Achieving a high level of IT security is a desirable goal for most companies. Ideally, the organisation’s software and hardware, including third-party data, will be secure and completely inaccessible to unauthorised persons who might make fraudulent use of the information generated, processed or stored by the organisation.
However, IT security is increasingly threatened by cyber-risks, all the circumstances, factors and deliberate attacks that can cause material damage and the deterioration or theft of information in the digital infrastructures we use in our company: software, websites, domains, etc.
Cyberattacks are usually associated with malware, a term referring to various types of IT threat: they include ransomware (the theft of data to request a ransom for their return), Trojans (able to destroy data, slow down or disable computer systems and even supplant identities) and spyware (malicious software that is installed in the operating system and can carry out countless criminal actions).
The three main types of IT security for companies
There are various types of IT security that a company should consider in order to avoid attacks that could lead to information theft, financial losses, loss of prestige and deterioration of the brand’s image, as well as possible civil liability claims from third parties and even criminal liability, among other serious effects, a series of negative factors that could significantly reduce the organisation’s profitability and even endanger its survival.
Consequently, ensuring IT security in the company (IT equipment, data storage media, whether physical or cloud, and communications networks) has become a priority issue. Companies must, and are even legally required, to develop comprehensive defence mechanisms that provide sufficient cover for the three different types of IT security:
This refers to all the computer devices we use in our day-to-day business: desktop computers, laptops, scanners, tablets, mobile phones, as well as network connections and servers. The most common hardware defence system is firewalls.
This includes all security methods or systems that focus on protecting programs, applications and software in general on the different devices used by a company’s professionals.
Systems and measures that protect the integrity and security of the network which users navigate and which is used to transfer information and data in the organisation. The commonest threats affecting networks are: computer viruses, worms, Trojans, and all kinds of attacks by hackers, including data interception, data theft and data destruction.
It is important to remember that these types of security are closely interconnected, and that, if one fails, the other two are very likely to be affected. For example, software that has security weaknesses can be a way in for malware that disables hardware or infects other devices with a dangerous virus via the network.
Computer security strategies
A good IT security strategy must combine the most effective antivirus programs and systems with the most up-to-date software, in addition to raising awareness among employees and increasing their involvement so that they take precautionary measures such as: only using applications or programs that are authorised and controlled by the company and being very careful with passwords.
On the other hand, conducting a thorough analysis of potential risks and damage has become practically indispensable, if we wish to take truly effective preventive measures.
Outsourcing IT security to an insurer: an increasingly popular option
More and more companies are choosing to contract the services of an insurer to give them proper protection against the different types of cyber-risk, with a specific policy that guarantees compensation in the event of damage and also covers civil liability in the event of attacks affecting third parties, ensuring that they comply with the security standards required by law.
Some insurers also specialise in detecting potential IT risks, advising companies and implementing barriers and other protective measures to prevent attacks and the subsequent damage from occurring.