Tentacle: Understanding Information Security


As technology gets more and more advanced, it means that a lot of our businesses and organizations are relying upon it at the same rate.  It makes sense, really – it’s a convenient way for us to store our data and keep things running smoothly!  However, there are some problems that come along with tech, and it’s important to address them.

For the most part, they come in the form of keeping our data safe and secure.  This includes both our own company’s information as well as any that we gather from customers.  No one wants their credit card details, social security numbers, or any other sensitive information stolen, right?  It is our responsibility to keep it safe from any outside threats.

What might those look like, though?  There are entire careers dedicated to helping to stop them, as you can see here: https://onlinedegrees.und.edu/blog/types-of-cyber-security-threats/  Most of the time, we call these threats “hackers,” although that is a bit generalist.  Viruses, worms, and other malware can cause just as much havoc.

How do we prevent them from happening?  That’s a whole other can of worms (ha, get it?), but don’t worry – I’ll be offering plenty of advice here today!  Even if you’re not sure how to get started, there are plenty of helpful resources out there.

What is Cybersecurity?

Now, I already kind of explained it above, but it’s time to get a bit more in-depth.  To put it in simple terms, cybersecurity involves protecting sensitive data, information, and networks from external threats.  Those could be hackers, viruses, or any other type of malware.  All can cause serious issues for a company on multiple levels.

What sorts of attacks do we need to protect ourselves from, then?  Part of the problem is that they are ever-evolving alongside the measures that we use to defend from them.  In essence, we can think of it as a sort of digital “arms race” for the data that we need to keep secure.  It’s definitely quite stressful to try to keep up with everything.

Types of Attacks

A particularly alarming trend in terms of these cyber attacks is called “ransomware.”  It puts the victim in an incredibly stressful situation, since your computer or laptop is basically “kidnapped” or shut down until you pay the hacker whatever it is that they want (or are able to break free from the malware).  When this happens, often we end up panicking and feeling pressured to just give them what they want.

They are also difficult to prevent in comparison to some of the other security threats that I’ll be discussing, which is why I placed them first.  Thankfully, though, companies like Tentacle have information security programs that can help with that.  If it does happen to you or within your company, do your best not to panic.  Contact your information security technician or service provider and discuss options with them, first.

Besides that, though, what else should we be looking out for?  Viruses are a huge one, and they can infect computers in all sorts of ways.  Some common sources of them are sketchy emails or links that an unwitting victim clicks on.  They vary in severity, with one of the worst types called a Trojan Horse – you may have heard of them before.

Most of the time, the goal of these malware programs is to steal data or information in one way or another.  Some of them are able to track keystrokes to steal passwords, usernames, and even personal identification numbers.  Others achieve similarly sinister goals, so it’s pretty clear why we need to be on the defensive when it comes to this stuff.

Protecting Ourselves and Our Customers

Obviously, our first priority is probably going to be to keep any sensitive information from our own businesses or organizations out of the hands of these malicious hackers.  However, I want to highlight that it’s quite important to do so for our customers’ data as well.  If you think about some of the scandals that have happened in the past decade, which ones first come to mind?

As this page details, a lot of these scandals are caused by information leaks.  With those came a ton of class action lawsuits, boycotts, and more – and I doubt that any business really wants that sort of thing to happen, right?  That’s why it’s so important to utilize the resources available to us in terms of cybersecurity.

Now, for an at-home basis, anti-virus or anti-malware programs can probably suffice.  However, for businesses, it’s usually a good idea to invest in something a bit more heavy-duty than that.  There are companies that can help you to establish proper security protocols if that sounds appealing to you, although you can do it in-house as well.  So long as you get it done, of course!