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What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security consists of technologies, processes and measures that are designed to reduce the risk of a cyber attack (which is conducted through the deliberate exploitation of systems, networks and technologies).

Effective and robust cyber security requires measures based around three pillars: people, processes and technology. This three-pronged approach helps organisations defend themselves from both highly organised attacks and common internal threats, such as accidental breaches and human error.

The three pillars of cyber security



Every employee needs to be aware of their role in preventing and reducing cyber threats, and specialised technical cyber security staff need to stay fully up to date with the latest skills and qualifications to mitigate and respond to cyber attacks.



Processes are crucial in defining how the organisation’s activities, roles and documentation are used to mitigate the risks to the organisation’s information. Cyber threats change quickly, so processes need to be continually reviewed to be able to adapt with them.



By identifying the cyber risks that your organisation faces you can then start to look at what controls to put in place, and what technologies you’ll need to do this. Technology can be deployed to prevent or reduce the impact of cyber risks, depending on your risk assessment and what you deem an acceptable level of risk.

Why is cyber security important?

A strong cyber security stance is a key defence against cyber-related failures and errors, and malicious cyber attacks.

Most cyber attacks are automated and indiscriminate, exploiting known vulnerabilities rather than targeting specific organisations, so it’s vital to have the right cyber security measures in place to protect your organisation.

Elements of cyber security

A strong cyber security posture hinges on a systematic approach that encompasses:

What are the consequences of a cyber attack?

Cyber attacks can disrupt and cause considerable financial and reputational damage to even the most resilient organisation. If you suffer a cyber attack, you stand to lose assets, reputation and business, and potentially face regulatory fines and litigation – as well as the costs of remediation.

Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018 found that the average cost of a cyber security breach for a large business is £22,300 and for a small to medium-sized business is £2,310.

The top cyber threats facing your organisation


Learn how to protect your business from ransomware in just 10 minutes >>


Take action against targeted phishing attacks today >>


Prevent malware and protect against 80 % of cyber attacks with Cyber Essentials >>

Social engineering

Improve staff awareness of cyber security risks >>

Outdated software

Implement patch management and prevent 80 % of attacks with Cyber Essentials >>

Vulnerabilities in web applications and networks

Penetration testing is an effective way to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities >>

How to maintain effective cyber security

The most effective strategy to mitigate and minimise the effects of a cyber attack is to build a solid foundation upon which to grow your cyber security technology stack.

Solution providers often tell their clients their applications are 100% compatible and will operate seamlessly with the current IT infrastructure, and for the most part, this is true. The problem arises when we start adding IT security solutions from different manufacturers regardless of the granularity of their configuration settings – technology gaps will always be present.

And technology gaps will always appear for one simple reason: developers will always keep certain portions of their code proprietary as part of their competitive advantage. Hence, true compatibility and interoperability may only be 90%. These are known as technology gaps. It is through these gaps that attacks usually occur.

A solid cyber security foundation will identify these gaps and propose the appropriate action to take to mitigate the risk of an attack.

A solid foundation provides organisations the confidence to build their cyber security strategies.

Start your journey to being cyber secure today

IT Governance has a wealth of experience in the cyber security and risk management field. As part of our work with hundreds of private and public organisations in all industries, we have been carrying out cyber security projects for more than fifteen years. All of our consultants are qualified, experienced practitioners.

Our services can be tailored for organisations of all sizes in any industry and location. Browse our wide range of solutions below to kick-start your Cyber Security project.

Download our free cyber security resources

Cyber security products and services

Speak to an expert

To find out more on how our cyber security products and services can protect your organisation, or to receive some guidance and advice, speak to one of our experts.