems for offices is a no-brainer. But conventional security measures like these only protect physical assets. Digital assets like networks and databases require a different kind of security: IT security. With the growing number of cyber attacks, IT security has become critical for every modern business. Here’s everything you should know.

What are the threats?

Hackers have developed many creative techniques to disrupt IT security. The most common include:

  • Ransomware. Hackers use ransomware to encrypt an entire device, network, or database. Then they demand a ransom to be paid for access to be restored.

  • Spyware. Malware that illegally collects internal business data is called spyware. It can sit on company devices for a long time without being detected, which makes it especially dangerous.

  • Phishing. Phishing happens when hackers fabricate messages to steal sensitive information. For example, an employee may receive a fake email asking for login credentials to an important business account.

  • DDoS attack. A DDoS attack occurs when hackers flood company servers with thousands of bots to overwhelm them and shut them down.

Cyber threats come in many different forms, but they all cause damage. Getting hacked can lead to seized data (in the case of ransomware), breached data, and a halt in business operations. At best, cyber attacks will result in minimal monetary losses. At worst, your business will be forced to shut down. That’s why IT security should be a priority.

Types of IT security

A company’s digital infrastructure comprises many different parts, which calls for several types of IT security:

Internet security

The beauty of the internet is that it’s accessible to everyone. This also means it’s accessible to hackers. They can plant malicious links, target victims through unencrypted websites, or perform DDoS attacks. The result can be stolen credentials, leaked data, or a crashing website. To improve your business’s internet security, use:

  • Encryption. With encryption tools, confidential data is scrambled with a special encryption key, making it inaccessible to outsiders. Using a VPN is one of the easiest ways to encrypt all of your internet traffic.

  • Strong passwords. Strong passwords are a must to protect online accounts against cyber attacks. The NordPass business password manager is an excellent tool to secure accounts effortlessly.

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Endpoint security

Endpoints are all of the devices connected to the same network. In a company, the endpoints are all laptops and cell phones of employees. Hackers can target separate endpoints to gain access to the whole network. So a business’s network security is fully dependent on how secure the endpoints are. Antivirus software and a firewall can help secure them.

Cloud security

Cloud computing has allowed companies to store, manage, and access data quickly and easily. It has eliminated the need for middlemen when transferring data and has optimized most business operations.

However, the risks to data stored on the cloud are far greater than those of conventionally stored data because cloud computing operates over the internet (we’ve already covered internet security risks). Cloud security seeks to overcome these threats by encrypting data and filtering traffic.

Application security

Businesses operate through many different applications. From browsers to websites to mobile apps, they all have vulnerabilities. Application security aims to protect all of these from outsiders. To secure your web application, you should:

  • Use a secure hosting provider like Hostinger

  • Get an SSL certificate to encrypt all incoming and outgoing data on the website.

  • Use CAPTCHA to detect DDoS bots.

User security

Although IT security takes place in the digital world, it all comes down to people. In business, “people” means employees. IT security should be a team effort with all members on board. To increase user awareness and security, educate employees on all IT security threats and countermeasures. Encourage them to use cybersecurity tools responsibly and to report any suspicious activity.

Bottom line

Digitization has brought many new opportunities to business, but it has also expanded its attack surface to levels never seen before. Responsible companies must recognize the upsides and downsides of modern technology and act accordingly. The different types of IT security mentioned above play an integral role in a business’s success, so it’s critical to enforce them all.

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