How Do Companies Protect Themselves from Acts of Cybercrime in 2024?

In all forms of business and all industries, there is an ever-present threat to their continued functioning. This risk can go undetected and has the potential to create chaos and damage to any company’s IT infrastructure. Put simply, this risk is the threat that is posed by cybercrime.

Every day around the world, over 2,000 cyber attacks are deployed online. These can take various forms, from simple acts of malware that are contained within malicious links or attachments in an email to highly sophisticated denial of service (DOS) attacks. A successful cyber attack can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to recover from and potentially much more.

In addition to the financial cost is the loss of business reputation. This is especially true if customer details or other sensitive information is compromised as part of the attack. No company is ever 100% protected from sophisticated acts of cybercrime. In the last decade, attacks on large corporations such as Sony have demonstrated this. However, every company must take all possible steps to secure their IT systems and minimize the likelihood and the subsequent impact of a cyber attack. In this article, some of the key ways in which companies can protect themselves from cybercrime in 2024 will be explored.

Securing the online infrastructure

Modern firms rely on advanced and complicated IT services to run their daily operations. Today, millions of firms have made the transition to cloud-based services where applications and software are held and managed online. This online architecture plays a vital role in supporting remote and hybrid models of working, allowing staff to access key business systems from their home offices or other locations.

However, it is vitally important that these online applications are secured and can be monitored in real-time. IT professionals will typically use an API gateway to facilitate this process. An API gateway provides a single point of access for software, microservices, and applications that need to function together online. The gateway allows traffic levels and access requests to be monitored. Unusual activity or requests can trigger alerts for the IT security staff, who can then assess the risk and deny access if the requests are deemed to be malicious. In short, API gateways play a key role in securing a firm’s online infrastructure and are now considered to be a vital digital asset.

IT security staff training

While highly skilled IT staff are required to protect companies against cybercrime, the wider workforce also needs to have a working knowledge of the threats posed. Ideally, this will take the form of IT security awareness training and will be rolled out to new starters as part of the company’s onboarding process. In addition, this training should be refreshed annually as part of an ongoing mandatory training requirement for staff. IT security training should introduce the staff members to the various forms of cyberattacks that can be used by cybercriminals. Staff should learn how to recognize simple acts of phishing and malicious attachments in an email. They should be able to take action when threats are identified and be aware of whom to escalate this information to.

Simply put, an organization can take significant steps to protect itself from acts of cybercrime by cultivating a workforce that has comprehensive knowledge on this topic. It is also important to note that cybercrime methods change over time, often becoming more sophisticated. As new knowledge becomes available, this should be used to update IT security training packages.

Password management systems

It is a concerning fact that, even in 2024, an estimated 1 in 5 employees will routinely set and use weak passwords. These passwords are incredibly easy for even the least skilled of hackers to crack. Once they have been compromised, the cybercriminal can gain access to corporate systems, allowing them to view sensitive information and unleash ransomware or other malicious programs. Thankfully, an increasing number of companies are investing in password management systems for their staff. These systems automatically create extremely strong passwords that would be exceptionally difficult to crack. A master password can be used to allow the employee to log into their systems, and staff will not need to memorize complex series of letters, numbers, and characters. In short, such password management systems can be a vital tool in preventing unauthorized access to corporate systems by guessing weak passwords.

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