The essential function of any organisation is underpinned and protected by effective cybersecurity. Whatever the size of the organisation or the sector in which it operates, it’s vital that all staff regardless of seniority understand how they may be susceptible to a cyberattack or data breach and the steps they can take to ensure everyone stays safe online. While the primary responsibility for technically securing IT systems and associated technology lies with your organisation, you as an individual have a crucial role to play. This short video will explain why cyber-attacks happen. A great deal of this advice will also apply to IT systems and devices in your home.
Cyberattacks can be carried out by a whole range of individuals and groups. They will target you as an individual as a way of getting into your organisation’s IT networks or systems
Cyber threat actors is a term used to describe any individual or group that creates incidents that could have a negative impact on any aspect of an organisation’s security. They could for instance want to steal sensitive data to sell it or block access to your IT systems and demand ransoms to let you back in. Cyberattacks can also be funded directed or sponsored by foreign governments who want to access extremely sensitive or valuable information to give themselves a political or strategic advantage. This information could be about your organisation or its people or could relate to third parties such as customers or suppliers.
Hackers are individuals with a wide variety of motivations they may want to test their skills or cause disruption for the sake of it or, for financial gain. For the most part, political activists are motivated by political or ideological reasons. They may for example want to access sensitive information to discredit or expose you or your organisation in some way. This type of cyber-attack is more likely if your organisation operates in an industry that experiences political activism or contains groups that adopt an aggressive approach to your country.
Terrorist organisations conduct cyber-attacks because they want to cause harm and destruction while spreading propaganda or for financial gain to fund their activities. Cyber-attacks can also come from inside your organisation. Disgruntled staff with access to data or IT networks can for example steal information to sell to competitors. And finally, you should be aware of another area that can generate problems, but in these cases, there is absolutely no malicious intent. This group is negligent employees. Data breaches or situations that lead to cyberattacks can be caused by employee negligence where for example someone stores information on a non-approved, insecure system or email confidential or personal data to the wrong people. We all have a part to play in being careful and managing the data we create and process on a day-to-day basis.
The National Cyber Security Centre of Ireland (NCSC) engages in a comprehensive set of tasks around cyber security, with a primary focus on securing Government networks and securing Critical National Infrastructure. It encompasses the State’s National/Governmental Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT-IE).
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