With 2.5 billion records compromised in 2017 alone, data breaches are on the rise as hackers and other malicious actors realize just how profitable these attacks can be. According to a study from Kaspersky Lab, the average cost of a data breach for large enterprises has now soared to $1.3 million. When it comes to Cybersecurity in Manhattan, it’s something that should be taken extremely seriously.
Data breaches and intrusions represent just one possible cybersecurity threat for businesses of all sizes and industries. “Ransomware” can infect your business network, locking it down and forcing you to pay a hefty fee before you can regain access. Meanwhile, phishing emails can target your employees, exposing them to identity theft and financial scams.
Cybersecurity is a particularly important concern for businesses in Manhattan. As the beating heart of New York City, Manhattan is one of the most important economic regions in the world, home to countless global corporations. With the risks never higher, Manhattan businesses need to build strong, resilient, intelligent policies to protect themselves in an uncertain cybersecurity landscape.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity, sometimes called IT security, is the practice of protecting your computer systems, software, and data from unauthorized access and damage. In doing so, cybersecurity seeks to make your IT resources fully available for the good of your business, while also denying them to people outside the business who should not have access.
The term “cybersecurity” encompasses a number of related concepts that must be integrated and coordinated:
- Network security: Monitoring your computer networks and preventing unauthorized users from accessing them.
- Application security: Improving the security of software applications by finding and patching security vulnerabilities.
- Information security: Taking measures to increase the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of your information.
- Operational security: Identifying the value of your company’s various IT assets, and deciding on the most efficacious way of protecting these assets.
- Disaster recovery: Making backups of your data and plans for how to continue operations in the event of a catastrophe.
Why is Cybersecurity Important for Manhattan Businesses?
Many businesses have difficulties conceptualizing and understanding the value of cybersecurity. For one, cybersecurity involves a variety of complicated interlocking parts that can seem foreign to non-technical managers and executives.
In addition, increasing your cybersecurity budget can be hard to justify if both sides don’t find a common language. As long as your organization remains free from security events, higher-ups might feel like there’s no need to spend more money on additional solutions.
However, cybersecurity must be not only an IT concern but a priority for the entire business as a whole. In 2017, 69 percent of companies reported that they planned to increase their cybersecurity budget. The same survey revealed that companies’ most important initiative for the immediate future would be “strengthening cybersecurity controls and processes.”
As one of the most dynamic and economically valuable areas in the world, Manhattan has a great deal of corporate and governmental resources that need to be protected. These resources represent a highly appealing target for cyber criminals, who may seek to wreak both digital and physical havoc.
For example, in 2013, Iranian hackers seized the control system for a dam in the New York suburb of Rye Brook. If the attackers had chosen to open the dam, it could have caused flooding throughout parts of the city, sowing chaos and destruction.
In recognition of the growing cyber threat, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio established the NYC Cyber Command (NYC3) in July 2017. NYC3 is in charge of protecting the city’s physical and virtual infrastructure from bad actors in cyberspace. Your business, too, needs an organized, well-conceived strategy for defending against and recovering from cyber attacks.
How Manhattan Businesses Can Improve Their Cybersecurity
Even the most technically clueless companies can take simple yet meaningful steps toward improving their cybersecurity posture:
- Protect your data: Companies spend 87 percent of their cybersecurity budgets on firewalls—but what happens when attackers get past this first line of defense? By encrypting your sensitive enterprise data, you can ensure that it will be protected even in the event of a breach. Encrypted data is useless in the hands of anyone without the proper decryption key.
- Install new updates: Software and operating systems should be updated at regular intervals, both to access new features and to plug security holes. For example, the devastating 2017 data breach at Equifax occurred due to a software vulnerability with a patch already available for months.
- Prevent phishing scams: Phishing scams attempt to steal confidential information, such as a user’s password or credit card number, by imitating a legitimate business or organization. Sophisticated attackers also engage in “spear phishing,” which are emails that target a specific person or group. Teach your employees how to recognize phishing emails. In particular, remind them not to click on links or download attachments from emails that they weren’t expecting.
Cybersecurity For Businesses in Manhattan
No matter how many staff or resources you have at your disposal, there are always measures you can take to improve your cybersecurity posture. If you need help figuring out where to begin with cybersecurity, speak with us today for a free consultation about your current situation and needs.