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3 min read

Where do cyber attacks start

Cyberattacks can happen on any device at any given time, so how do you know which devices to protect? Well, to understand this, it will help to understand where these attacks come from. 
 
In the past, all attacks came from outside sources, or, in other words, the internet. Cybersecurity companies such as Fitzrovia IT combatted these attacks by setting up firewalls, Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS), and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) to block any incoming attacks. Anti-virus software also became a reliable programme to trust, however, these methods are outdated. Now, attacks can take place just about anywhere. 
 
The malware that hackers now use is encrypted to the point that they are essentially invisible to firewalls and IDS systems. Historically, these edge devices (any piece of hardware that controls data flow at the boundary between two networks) acted as the first line of defense, protecting the network from outside threats, but this is no longer the case. The line of devices that attackers needed to penetrate before they could make a serious breach is no longer a concern to hackers. 
 
Just as military tactics continue to advance, so do the methods of cyber threats. With these advancements, cyber attackers have come up with multiple ways to bypass edge protection and gain direct access from inside the network. This is made possible through email phishing (learn more about phishing here), accidentally entering an incorrect site, allowing your kids to play games on unsecured websites, and more. 
 
While networks are still organised from edge devices to wireless access points, and then to servers and personal devices, these advanced malware attacks ignore the line of defense that once proved competent. Companies do not realise that attacks can take place from within their own network. In fact, many companies still rely on firewalls and anti-virus software. This is not enough. Rather than simple edge protection, companies need cybersecurity solutions that give them full coverage. 
 
With Fitzrovia IT’s security services when an attack is made — no matter where it is coming from — the we are notified immediately, and the attack can be isolated before it begins to spread. This combination gives companies a centralised security system with all the assistance they need. 

Small Businesses and cyber security

 

No matter the size of your business, it’s important to invest in some sort of cybersecurity to keep all your data protected against potential cyber-attacks; not only should you be concerned with keeping your business’s data protected, but you should be doing everything in your power to make sure that your customers’ information is also kept private.  
 
However, some small businesses might have budget constraints that might hold them back from hiring professional cybersecurity companies, so it’s important for them to be able to take cybersecurity into their own hands, if they’re capable. While we suggest protecting your company with a Managed Service Provider (MSP), we have come up with a cybersecurity guide to help protect your small business from cyber-attacks. 
 
Train Your Employees in Basic Security Principles 
The best precaution to take is to establish basic security practices amongst your employees. Policies that should be followed include the creation of strong passwords, appropriate internet usage, and the proper handling of customer information. As harsh as it sounds, there should also be penalties enforced when employees violate company cybersecurity policies to ensure maximum safety. 

Keep All Company Devices Clean
Most cybersecurity breaches happen when devices and software aren’t properly maintained. The best way to prevent such attacks is by ensuring that your devices have the latest software in web browsers, operating systems, and anti-virus software. These are the best solutions when it comes to preventing the possibility of malware or other online threats if you’re not receiving services from professional cybersecurity companies. 

Secure Wi-Fi Networks
Another efficient way to keep your data secure from any possible online threats is by making sure that you have a secure Wi-Fi network. When it comes to this, it involves more than just setting up a password; you must make sure that the connection is secure, encrypted, and hidden. 
 
Hiding your Wi-Fi network will require you to set up your wireless access point (router), so it does not broadcast a network name (SSID). You should also password protect access to the router. 

Limit Employee Access to Data and Limit Authority to Install Software
Employees don’t need access to all data systems, only the ones they need to fulfill their duties. Your employees should also need permission to install any software onto their devices to avoid the downloading of malicious software. 

Set Up a Firewall
Firewalls are programmes that prevent outsiders from accessing data on a private network. It’s important for your business to install or enable an operating system’s firewall, and to make sure that any employees working from home enable their system’s firewall. 

Are you still using edge protection and anti-virus software? Or if you are having any problems with your cybersecurity?

Contact us today so you can focus on customer experience while we focus on their safety

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