The way we work has been irrevocably changed by the effects of Covid-19. Businesses worldwide have suddenly found themselves forced to abandon traditional workplace methods in order to prioritise health and safety. This has meant adopting styles such as remote working, allowing employees to complete their work hours from home. The availability of such advanced technology has made this sudden switch possible, and allowed for businesses to remain productive during this era of uncertainty.
However, amid these unfamiliar times, several problems have arisen as a result of working from home. Increased reliance on new technology has led to a slew new problems, problems that have never been encountered before, where no precedent on how to handle them exists. The most notable example of this has been increased risk of cyber security threats.
Why Cyber Security Matters
As workforces worldwide navigate their ways through these uncharted territories, it is of course important to be aware of the dangers that may occur. Growing calls from departments to prioritise cyber security as a health and safety hazard indicate the gravity of the matter alone. And as technology begins to rival the significance of workers themselves, it looks like complying and understanding how to effectively and efficiently use such equipment is essential for a prosperous future.
Understanding the significance of cyber security risk is key if businesses are going to combat it effectively. Many are still unaware of the destruction it can potentially cause. Massive financial damage, PR nightmares, mechanical failures and disruption to essential businesses, are only a few of the numerous potential safety dangers. What makes cyber security one of the most pressing issues in the modern workplace is how ever present it is.
Unfortunately, no companies, big or small, are safe from these kind of attacks, as the world continues to embrace increased technology usage. Organizations’ sensitive information, including private confidential data, hold significant value for cyber attackers and hackers. In 2020 alone, hackers were reported to have made over £28 million by detailing the numerous problems in businesses’ computer software. Another unfortunate fact remains that as our reliance on technology grows stronger by the year, new cyber security threats are ever-developing and becoming more plentiful, further endangering businesses and IT companies the world over.
Significant aspects of Ireland’s economy, including economic growth, investment, confidence, increased invention are greatly dependent on this growing network security. As a result, continuous calls from high-profile firms, such as Bureau Veritas, to emphasise cyber security as a health and safety hazard have been abundant in recent times.
Types Of Cyber Security Attacks
Just some of the more notable, highly damaging types of cyber-attacks include:
- Malware is the most common type of attack. It makes up the series of issues that can arise when an unsuspecting internet user clicks on a risky link or advertisement. Viruses, worms, ransomware and spyware, all of which have the potential to easily damage data and systems they come into contact with.
- Phishing consists of cyber attackers deceptively tricking users with dangerous ploys, such as emails, links and advertisements. Malware installation can occur when the user clicks on these ploys. Additionally, the release of confidential information, such as credit card details, can also result from clicking on to these misleading links.
- Spear Phishing is a more complicated form of phishing. It involves cyber attackers targeting wealthy computer users with deceptive emails in the hopes of gaining sensitive and confidential information and data.
- Ransomware is one of the forms of malware attacks. Cyber-attackers hack into the systems of innocent victims, and gain access to any available sensitive information. The attackers then demand the payment of a ransom, essentially holding their victim hostage via online. Releasing confidential data, or disabling the user from their accounts, are just some of the threats attackers made to gain said ransom.
- SQL Injections occur when attackers send specific databases faulty Structured Query Language (SQL). SQLs are a form of communication sent into databases to arrange and recover information. By using damaging SQLs, cyber attackers can gain access to sensitive confidential data. Once illegally inside the targeted database, attackers can also choose delete or alter such information.
- Denial of Service Attack is a type of attack that involves cyber criminals attempting to block the availability of a computer system by overflowing it with large amounts of traffic. This leads to indefinite disruption, and the system’s inability to function correctly.
- Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) is when a cyber attacker unlawfully hacks into a system and remains there for a prolonged period without being detected. This is known as an advanced persistent threat (APT).
- Domain Name System (DNS) Attack occurs when a criminal attempts to take advantage of a vulnerable aspect in the Domain Name System (DNS).
Sources of Cyber-Attacks
Groups associated with extensive cyber-attacks include:
- Hackers employ a number of cyber-attacking methods as a means of profiting off of the numerous flaws in different companies’ software.
