09 Feb Is your Enterprise protected from cyberattacks?
Last year was full of uncertainties. Businesses had to brace up to survive. They had to shift and adapt to new technologies to keep afloat. Sure, the consequential adaptation has resulted in opening up new avenues, but are we paying attention to the threats that come with it?
These exciting technologies are enabling enterprises to reach great heights, concerning idea implementation and data-driven decision making. However, for many companies, IT cybersecurity principles and tools are still an afterthought, continually trying to catch up to the technology disruption. Therefore, while businesses focus on moving towards these technologies and data-driven systems, security has taken a backseat.
The traditional corporate cybersecurity has come under scrutiny in today’s dynamic economic, social and regulatory landscape. Practices that were established when data, applications, and other elements of IT infrastructure were located within a company’s four walls are not sufficient for an era of cloud computing with increasingly decentralized threats. Medical services, retailers and public entities experienced the most breaches, with malicious criminals responsible for most incidents.
Some of these sectors are more appealing to cybercriminals because they collect financial and medical data. But all businesses that use networks can be targeted for customer data, corporate espionage, or customer attacks.
What would the cybersecurity attack look like?
- Theft or unauthorized access to computers, laptops, tablets, or mobile devices.
- A remote attack on IT systems or websites.
- Attacks on the information held in third-party systems such as cloud devices.
To its effect, a lack of focus on cybersecurity can damage your business in the following ways:
- Economic costs: Theft of intellectual property, corporate information, disruption in trading and the cost of repairing damaged systems.
- Reputational costs: Loss of consumer trust, loss of current and future customers to competitors and poor media coverage.
- Regulatory costs: Data breach laws mean that your organization could suffer from regulatory fines or sanctions as a result of cybercrimes.
Nearly every industry, ranging from state to local sectors, universities to hospitals and financial services, have all fallen victim to attacks. Most notably, critical sectors remain prime targets for cyber attackers.
Time to consider:
Do you fall under any of the following categories: Telecommunication, Healthcare, Banking, Media or Software?
These sectors must have a cyber-security infrastructure in place. They are at the highest risk of the security breach as they deal in data, and data is the new gold.
Most notable security breaches and their effects are as follows:
- Equifax: The Equifax cybercrime identity theft event affected approximately 145.5 million U.S. consumers along with 400,000-44 million British residents and 19,000 Canadian residents. Equifax shares dropped 13% in early trading the day after the breach and numerous lawsuits were filed against Equifax as a result of the breach. Not to mention, the reputational damage that Equifax suffered. On July 22, 2019, Equifax agreed to a settlement with the FTC which included a $300 million fund for victim compensation, $175m for states and territories in the agreement and $100 million in fines.
- eBay: Between February and March 2014, eBay was the victim of a breach of encrypted passwords, which resulted in asking all of its 145 million users to reset their password. Attackers used a small set of employee credentials to access this trove of user data. The stolen information included encrypted passwords and other personal information, including names, e-mail addresses, residential addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth. The breach was disclosed in May 2014, after a month-long investigation by eBay.
To avoid many or any of these cybercrimes, what is the way forward?
Awareness: Employees: laptops and mobile devices have been connected to potentially compromised networks outside the typical layers of security provided by an employer. Educating your employees about cyber-security is not only important for the company but also necessary for the employees. A lot of times the employee data gets breached as well, putting their personal lives at risk. Enforce multi-layer password protection and timely change of passwords.
Security Audit: Get a professional security audit done. It will help you identify the plausible threats and weaknesses of your system. Identifying the right cyber-security strategy applicable to your business is important.
Cyber Security Policy: Learn about different kinds of threats to your business and how to prepare against them. Once you understand your risks, you should create an in-depth security policy outlining these. While small businesses often operate by word of mouth and intuitions, cyber-security is one area where it is essential to document your protocols.
Choosing the right defence strategy: Once the shaky areas have been identified, you can go on to implement the right firewalls and threat monitoring software. Every enterprise requires continuous check & predictive analytics.
Cyber-security is part of risk management, while enterprises move from one height to the other, keeping cyber-security as part of the coherent business strategy enhances the business value and reduces the risk of economic and reputational damage. The technological world is moving swiftly, taking professional help does take the load off the enterprises.