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Why you need to protect your company from online crime

The world of work has changed considerably over the last 30 or so years. From the relentless pace and inventiveness of technology to the widespread adoption of the internet, email, messaging, and video apps, it’s almost impossible to think of any company these days that doesn’t rely on online services at least to some degree.

As the boundaries between the real and virtual worlds continue to blur in both our personal and work lives, so our reliance on online tech continues to increase—and will do so even more in the future. However, while most of us use the internet purely for good reasons, there is an unfortunate dark side to the online world—a world filled with nefarious online criminals who are all too ready and willing to exploit our data.

Why you need to protect your company from online crime

Cybercrime—the greatest risk facing companies today

In a recent survey among company owners and bosses, the majority cited the potential for exploitation through cybercrime as their greatest fear and danger facing their firms. Online crime has been growing exponentially for many years and the revenue generated by cybercriminals is expected to tally $6 trillion in 2021 (doubling in value since 2015). Moreover, industry experts suggest the costs associated with online crime will continue to rise by 15% year on year for the next five years—reaching a mindboggling $10.5 trillion by 2025.

If you haven’t already, now is the time to act

If your firm operates online to any degree, chances are high that you will have already found yourself a target of online crime—whether that be a hacked website or a more troublesome problem such as an SQL injection attack. What is SQL injection, you might ask? In short, an SQL injection is where the hacker identifies and exploits a weakness in your SQL database permission settings to gain access.

SQL (structured query language) databases use statements to query data—typically executed from a web page. In an SQL attack, the hacker will execute queries that can add, read, change, or delete data stored in the database.

Of course, SQL injections are just one form of attack used by hackers. Other very common types of attack include malware (and ransomware), Man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM), distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and phishing attacks—to name but a few.

Steps you can take to protect your firm

If your company is like most these days, you likely rely on your website, email, and network for everything from file storage to staying in touch or allowing collaborative working. Industry experts now suggest data is the most valuable commodity in the world, far outweighing the value of oil or gold. Your data is likely the lifeblood of your firm—most certainly not anything you should be taking chances with.

In truth, if you’re looking for the most robust protection against online crime, you should look at handing control of your online services to a professional security contractor. Not only will a dedicated firm take steps to ensure your protection, they will also perform a full audit on your existing network to identify possible threats or loopholes which might provide unwarranted access.

A reputable IT security firm will understand the importance of tools like identity and access management, which helps organizations better manage user identities. Solutions like this are important, so quiz any firm you hire to make sure they are up-to-date with the latest industry recommendations.