- Terrorist groups attempt to oversee cyber-attacks as a means of disturbing economic flows, gaining access to confidential data and threatening the national security of enemy countries.
- Nation states often manage attacks, and this can also lead to the severe damage of other countries. Disrupting a rival country’s economy, debilitating military equipment and interrupting communications, are some notable examples.
- Criminal groups in trying to gain profit will often direct cyber-attacks at unsuspecting computer users. Threatening to release sensitive information unless a ransom is paid is a common type of attack for them to operate.
- Malicious insiders include employees or company associates who exploit their lawful power of having access to confidential information and data, as a means of gaining profit, or abolishing confidential data.
Cyber Security Protection
Cyber security has of course been an issue before Covid, however, it is only now that businesses are beginning to take it as seriously as the virus itself. Entry level cybersecurity protection is no longer a viable option for companies. According to estimates made by the IBM, any type of data breach costs the victimised company an average of £3.86 million loss. Reliable Wi-Fi connection and secure computer devices are some of the requirements that enable increased protection. It can be ensured by employing solutions offered by Irish cyber security companies. Thankfully, these numerous companies are easily available for contact, and free of charge.
List Of Irish Companies:
- Edgescan – administrates and monitors cyber security risks. An award-winning organization, Edgescan offer vulnerability management and worldwide penetration testing.
- CWSI – prioritises the protection of enterprise mobility. Guaranteeing the security of businesses in a mobile-first world, the company boasts clients in 38 countries,
- Cyber Risk Aware – supervises and ensures effective cyber security training. The only cyber security company in the world to offer this kind of training, it significantly helps to alleviate human cyber threats by supervising faked phish attacks.
- Privacy Engine – oversees the management of confidential data and privacy. The company provide essential information to businesses and organizations regarding the mitigation of employees having their computers hacked while working at home.
- TitanHQ – specialises in protection of higher education and businesses. The company protects over 7,500 organizations from cyber-attacks such as malware, spear phishing, ransomware etc.
Attempting to increase cyber security readiness, in late 2019 the Irish government issued the National Cyber Security Strategy for 2019 – 2024. One significant aspect of the proposal was the further development of Ireland’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). This organization oversees the monitoring of cyber security threats, working in collaboration with the Defence Forces and the police (Gardai). It is also focused on raising general awareness and skills among businesses on how to deal with expanding security risks.
As a result, Ireland has emerged as a significant player in the fight against cyber dangers during the past year. Over 50 percent of the world’s most trusted cyber security companies are based in Ireland. This is the end product of what is known as the “successful triple helix ecosystem.” Consisting of businesses, academics and political figures, the result encourages the banding together of different parties as a means of combating the growing potential hazards.
This culminated in the creation of Cyber Ireland, a security collective that represents the increasing threats of significant attacks. Such activity enticed high-ranking cyber security companies to set up their base in Ireland. It has also made the country a role model within Europe for other countries on how to fight respective cyber security threats.
ISO 27001 Certificate
Amid this time, it is important for businesses to gain the ISO 27001 certificate. This certificate is the most universally recognized benchmark for data security. It serves as a representation of the Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). Providing ensured privacy, reliability and accessibility to confidential data, the certificate is an essential for businesses nationwide.
Ronspot is a company that places heavy emphasis on cyber security. On December 4th 2020, it was announced that Ronspot Flexwork, following extensive collaborations with QSL ISO Quality Standards, were awarded the ISO 27001 Certificate, becoming the first company in their field to achieve this feat. Given this achievement, customers who chose to work with this company are assured that whatever confidential information they may entrust will be kept safe.
But it’s not just that their information is protected. There are numerous benefits to working with companies with the ISO 27001 certificate. It indicates that the data security of customers is of the highest concern for the company, allowing for greater trust between the two parties. Customers are growing increasingly anxious regarding the protection of their sensitive data, whether it be credit card details or personal information. Given this, it is recommended to work with companies who place this kind of emphasis on information security management. The gaining of the certificate also indicates operational excellence throughout the company, indicating the dedication of all employees to effectively execute respective tasks. With Ronspot, employee dedication is assured, guaranteeing customer satisfaction.