On guard against worms and Trojans

IT security is a very high priority

In 2022, it is no longer just safes, entrance doors and filing cabinets that need to be protected when it comes to the security of a company's own data. Cyber criminals are looking for loopholes in IT systems to attack and damage companies. We would like to make you aware of this important aspect in turbulent times, without falling into alarmism.

The calculation is quite simple: the more data is stored on server structures or in a cloud in the digital age, the greater the damage if it can no longer be found there. This affects private individuals and, for example, the completely digitally created photographic memories of past family vacations that could be lost in a hard drive crash and that are actually irreplaceable from an intangible point of view. In the case of companies, this may affect valuable customer data or a unique selling point of the company's own product range compared to that of the competition, which today is often referred to as a unique selling proposition, or USP for short.

Of course, under unfortunate circumstances, such an immensely difficult to cope with data loss also occurs once in a while due to an improper use of hardware or software in one's own company. Unfortunately, however, cyber criminals are increasingly targeting the data of companies, which is not infrequently characterized as the "oil of the 21st century". Every now and then, such an attempt involves the idea of a showdown with the existing defenses and the people responsible for them on the company side - especially if one wants to gain reputation in one's own community by hacking known companies. As a rule, however, there is a clear motive behind these attacks to cause damage or to demand a ransom for hijacked information. The former became more prominent again at the beginning of the Ukraine conflict and the return of interstate conflicts on the European continent, because critical infrastructure or its intended destruction can no longer be achieved solely through attacks with analog weapons.

Vigilance of immense importance

"If you put yourself in danger, you will die" and "caution is the mother of all pots and pans" are two well-known statements in German when it comes to security and taking or avoiding risks. Companies should also be highly vigilant with regard to the threats posed by cyber criminals. Failure to pay attention to this aspect in the orientation of one's own entrepreneurial activities may prove to be a threat to the company's existence in a specific case.

Regardless of whether salvation is to be found in top 5 or top 10 lists, such as those repeatedly compiled by experts, information security remains a management task. It should be a high priority for management - and contingency plans should exist for the event of an attack and an offline structure.

Taking the next steps after threat analysis

It goes without saying that the menu for the cafeteria does not enjoy the identical protection factor compared to the blueprint for a crucial component of the company's own premium product. However, closing security gaps and the resulting entry points for hackers in general and protecting enormously valuable corporate data from being destroyed or temporarily hijacked in particular after a threat analysis are two sides of the same coin. Transferred from the analog world: Even an open window in the sanitary wing of a bank can sooner or later lead robbers into the vault.

A comprehensive look at the threat situation - perhaps starting with the question of where your own company can be hit hard? - helps identify vulnerabilities and address their elimination. The policy of burying one's head in the sand, often associated with the ostrich, by no means seems to be a viable alternative to seriously addressing this challenge.

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