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Robust Internet Security in a Nutshell

Before we delve into this topic, it is necessary to get introduced to some basics which are necessary to understand the topic.

Internet Security

Internet security is a subset of computer security specifically related to the Internet. It involves both browser and network security. The main objective of Internet Security is to protect your valuable assets against any intrusion or misuse by any unauthorized resource. Since, Internet represents an insecure channel, Internet security regimen establishes rules and measures of how to exchange information over internet and what measures to use against attacks.

What are attacks/hacks?

Data sent over the Internet from email messages travel through series of computers and network links. As a result, unscrupulous hackers have ample opportunities to intercept the information and use it either to harm you or for its own benefit.

Another aspect of internet attack is that many data repositories e.g. database servers having confidential information are themselves connected to internet exposing them to attackers/hackers who can breach in and steal sensitive information like Credit Card numbers, Bank accounts etc.

Let’s consider an example of TalkTalk’s cyber-attack.

TalkTalk is one of the leading UK based telecommunication and internet service provider with around 5 Million customers. The company did quite well in acquiring the market by gaining trust of so many people. Still it became the victim of cyber-crime.

Personal details of almost 157,000 customers, 15,656 bank account numbers and 28,000 obscured credit and debit card numbers were accessed in this attack.

Although the firm’s CEO, Dido Harding highlighted, “Any information accessed cannot lead to financial loss.” But gaining trust of customers back after such incident is a nightmare.

According to the HM Government’s 2015 Information Security Breaches survey, 74% of small businesses in the UK have suffered an online security breach in the last 12 months, up from 60% last year. The average cost of each breach is estimated at £75k to £311k, and this doesn’t account for the potentially crippling effects of reputational damage and lost customers.

Now, with all the basics known, let’s discuss the Importance of Robust Internet Security.

Importance of Robust Internet Security and Risk Minimization

PwC’s ‘Global State of Information Security Survey 2015’ report revealed that internet security incidents cost large businesses – those with revenues of more than $1 billion – $5.9m on average this year. PwC said, though, there are non-financial costs to businesses that also arise from cyber security breaches.

So, it is of critical importance to have correct level of security built within applications to safeguard themselves against attacks.

Robust internet secure system can be achieved by:

  • Keeping Resilience (or Resiliency) as the first priority, i.e. the power or ability of the system to return to its original state after being attacked.
  • Building internet security awareness as an on-going program.
  • Including internet security metrics into staff performance reviews.
  • Use of biometric authentication for network access may also be implemented.
  • Capability in tracking events linked to Internet Security.
  • Use of a good Antivirus providing online and offline security solutions for e.g. ESET and AVG

Lack of preparation for attacks, ignorance of robust cyber infrastructure, un-encrypted data, insecure code, and other vulnerabilities should have been taken under consideration to avoid cyber-attacks.

Business entities considering importance of robust internet security are less likely to give hackers the opportunity to sneak into the system.

It ensures computer hardware/software safety against mischievous activities which can cost the company money, time and customer’s trust.