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How Important is Cyber Security

Whether your business is a high-tech enterprise or a local cafe, the issue of cyber security is relevant to your operations. It’s a digital age where information is being accessed by hackers and malicious parties can snoop on communications.

protect against digital security threats

From protecting internal files to encrypting financial transfers and securing electronic communications, let’s look at the importance of cyber security and potential fallout from a security breach.

Cybersecurity Triage

As Forbes Magazine points out, “It’s more likely that you will get hacked than you won’t.” While this presents a bleak outlook, the article explains that cybersecurity is a spectrum of cost versus risk. Based on the specifics of your business, you can assess which digital assets are your most valuable and most vulnerable. Then you can triage your cybersecurity investment to address the critical points first.

“Decide what risks you’re going to accept,” advises Forbes. “Maybe you choose to run a higher risk of advanced attacks from state actors in lieu of upgrading expensive technical infrastructure,” suggests Forbes. “There are no wrong answers here, just choices.”

A Spectrum of Threats and Security Levels

Because digital threats are inevitable, it’s important to develop systems and infrastructure to respond appropriately. Just as a doctor wouldn’t treat a papercut the same as open heart surgery, so too must digital security be classified on a spectrum.

For example, the White House has a scale of cyber security threat levels that ranges from Level 0 to Level 5. In order for a political organization (or a business) to generate the appropriate response, it’s critical to identify the severity of the security event. Ranging from a low impact to an imminent threat, company standards such as these provide a baseline so that you’re not treating a metaphorical papercut with undue panic, and vice versa — you’re not downplaying or ignoring a severe breach.

The Fallout From a Breach

Depending on both the severity of the breach and the digital asset that was compromised, we see a range of business fallouts.

In response to a breach of email communications, as was the case at Yahoo when 1.5 billion accounts were compromised, the company risked losing its $4.8 billion acquisition by Verizon.

It’s been reported that prior to the cyber attack, the security team was denied financial resources. A lack of investment in security, despite the recommendations by the experts, may have helped the company’s balance sheet look better at the time, but in the long run, it was detrimental to the company’s service and reputation.

personal info security

Heed the Warnings

Similarly, in the recent Equifax breach, the malicious access of information on 145 million Americans could have been prevented if the company heeded the warnings. Six months prior to the breach, an independent researcher found a major security vulnerability that exposed personal information. The vulnerability was reported in December, but it wasn’t until June that the company implemented the 5-minute fix.

As one of the company’s former cybersecurity experts put it, “The degree of risk [Equifax] assumes is found, by most of the IT staff who worked elsewhere, to be preposterous.”

Technology Assessment

For many companies, the best way to asses digital vulnerabilities is to run a technology assessment. By hiring an expert, you’ll be able to get a realistic look at what your security vulnerabilities are, and what it would take to fix them. While some vulnerabilities may take big bucks to secure, there are many low cost ways to make significant improvements to your company’s digital security.

For example, the simple task of updating your software closes security loopholes and prevents access to your systems. Similarly, maybe you need to implement a password change policy for your staff or mandate two-factor authentication. Or you might need to switch to communications services with high-encryption protocols like the end-to-end telephone encryption available on Ooma Telo, which secures all calls made between Ooma accounts.

With Ooma’s internet security protocols, your network is fortified with additional protection against hackers. All of your devices are protected against websites and links that contain viruses, spyware, malware, phishing schemes, or other threats. Additionally, you can customize your security protection by using 93 categories of content filters and customized domain blacklisting.

Your customers and clients will trust your company only to the extent that you are willing to protect your network and their digital assets. No company wants to face a PR nightmare like what happened to Sony when its internal emails about movie star salaries made headline news. Following a technology assessment, take reasonable steps to protect your company against cybersecurity threats, balancing the cost with the assumed risk.

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Dennis Peng

Dennis is the vice president of product management and technical advisory board member of Ooma and is responsible for creating an intuitive, compelling user experience. Prior to joining Ooma, Dennis worked at Cisco Systems for 11 years where he began his career as a customer support engineer. He later joined the Escalation Team where he focused on fixing the most technically challenging problems, as well as supporting the design, rollout and operations of the largest remote access and broadband aggregation networks worldwide. He was honored with the title of Distinguished Support Engineer because of his expertise in networking protocols, isolating and fixing highly complex issues, and leadership among his peers. Dennis holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

3 Comments

  1. January 17, 2018    

    I didn’t realize that cyber security was so important for businesses. It makes sense that they would want to be able stop any sort of cyber attacks! They can really take a toll on a business.

  2. March 4, 2018    

    Cyber security is very important for every company. Because data is very important. We need to protect our data over the internet. For this I think cyber security can helps a lot on this time. Thanks for sharing such a informative post.

  3. March 28, 2018    

    Thanks for bringing to my attention that there are different levels of cyber security threats. My friend is wanting to start a business, and I don’t think he knows much about cyber security. Maybe it would be best for him to hire a professional to keep his company and information safe.

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