Cyber threats are getting more sophisticated, demanding solid security solutions

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Threat of ransomware attack on US hospitals
Threat of ransomware attack on US hospitals

Cyberattacks aren’t going anywhere in 2023 – in fact, they are only getting bigger, placing the data of governments and corporations at significant risk. Cybercrime-related damage is estimated to reach $10 trillion yearly by 2025 – there is now a cybercrime epidemic which shakes public faith in democracy and personal privacy, and everyone’s data is at stake, whether you’re a business or an individual

But as the threats are becoming more difficult to defend against, the IT sector suffers from a significant shortage of cybersecurity experts, with more than 3.4 million professionals needed. So, what is there to be done? At an organisational level, upskilling employees is one of the best ways to combat the increasing tech talent shortage. Moreover, a focus on prevention is vital for enterprises to mitigate potential risks as best as possible. However, to implement the best cybersecurity practices, it is crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest digital threats. Let’s take a look at them.

Ransomware

Ransomware attacks aren’t anything new, but they have become more costly recently: between 2018-2020, the ransom fee increased from $5,000 to $200,000. Enterprises suffer considerable revenue losses due to ransomware attacks – according to a 2021 survey, companies lost top leadership or were obligated to remove jobs in the aftermath of this cyberattack. Simply put, ransomware enables hackers to extort payments by encrypting victims’ files and denying access to their data.

The rise of ransomware has led to increased security research to find effective solutions for this threat. Since encrypting every file is time-consuming, organisations can restore their data from backups, meaning they don’t have to pay a ransom. However, some cybercriminals skip the encryption part, only focusing on extortion, making these ransomware attacks faster to execute and difficult to detect and fix.

IoT attacks

The Internet of Things is getting more pervasive every day – as data from Statista suggests, 75 billion devices will be connected to the IoT by 2025, including routers and webcams, smart watches, household appliances, home security systems, and medical devices. While connected devices are convenient for consumers, businesses also use them to cut expenses and streamline their processes.

However, these devices have limited uses and lack built-in security solutions that can combat cyber threats. Hence, more connected devices only translate into increased risk, increasing IoT networks’ vulnerability to cyberattacks. Once hackers gain control over IoT devices, they can use them to create havoc for their own financial gain.

Social engineering

Social engineering is among the top dangerous hacking tactics that cybercriminals employ, and that’s because it is related to human error instead of tech vulnerabilities. In fact, many data breaches happen due to social engineering. While data breaches have a financial and psychological impact on victims, it’s essential to know that it is possible to pursue justice and make a compensation claim. You can read more about it at https://www.publicinterestlawyers.co.uk/data-breach-compensation/data-breach-compensation-claim-examples/.

With social engineering, hackers don’t only rely on technology to get what they want: they exploit human psychology – a weakness found in every company. It’s a tactic that involves manipulating victims into sharing sensitive information that should remain private and making other errors that compromise their assets or those of the organisation. Unsurprisingly, social engineering attacks have financial implications, but there are also other consequences, including operational disruption, productivity costs, and reputational damage.

Cloud-third party threats

More organisations are now adopting cloud computing, and it’s easy to understand why – after all, it is an invaluable tech solution that allows businesses to operate with minimum disruption. However, cloud computing isn’t risk-free, especially when third parties are involved. Cybercriminals are targeting cloud service providers to gain access to customers’ sensitive data and even the IT infrastructure.

When companies share data with third parties, the risks become more significant as the attack surface is more extensive, making it significantly harder to manage. Moreover, mitigating security risks is challenging because companies don’t have sufficient visibility into third-party environments. This makes it hard to figure out when a vendor or partner has a vulnerability.

What are the best solutions to combat cyber security challenges?

The evolving cyber threats demand robust solutions, and action needs to be taken as soon as possible to defend against them. As mentioned initially in the blog, prevention-focused security is a great solution that enterprises should implement, as it can go a long way in preventing data breaches. As for now, companies use cybersecurity strategies that focus on detection rather than prevention. This means the organisation tries to remediate the attack after identifying the active threat. But this approach is risky because it leaves a window between the time of the attack and the remediation process when the cybercriminal can take malicious actions, causing harm to the company and making remediation costly and way more challenging. On the other hand, embracing a prevention approach enables organisations to identify and combat attacks before they can damage their systems, thus eliminating the damage and costs associated with cyber threats.

Prevention based-security means implementing solutions like antiviruses and firewalls to improve existing defences within the organisation. Cyberattacks often occur due to weaknesses within a system, which result from not keeping your system up-to-date. Cybercriminals exploit the weaknesses to access sensitive data within the network, and once they do so, taking preventive action is no longer possible. This is why it is crucial to ensure your system is entirely up to date and keep it resilient. Training your staff is also vital, given that cybercriminals often access your data through them. Therefore, employee awareness should be a priority to ensure they don’t fall into the trap and learn to recognise and protect themselves from a potential cyberattack.

Staying on top of cybersecurity threats

New threats constantly arise in the cybersecurity landscape, making it more difficult for organisations to protect their assets. This is why it is imperative to stay aware of every emerging threat, so you can do what it takes to safeguard your business. However, it’s important to remember that you can’t entirely guarantee protection against cyberattacks, even if you have a well-fortified system, so getting insurance is an effective way to handle potential damages. This solution, along with comprehensive cybersecurity defences, will increase the security level of your company, keeping your operations running.