Cybersecurity 101 — What Is It and Why Is It Important?

As we move more of our business systems and processes online, the risk of a data breach continues to grow. In IBM's Cost of a Data Breach report for 2022, 83% of companies surveyed had experienced more than one breach. Investing in developing a cybersecurity strategy can help prevent your organization from the same situation.

Understanding what cybersecurity is and why it's so important can help you get started on your organization's IT journey. Let's dive in.

What Is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity is a broad term that encompasses all the practices, procedures and tools an organization uses to protect its digital environment from both external and internal attacks. 

Every cybersecurity strategy consists of three main components:

  1. Your people: According to IBM research, 95% of cybersecurity breaches happen because of human error. Proper security training and education for all employees is one of the most effective steps businesses can take to improve their cybersecurity postures.
  2. Your processes: Defining proactive, adaptable information security processes to identify and resolve cyber incidents before they can cause severe damage is essential for creating a robust cybersecurity program. 
  3. Your technology: Investing in advanced tech tools like identity and access management (IAM) and AI-assisted threat detection help speed up your ability to identify and respond to threats.

These components will look different for each organization based on the industry, the company size and the nature of work. Regardless of the differences, each piece is critical for a cybersecurity strategy to be effective.

Is It Cybersecurity or Cyber Security?

You might have seen various spellings of the term during your research, including cybersecurity, cyber-security and cyber security. This spelling usually varies depending on where you live, what part of the word you want to emphasize or your technical community's preferences.

Although all three spellings are technically acceptable in the industry, most sources choose to use the single word. Hopefully, we'll see the industry decide on a formal, consistent spelling of this word in the years to come. If not, well, at least we're all in this together. 

Why Do Businesses Need Cybersecurity?

It can be difficult to see why businesses need to invest in cybersecurity measures when they haven't yet experienced any sort of issue. But when it comes to digital security, it's always better to be proactive than reactive.

Here are the top three reasons a strong cybersecurity posture is so important:

1. Defend Your Sensitive Data

Most cyberattacks directly target your company's sensitive data in some way. For example, in a ransomware attack, an attacker will seize specific data and hold it hostage until you pay a high ransom to get it back.

This data can include any of the following:

  • Customer data
  • Employee data
  • Trade secrets and intellectual property
  • Financial information
  • Market research data
  • Business and sales plans
  • Supply chain management information

Protecting this information from attack helps minimize your losses in the event of a data breach. Training your employees on how to recognize a threat, as in phishing, and implementing advanced security tools like data encryption and packet inspection are excellent ways to safeguard your data against would-be attackers. 

2. Prevent Financial Losses

A cyberattack can result in significant losses for organizations of all sizes. By the end of 2023, the average cost of a data breach is projected to exceed $5 million — that's an increase of more than 13% from 2022. Much of this cost is directly related to recovering from the attack and bringing operations back online.

Cyberattacks can also cause many indirect losses, such as:

  • Reputational damage: A serious data breach can make your company seem less trustworthy and devalue your IP, resulting in further losses.
  • Loss of customer trust: Customers trust companies with their personal information, and a data breach can break that trust.
  • Insurance premium increases: It's common for companies to see significant increases in their insurance costs following a cyberattack.

Proactively investing time and resources into disaster recovery and incident response planning is one of the best ways to mitigate these losses. These strategies will help you get back off the ground quickly after a breach so you can resume operations with minimal damage.

3. Comply With Government and Industry Regulations

Companies in almost every industry must follow stringent cybersecurity regulations at the government and industry levels in order to operate legally. For example, health care organizations must collect and store patient health data in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Failure to comply with these standards often costs companies hefty losses in fines and other penalties. A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy is essential for adhering to compliance requirements.

 Additionally, there are levels of cybersecurity insurance you must deploy across your company.  But be careful, some elements of cybersecurity insurance aren't covered like you think they are. Make sure you're up to date with your policies and protections! If you're unsure what your plan says or how it operates, give us a call. We're happy to walk you through the process and paperwork (because we know there are a LOT of papers in that contract you just signed). 

Centre's Managed Cybersecurity Services

When it comes to cybersecurity strategies, you have two choices:

  1. Figure it out by yourself.
  2. Hire experienced IT professionals to help you.

Many businesses don't have the resources or time to identify and resolve every potential threat by themselves, so they turn to a Managed Service Provider (MSP) like Centre Technologies to take the burden of cybersecurity off their shoulders. Figuring it out by yourself is just not a true option when your company's sensitive and private data are on the line. 

We provide cybersecurity assessments to help you evaluate your current cybersecurity posture and identify key areas for improvement. Once we've determined your baseline security level, we'll create a unique cybersecurity plan tailor-made for your business's unique needs. 

A Local Resource for Texas-Based Businesses

At Centre Technologies, we focus on providing quality managed IT services to SMBs across the state of Texas. We have offices in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston and Austin, allowing us to provide personalized remote and onsite support to local clients. 

While many businesses choose to outsource their IT needs to other countries, we believe in the power of staying local. When you leverage a domestic MSP, you work alongside IT professionals who follow the same laws, which helps you:

  • Keep your intellectual property safe.
  • Maintain your commitment to high performance.
  • Adhere to privacy laws and regulations.
  • Save time and frustration in communicating across time zones.
  • Protect a strong company culture.

We're committed to delivering these benefits and more to our clients through our fully managed IT services. 

Learn More About Our Managed IT Security Services

Are you looking for IT solutions that can help you meet your business goals? We're here to help. When you work with us, you'll get professional service customized to meet your company's specific needs, so you can tighten your digital security without excessive costs. 

Protect your data by working with a trusted IT solutions provider that knows how to fight off threats to your infrastructure. Contact us today for more information about how our fully managed IT services can help you keep your business safe.

Originally published on July 25, 2023

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About the Author

Centre Technologies Centre Technologies

Centre Technologies is a full-service IT consulting and managed services provider headquartered in Texas, with a focus on mid-sized businesses. As a trusted IT partner for well over a decade, Centre is recognized for its local experience and enterprise-grade cloud and cybersecurity solutions. Centre is committed to helping organizations harness the power of technology to maximize their operational efficiency and exceed their business goals. Learn more about Centre Technologies »

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