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Cybersecurity is the protection of networks, devices and data from unauthorized access and criminal use. It is an essential part of our global society that now relies on computers and the internet for everything from communication (email, social media, texting), entertainment, work, banking, travel, healthcare, financial transactions, critical infrastructure, research and even our personal safety and security.

Every business, website receiving substantial traffic, and institution and non-profit organization that serves the public should have an understanding of what cyber risks they face and how to mitigate them. Developing a clear definition of risk is the first step to understanding the threats and vulnerabilities that could impact a company’s reputation, financial performance or physical operations.

It is important for leaders to determine the value of the information they are protecting and the risk that the loss or exposure will have on their organization. This will allow them to make better decisions about which preventive controls to implement to minimize the threat and risk. It is also important to determine how much a preventive control will cost and whether it makes sense in light of the potential risk.

The most effective cybersecurity solutions include firewalls, EDR and SIEM systems. Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet are two standout vendors that offer employee benefits such as stock purchase plans and development courses along with a 401(k). CrowdStrike is another great solution that inhibits cyber attackers by combining adversary-focused cloud security with threat intelligence.