New threats to your security
We live in an era in which cybersecurity is no longer just an IT issue, but something that affects a whole business. Companies have become much more digital, and with this change comes a much higher, and ever rising, risk of cyber-attack.
Telstra recently released a report that revealed 59% of Asian companies were impacted by a serious cyber incident at least once per month. In recent years the amount and number of types, of digital devices has gone up rapidly. Businesses can be impacted by attacks targeting smartphones, tablets, wearable devices, and the litany of devices that make up the internet of things.
Of course, these risks are heaped onto the already present threats to more traditional devices such as laptops and desktop computers. More than 200, 000 devices in 150 countries have been affected by recent cyber attacks.
Tim Jamieson, a security manager at Writemyx, states, “The software used in these types of incursions is becoming much more advanced, allowing for more comprehensive damage to be done. New threats exist such as espionage and infrastructure disruption, in addition to the usual suspects of theft and extortion.”
Phishing, for instance, is one of the biggest current problems in cybersecurity. Because it’s usually masked as a genuine email message from a company or a brand, it doesn’t look suspicious. When you open it, there is either a link or a file that you are instructed to download or click on. That’s when they attack you. The link is leading to a page that tries to lure you to enter your data. You might not even know it because the site you enter will seem familiar.
Lessons from financial companies
The banking industry is another sector that is changing its attitude towards cyber security. Banks have increasingly become a target for cyber-attacks. U.S. financial companies lose 23.6 million USD, on average, due to cybersecurity breaches, the highest of any industry.
Innovations used by banking companies, such as mobile, cloud, and social media access, by their nature, have made banks more vulnerable to breaches. To mitigate their cyber threat risks, financial companies should invest in using automation and data analytics to detect cyber incursions.
That also advises banking companies keep these new threats in mind as they move forward with technologies such as cloud and mobile. These new threats must be included in any effective cybersecurity strategy.
The risks are serious
Senior managers need to support their IT teams. But this is usually not the case. They want to be protected but since they don’t understand what it takes to protect the entire company, they don’t provide enough resources. If a system needs an update, for instance, but the old version still works, the senior management will not invest in updating the system. This can be damaging to the entire company as well as the IT department.
Patched and updated systems have a lower risk of being breached into while systems, which are not updated, develop problems and become vulnerable to attacks. If the senior management doesn’t invest in the IT department, they won’t have the right tools to solve problems and install protection. This leaves the company exposed and easy to inject.
The involvement of regulatory agencies
Regulatory organizations like the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission have both filed lawsuits in the past against the companies that fail to protect their customers’ data from cyber-attacks. If a company neglects to take proper action in order to keep their customers safe then that company is going to lose the trust of their customers and the business will die down.
The problem is that most business owners or boards don’t see cybersecurity in this light. They rather see it as something that is not relevant now because a cyber-attack ‘won’t happen to them’. However, a cyber-attack can happen to anyone and companies need to take it seriously. They need to realize that a lack of cybersecurity will lead to their downfall.
Eliminating the risk of hacking completely is impossible but what really matters is that the company is taking this issue seriously and that it’s a part of their business strategies and plans.
New technological solutions
“It’s become necessary to approach cybersecurity in a new way, by using a more holistic approach. All segments of an organization need to be involved, including the IT department, the way employees are trained, and company security policies,” advises Michelle Stone, a data specialist at AcademicBrits and 1Day2Write.
Telstra’s Cyber Security Framework is a good example. Their approach focuses on the main areas of business context, policy and standards, security capabilities and controls, and the environment.
Luckily, the technologies used to counter cyber threats are improving and advancing to meet the new challenges. Telstra is investing heavily in these technologies, recruiting more than forty cybersecurity personnel, and the company plans to build several more security operations centers in the coming years. Another example of a company investing in data protection is Buzzfeed. It is crucial for all businesses to protect their customers’ data and companies’ information.
Best ways to prevent a cyber-attack
Cybersecurity isn’t something to be underestimated. For one, it could cause serious financial damages for your company. It could also cause many legal problems and issues with your clients. Every company, no matter how big or small need to take it seriously and install some precaution measures.
- Install anti-malware and firewall
- Educate all employees on cybersecurity and possible threats
- Have strict password policies
- Invest in IT
- Update your systems regularly, even if there is nothing wrong
These measures may not be able to stop the criminals from harming your company but they will make you less of a target. Criminals are looking for someone unassuming, unaware of the dangers of the cyber world and they will attack you if you have that risky behavior. Stay on top of new trends, updates, and modern IT solutions. Make this one of your priorities.
As technology advances, so does the threat of a cyber incursion. Fortunately, there are new solutions being developed as well, but this alone does not protect your company’s data and other online resources. It’s becoming necessary to approach cybersecurity as a threat to business, and not just an IT problem. Investing in new technologies and training all sections of your organization to prevent cyber-attacks is one of the most important directions you can lead a business in.