“Corporate cybersecurity” refers to the tactics and methodologies that organizations use to safeguard sensitive data, prevent unauthorized access to information systems, and protect themselves from cyber attacks such as malware or ransomware attacks, trojan viruses, social engineering or phishing email, endpoint breaches, and so forth.

Cybercrime can be catastrophic for small businesses, but even large enterprises don’t have the luxury of taking cybersecurity for granted. A strong IT security plan is critical to the long-term sustainability of any business. 

Cybersecurity incidents such as a data breach or a DDoS attack can not only bankrupt a business; it can also ruin the company’s reputation or cause the company to lose the trust and respect of customers and business partners. 

In this guide, we’ll share several of the most frequently asked questions around corporate cybersecurity risks.

What companies need a cybersecurity plan?

All of them. Any business that handles sensitive information, whether that be credit card data, healthcare information, or trade secrets; or any business that uses IT systems, needs to consider the threat cybercriminals pose to the organization. Which is all businesses.

Businesses also need to determine how they can best protect their organization from a breach and assure long-term sustainability, with effective risk management.

What’s the difference between cybersecurity and computer security?

These days, the difference isn’t much. Technically one could say that “cybersecurity” refers to the protection of data and IT systems, while “computer security” pertains to the protection of devices. But with the explosion of networking devices like wifi routers, cloud-based technologies, IoT (internet of things) devices, and data centers, these days the terms are often used interchangeably. 

What is the cost of a cyberattack?

The cost of a cyberattack will vary based on the type of attack and the amount of damage incurred. In addition to recovery expenses, there may be legal penalties associated with a breach or attack, and legal damages to victims. 

That said, here are some interesting figures to note.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats

What is the top risk for businesses regarding cybersecurity?

According to the Verizon 2020 Data Breach report, almost one-third of the breaches included social engineering techniques, and 90 percent of them were phishing attacks. Social engineering attacks are those which manipulate human behavior to attain specific goals — typically through clicking on a link or opening a file.

What are the most common phishing attacks?

The most common types of phishing attacks include:

  • Deceptive Phishing: the most common method which uses email to steal information by imitating a legitimate business or person.
  • Spear Phishing: done via social media using personal information obtained from a user’s profile, to customize attack emails for that person.
  • CEO Fraud: specifically targets executives to authorize financial transfers by using the business email of a CEO or other high-level executive.
  • Vishing: a form of phishing done via the telephone where the criminal pretends to be a known entity to steal sensitive data or secure funds.
  • Smishing: another form of digital phishing that occurs via SMS text message through mobile devices, with the same intent to steal data or money.
  • Pharming: this form of phishing uses cache poisoning against DNS and redirects users to a website containing malicious code.

What can be done to protect against phishing?

Protecting your organization from a phishing attack requires training your staff on best practices for using their computing and personal devices. Here are a few recommendations to get you started.

  • Treat all electronic communications with caution. If a message seems to have phishing links or files, do not open them or respond. Delete it immediately or forward it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at [email protected].
  • Do not divulge personal information via a pop-up page. Legitimate organizations don’t use random pop-up websites to collect personal information. 
  • Use a firewall or other antivirus software that includes phishing filters for your email and web browser.  While no internet security tools can eliminate all chances of a phishing message from getting through, they can at least significantly limit them. 

What is a ransomware attack?

A ransomware attack is a type of malware that locks valuable information and holds it for ransom until the owner of the targeted system pays the ransom.

Is it dangerous to store data in the cloud?

The safety of your cloud data depends on the cloud storage provider. That said, most cloud services incorporate more complex security defenses than your local storage option is able to provide. 

The most important feature you want in a cloud storage solution is data encryption. That puts attackers at a disadvantage, as decryption requires a lot of computing power and sophisticated tooling. It’s often not worth the attacker’s effort; he or she just moves on to the next target.

What are the current best practices for business cybersecurity?

Corporate cybersecurity is a big undertaking that requires stakeholder buy-in, employee training, and robust information security controls and monitoring embedded into every aspect of the business. 

  1. Safeguard your sensitive data
  2. Take caution to avoid suspicious links, pop-ups, and unknown emails
  3. Use strong, complex passwords and two-factor authentication for added security
  4. Connect business devices only to secure Wi-Fi routers
  5. Implement antivirus and firewall software and work and at home
  6. Invest in software that monitors your information systems and alerts you to suspicious activity
  7. Keep all software backed up and update regularly
  8. Ensure all team members, not just IT staff, are trained in cybersecurity best practices

Responding to Cyberattacks

What should I do after a cybersecurity attack?

The first step in your incident response plan should be to limit a data breach or cyber attack. Disconnect the affected servers or devices from your IT environment to avoid the damage from spreading to other devices or servers.

Then assess the damage. What was compromised? What are your legal reporting obligations? What can be salvaged? Once the damage is stopped and the extent ascertained, you can then go about managing the damage, notifying the right parties, and beginning recovery.

How can automation be used in cybersecurity threat response?

Implementing cybersecurity best practices requires time, effort, and documentation. Once those protocols are in place, you then need a way to monitor them to assure that they are maintained. Furthermore, you need to re-evaluate your risks and risk management plan routinely to confirm that it’s still protecting your business sufficiently.

This can be quite an expensive and overwhelming project when attempted manually. With automation, many of the redundant tasks, follow-up, organization, and monitoring can be done for you.

This relieves the burden of manual workflows, increases accuracy by limiting human error, and increases your productivity by freeing up your human resources to focus on more important tasks that contribute to the growth of the business.

Is Your Business Prepared for the New Cybersecurity Risks?

ZenGRC is a governance, risk management, and compliance tool with a variety of solutions to fit your needs. It can help to automate and facilitate the documentation and workflows involved in risk assessment, mitigation, and documentation of cybersecurity incident response efforts. 

ZenGRC can streamline your cybersecurity strategies for a variety of industries, including:

  • Technology
  • Financial services
  • Hospitality
  • Healthcare
  • Government
  • Higher education
  • Retail
  • Media
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil & gas

ZenGRC can also trace your compliance stance across multiple frameworks such as GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, FedRAMP, and more. That view is provided in real-time, showing you where your gaps are and what’s needed to fill them, improving your overall security stance in the process.

Not only does this help compliance officers feel more effective at their jobs; it also makes organizations more efficient at the ongoing tasks of cybersecurity risk management, and keeps your stakeholders informed.

To see how ZenGRC can improve your cybersecurity strategies, schedule a free demo today.