The importance of information security for businesses cannot be overstated. It is vital for organizations to ensure their critical business information is protected from unauthorized access, data breaches, and other cyber threats.
Information security, also known as infosec, are the measures and policies used to protect digital and other types of information from unauthorized access or use. Most often, infosec is included as part of an overall cybersecurity program.
Put simply, infosec is about making sure your business can access the data needed to operate while keeping others from accessing the same data - keeping the good guys in and the bad guys out.
The three main pillars of information security are called the CIA triad and each principle informs the other.
- Confidentiality: information should only be available to those who are properly authorized to access the data.
- Integrity: information should be accurate, consistent, and trustworthy.
- Availability: information should be easily accessible to the people with the right authorization regardless of interruptions.
Why is infosec so important?
Weak or nonexistent information security leads to mission critical or sensitive data being lost, stolen, or used in a way that causes severe consequences for the business, their customers and stakeholders, and the industry they work in.
Data breaches, cyber-attacks, and fraud are all increasing in frequency as businesses and individuals become ever reliant on technology. Here are 7 important reasons why organizations need to take information security seriously:
1. Information security risks are increasing
It is no secret threats to information security are becoming more common. In 2021, data breaches exposed 22 billion records and the US was targeted in almost half of all cyber-attacks. Ransomware, identity theft, data extortion, viruses are just some of the ways malicious actors try to access data for nefarious reasons. Threat actors may block access to data or threaten to release it unless they are paid a certain amount in ransom. The largest threat to a business is its own employees who do not follow security policies.
2. Data is everywhere
Large organizations and governments are all at risk of data breaches because of the large amounts of sensitive data they handle. Financial accounts, social security numbers, medical records, national security secrets, and other information are just a few examples. Individuals are often targeted through phishing attacks to gain access to any personal information on their device (for example, passwords to bank accounts, social security numbers, or retail websites) which can then be stolen.
3. Security costs are rising
It's crucial to consider that a security breach has many variables that are all costly. Businesses may lose income while their systems are down, lose business from departing clients, or have to invest to attract new clients. In addition to that, businesses and governments must pay a security expert to investigate the situation and establish what occurred in order to prevent future incidents. New security measures will also be pricey, and there is the potential for hefty fines for businesses found to be in breach of security regulations. The average cost of a data breach in the United States is $9.4 million.
5. State-sponsored hacks
Some governments will fund hacker groups to interfere with or disrupt business activity in another country. One of the greatest cyber-attacks known occurred when Russian-sponsored threat actors hacked thousands of US organizations over several months, which also impacted European organizations such as NATO.
6. More technology in use
Technology is continuously evolving, with more people connected to the internet than ever before thanks to remote working and the Internet of things (IoT). Devices that are connected to the internet can be exploited by cyber criminals, particularly if employees are not using them securely. IoT devices are not regularly or efficiently patched, which can leave them open to exploitation as well.
7. Highly sophisticated attacks
The increased sophistication of cyber-attacks makes information security even more critical today. Cyber criminals have access to the same advanced technology and automation as cybersecurity professionals. Malicious actors are also more organized than they were in the past, forming communities and sharing their knowledge and skills. Even a small group of hackers can do a lot of damage to multiple networks simultaneously.
8. Infosec increases compliance
In countries around the world, companies that collect, store, and process data must establish information security policies and strategies. The Federal Information Security Management Act in the United States requires federal agencies to have programs in place. In California, the California Consumer Privacy Act allows consumers to sue firms if privacy guidelines are not adhered to. The EU's General Data Protection Regulation, the world's most severe information protection law, was enacted in 2018. As more laws are passed in the future, entities will need to comply with data privacy in order to maintain compliance.
Protect your business data with information security experts
Organizations prioritize their business having a secure foundation by how much they value information security. It is essential to safeguard your company's data and protect your company and client information in order to keep your company strong and growing. Data breaches are damaging for both immediate and long-term business outcomes.
Keeping client data secure preserves your company's reputation, which is vital for establishing and maintaining a strong brand. Information security is a vital part of your overall cybersecurity strategy, and with ThreatAdvice managed security services you can be sure of having the right technology and support to protect your business.