Cybersecurity. The term has become so widely used in recent years that almost all of us have heard it, but what does it actually mean for businesses and why does it matter?

Conflate the massive, global shift in working practices of the last two years with the acceleration of tech-based operating practices in a post-pandemic world, and it’s easy to see how the continued ascension of technology in our everyday lives comes with it an urgent need to step up data security.

In simple terms, cybersecurity is any action taken to protect your company data, personal and sensitive information which is stored online, on a server, computer or USB storage device – exploiting this data is big business in the world of cybercriminals. In November last year it was reported that, if cybercrime was measured, its “value” would be equivalent to the world’s third-largest economy after the US and China.

The increasing amounts of technology we use to run our businesses generates and gathers increasing volumes of data. Consequently, the likelihood of attack becomes a matter of when and not if – and it’s not just individual businesses at risk anymore because hackers know that, if they can break into a Managed Service and Security Provider (MSSP) for example, they unlock a treasure chest of ill-gotten data.

Just as the sophistication of the methods used ramps up, so too does the range of methods employed but email systems remain the most common method of entry. Worryingly, it can take over 100 days for a cyberthreat to be noticed within a business and, by then, it’s often too late. Lost and/or corrupt data, operational downtime, reputational damage – the list of headaches is long, each with time-consuming and often far-reaching implications.

With the stakes so high, it’s little wonder that unscrupulous hackers are trying hard to infiltrate any system where they might find valuable data to turn into cash. That’s why it’s never been more important to see cybersecurity as a business strategy and not a reaction.

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