5 Reasons Why Cybersecurity is Important Now More Than Ever

With a staggering 38% increase in cyber attacks in 2022 and a further 7% rise in Q1 2023, the need for robust cybersecurity measures has never been more apparent.

To help you better understand the importance of cybersecurity, in this article we have discussed what cybersecurity actually means, types of cybersecurity, common types of cyberattacks, 5 reasons why cybersecurity is important, and the impact of cybercrimes.

What is cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity refers to a set of processes used for maintaining the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of electronic information. In other words, it’s a practice of protecting internet-connected systems by making them resilient against different types of cyberattacks.

Making a system secure means mitigating the security risks and vulnerabilities associated with it, including:

  • Unauthorized data access
  • Data interception
  • Data alteration
  • Data deletion
  • Making internet-connected system(s) unavailable

Types of Cybersecurity

The following are the eight main cybersecurity types that you should know:

  1. Network Security: Network security focuses on protecting computer networks from data breaches and unauthorized access. It uses technologies like firewalls, network segmentation, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), and IDS (Intrusion Detection Systems) to establish strong barriers against external threats.
  2. Application Security: Application security is about securing software applications to prevent vulnerabilities that malicious online actors can exploit. It typically involves using secure coding practices, updating software regularly, and implementing application-level firewalls to ensure the application’s data integrity.
  3. Information and Data Security: Information security revolves around securing sensitive data from unauthorized access, disclosure, or modification. Data encryption, data classification, access controls, and DLP (Data Loss Prevention) protocols are commonly used to maintain data confidentiality and integrity.
  4. Cloud Security: As the name implies, it’s about the protection of data, applications, and infrastructure hosted on cloud platforms. The common methodologies used to ensure cloud security include access controls, data encryption, regulatory compliance adherence, and the utilization of reputable cloud service providers.
  5. Mobile Security: Mobile security involves safeguarding organizational and personal data stored on mobile devices. Taking data backups regularly, securing network usage, and implementing strong authentication protocols are some of the best ways to ensure mobile security.
  6. Endpoint Security: Endpoint security involves securing smartphones, computers, and other individual devices. The best ways to protect endpoints from cyberattacks include consistent software updates, device encryption, IPS (Intrusion Prevention Systems), and antivirus solutions.
  7. Critical Infrastructure Security: This type of security focuses on protecting the important systems and networks that a country relies on for economic stability and societal development. This involves protecting sectors such as energy, agriculture, and transportation by mitigating risks of cyber threats that could disrupt them.
  8. Internet of Things (IoT) Security: IoT security is dedicated to ensuring the security of interconnected devices embedded with software and sensors. They’re vulnerable due to their different software states, and they often come with insufficient security measures.

Most Common Types of Cyberattacks

Cybersecurity professional working on identifying hackers

Here’s a list of the most common cyberattacks that hackers and other malicious online actors use to target businesses and individuals.

  • Phishing: In phishing attacks, cybercriminals pretend to be from trustworthy sources in order to trick users into clicking on harmful links or attachments. It can lead to the theft of important information, like login credentials and financial data.
  • Malware: Malware is malicious software that can sneak into internet-connected systems and steal data, control devices, or launch attacks on other systems. They’re commonly launched through deceptive downloads or attachments.
  • DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service): In DDoS attacks, multiple systems overload a target system (like a website) with traffic. This flooding can slow down or even crash the system, leading to downtime.
  • APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats): Advanced persistent threats are long-lasting targeted attacks where attackers infiltrate a network and remain hidden. The main purpose of these attacks is to steal sensitive information silently over a period of time.
  • Man-in-the-Middle: As the name suggests, these attacks involve intercepting communication between two parties. Cybercriminals eavesdrop on network connections or redirect traffic to a malicious server, which allows them to steal sensitive data.
  • Ransomware: Ransomware is one of the most dangerous types of cyberattacks that encrypts files in a system and demands payment (ransom) for the decryption key. This can result in permanent data loss or a system shutdown.
  • SQL Injection: SQL injection attacks exploit vulnerabilities in web applications to insert malicious SQL code into databases. This can lead to unauthorized access, manipulation, or deletion of data.

5 Reasons Why Cybersecurity is Important

Now that you understand what cybersecurity is and the most common types of cyberattacks, let’s discuss the 5 reasons why cybersecurity is important now more than ever:

1. Protection of Sensitive Data

Sensitive data refers to any information that can lead to severe consequences for organizations if compromised. It includes personal details like financial records, medical histories, and proprietary business information.

In this digital age, where a vast amount of information is linked to the internet, the risks of unauthorized access and data breaches are higher than ever. Cybercriminals are constantly evolving, and they use sophisticated tactics to exploit vulnerabilities in computer systems, networks, and applications.

Without robust cybersecurity measures, these attackers can gain unauthorized access to sensitive data. It can put your business’s future at risk because a single successful data breach can expose your valuable proprietary information, trade secrets, and intellectual property.

To ensure the protection of sensitive data, cybersecurity allows you to use different strategies, such as encryption, access controls, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems. These measures collectively work to maintain the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive data in order to protect your organization.

2. Regulation Compliance

Another important reason why cybersecurity is important is that it allows you to comply with regulatory standards that apply to your business. These regulations are designed to protect individuals’ rights and prevent data misuse or breaches.

