What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security consists of all the technologies and practices that keep computer systems and electronic data safe. And, in a world where more and more of our business and social lives are online, it’s an enormous and growing field.
Why Cyber Security is Important
Getting hacked isn’t just a direct threat to the confidential data companies need. It can also ruin their relationships with customers, and even place them in significant legal jeopardy. With new technology, from self-driving cars to internet-enabled home security systems, the dangers of cyber crime become even more serious.
These days, the need to shield information from malicious actors is a concern at the highest levels of business and government. State secrets can be stolen from the other side of the world. Companies, whose whole business models depend on control of customers’ data, can find their databases compromised. In just one high-profile case last year, personal information for 147.9 million people – about half of the United States-was compromised in a breach of credit reporting company Equifax.
Even small companies face threats if they don’t keep their security strong. A recent survey from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company found that 58% of business owners with up to 299 employees had been victims of a cyber attack. Computer viruses and phishing were particularly common, but 12% had faced hacking as well, and 7%-more than one out of every 15 businesses-had suffered a data breach. The survey also found the companies ill-prepared to protect themselves. Less than half of them had plans in place to protect their employee or customer data.