Here are some of the top regulatory compliance frameworks to look out for:

  • HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)
  • SOC (Service Organization Control)
  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)
  • GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)
  • CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act)
  • NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • FISMA (Federal Information Security Administration Act)
  • ISO/IEC 27001
  • FedRAMP (Federal Risk and Entitlement Management Program)

Organizations that handle personal or sensitive data are legally obligated to adhere to these standards, and failure to comply can result in severe penalties, including substantial fines and legal actions.

Complying with the required standard not only allows you to safeguard the interests of your customers, but it also helps you maintain the reputation of your business.

3. Enhanced Productivity

Advancements in technology have allowed cybercriminals to use sophisticated methods to launch cyberattacks. They now use AI to create viruses and worms that can disrupt business workflows and networks, leading to prolonged downtime.

This interruption can affect your organization’s productivity severely and incur significant financial losses.

Cybersecurity allows you to combat this problem. You can use modern firewalls to prevent unauthorized intrusion attempts and implement automated backups for consistent data preservation. Not only do these measures minimize security risks, but they can also help you propel productivity.

In simple words, cybersecurity allows you to create a working environment where your employees can focus on their tasks instead of worrying about cyberattacks.

4. Competitive Edge

Statistics show that 87% of customers say that they would leave a company that used their data irresponsibly or lost it. That’s why it’s vital to use strong cybersecurity practices in order to establish trust and reliability.

When your customers know that you prioritize the security of their data, they’ll remain loyal. Additionally, it can also help you increase your customer base, which can set your business apart from the competition.

5. Assists Remote Workforce

As employees work from various locations, accessing multiple remote platforms becomes essential for their tasks. However, this practice can increase the attack surface of your organization’s systems, making them more susceptible to cybercrime.

In this scenario, safeguarding sensitive data becomes even more important. Statistics show that the trend of working remotely has increased the average cost of data breaches by a staggering $137,000.

However, cybersecurity can help you mitigate this problem as well. You can utilize different strategies, such as using proxy and VPN services, implementing network-level authentication, and following access control protocols to protect data transmission between your business network and the devices of your remote employees.

Additionally, it supports security teams as well.

As mentioned already, cybercriminals have developed sophisticated techniques to target organizations. Therefore, security teams need to stay updated on the rapidly changing cyberspace to counter these threats. Their effectiveness relies on keeping up with emerging risks, vulnerabilities, and defense strategies.

If your security team is well-prepared and has modern cybersecurity tools and techniques, they can handle even the most advanced cyber crimes effectively. It’ll allow them to better protect sensitive data, maintain operational stability, and ensure the smooth operation of their digital systems.

The Impact of Cyber Crimes

Looking at the impact of cybercrime is one of the best ways to understand its importance. Let’s discuss a few important factors, explaining how a cyberattack can affect your business.

1. Financial Loss

Cybercrimes can cost your business a whole lot of money. According to recent statistics, the average cost of cybercrime that a company needs to pay in 2023 is $13 million, which is a significant increase of $1.4 million compared to the previous year (2022).

This money is spent on dealing with the aftermath of cyberattacks, such as fixing security vulnerabilities, recovering lost data, and compensating affected customers.

Such financial strain can seriously affect your organization’s growth and profitability and can also result in legal actions and regulatory fines.

2. Compromised Data and Privacy

Cyberattacks often lead to the exposure of sensitive data, such as trade secrets and/or customer information. It can cause severe damage to both the business and its customers.

When the data of your customers is compromised, it erodes their trust and makes them shy away from doing business with your company.

3. Reputational Damage

A strong reputation is one of the most valuable assets for any business. Unfortunately, cybercrimes can lead to serious reputational damage, and in the worst cases, the damage can even be irreparable.

That’s because both customers and stakeholders can start seeing a business as less trustworthy and capable if it has fallen victim to a cyberattack.

4. Operational Disruption

Another critical impact of cybercrime is that it can disrupt your business’s day-to-day operations. For example, if ransomware attacks your business and encrypts the data, it’ll lead to a complete or partial halt in operations until the issue is resolved. The same happened with Colonial Pipeline in 2021, which is the largest pipeline system in the US.

This downtime can cause loss of productivity, missed opportunities, and potential penalties for failing to meet contractual obligations. In some cases, businesses might even need to temporarily shut down while they recover, causing more financial strain.

5. Loss of Intellectual Property

Intellectual property, such as trade secrets, patents, and proprietary software, is the lifeblood of many businesses. Cybercriminals can target these assets to steal, modify, corrupt, or destroy them. Other than causing damage to your company’s market position and innovation capabilities, it can also lead to legal issues.

Final Words

Utilizing the power of technology has become a necessity for businesses to streamline their workflows and operations. But it makes businesses more susceptible to cyberattacks, which can lead to stolen data, disrupted services, and reputational and financial loss.

Using a holistic cybersecurity strategy can help you prevent these problems by making your organizational systems resilient to different types of cyberattacks.

We hope this guide has helped you understand the importance of cybersecurity in ensuring a secure operational environment for your business.

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Ashwin S

A cybersecurity enthusiast at heart with a passion for all things tech. Yet his creativity extends beyond the world of cybersecurity. With an innate love for design, he's always on the lookout for unique design concepts.