Why is Cybersecurity Important?

Cybersecurity Tools

Why is Cybersecurity Important?- Today, many business owners and organisations try to answer this question. Not long ago, cybersecurity was thought to be solely the responsibility of IT personnel. Today, everyone is responsible for cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity will be one of any company’s top priorities in 2022. According to Fortune Business Insights™, The global defense cyber security market is projected to grow from $19.96 billion in 2021 to $29.81 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 5.36% in forecast period 2021-2028.

Cybersecurity is critical for business operations and processes, as executives are well aware. During budget planning and allocation, the importance of cybersecurity is a major theme. Companies try to get the best cyber defenses they can.

Because threats have grown in scope, sophistication, and strategy, simple security tools like firewalls and antiviruses are no longer sufficient.

Cybersecurity statistics

Before we analyse why cybersecurity is so important today, we must first comprehend the scope of cybercrime. The following statistics demonstrate that cybercrime is widespread and that strong cybersecurity measures are required.

Cybercrime will cost the globe more than $6 trillion by 2022, according to the World Economic Forum.

Susan Wee, Cisco’s senior vice president and chief technology officer, revealed that coders produce 111 billion software development codes per year, according to studies.

This opens up a huge number of potential vulnerabilities, resulting in a considerable surge of zero-day exploits. By 2022, they are expected to have one exploit every day, up from one each week in 2015.

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Business Email Compromise schemes have cost organisations over $12.5 billion in the last four and a half years, according to the FBI’s May 2015 count.

More than half of the world’s corporations are ill-prepared to manage a cyber-attack, according to a PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of 3000 corporate executives from at least 80 nations.

The top five industries targeted by cybercriminals are manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, government, and financial services.

Hacking kits and tools for ransomware, malware, identity theft, and other types of cybercrime are accessible for as little as $1 on numerous web markets.

In comparison to 2015, ransomware assaults are expected to increase by 57 times by 2022.

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Ransomware assaults are predicted to cost a total of $20 billion, up from $11.5 billion in 2019, $5 billion in 2017, and $325 million in 2015.

With a 459 percent increase in 2018, crypto-jacking was the fastest-growing cyber threat in 2018.

A changing technological landscape

In the previous 10-20 years, a slew of new technologies have arisen. These new technologies have changed the way businesses operate, including communication channels, data processing, and storage.

Social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, for example, are frequently used to instantly announce product launches or other information to millions of clients. Television and radio were the principal forms of advertising until a few years ago.

Cloud services are now used by almost all enterprises. All data and IT infrastructure used to be owned, safeguarded, and kept on the business premises.

Other technology, such as ERP systems, smartphones, and 4G networks, have also been accepted and are now necessary for businesses to operate.

IoT devices are potential entry points for hackers

The use of IoT (Internet of Things) in business has exploded, with Cisco predicting that 27.1 billion IoT devices will be connected globally within the next few years. Smartphones, iPads, laptops, tablets, and other smart devices that are connected to the internet are examples.

IoT devices can streamline company processes while also increasing productivity and efficiency. Each IoT gadget utilised for work, on the other hand, is a possible entry point for hackers. Many IoT devices have security flaws, and keeping track of these flaws can be difficult.

Some IoT device manufacturers prefer to forsake them, and they no longer give new updates or security patches. These gadgets may contain a number of exploitable flaws. The likelihood of a successful cyber-attack rises as a result of these flaws. Organizations should ensure that IoT devices are exposed to frequent and thorough vulnerability evaluations to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.

Cybersecurity impacts everyone

Developing and maintaining effective cybersecurity strategy affects an organization’s whole online community in the same manner that safe driving ensures the safety of every passenger. Individual cybersecurity strategies must begin with the individual. Infected personal devices that link to a company’s network or system might infect other systems, making the enterprise open to assaults.

Using weak passwords to safeguard email or social media accounts, as well as following insecure password storage methods, makes it easier for hackers to gain access to the accounts. They can then access the personal information of other account users who connect with them.

A company’s cybersecurity measures should be created in such a way that all users are sufficiently safeguarded. Because various departments may have different data access levels or use different IT systems, security standards may differ. To ensure that each user’s security needs are met without jeopardising the needs of others, a complete cybersecurity programme is required.

Cybercrime has grown in number and complexity

Technological advancements over the last decade have resulted in a more sophisticated approach to committing cybercrime. Cybercriminals have improved their targeting strategies and are employing more advanced attack techniques.

Artificial intelligence has recently been used to plan and execute a number of attacks. They are more intelligent and capable of greater devastation. Cyberattacks have increased as people’s reliance on data processing and storage has grown.

Every other day, about 2.5 quintillion (1 with 18 zeros) bytes of data are created,[11], and because data is important to hackers, thousands of cyberattack attempts are made every day. Such figures demonstrate the need of maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture.

Cyberattacks cause considerable damages to the victims

One of the main goals of cyber-attacks is to hurt the victim. Attackers obtain unauthorised access to systems in order to steal data, lock out users, and implant malware for remote surveillance, among other things.

Cyberattacks on large corporations have cost them millions of dollars in damages and harmed their reputation. As seen in the following situations, the consequences of cyberattacks can be devastating to the victim:

  • Cyberattacks have been launched against 144 universities.

In 2018, 144 universities in the United States were targeted by various sorts of cyberattacks.

Before being apprehended, the responsible group had been carrying out the attacks for three years. During the attacks, the organisation stole over 31 gigabytes of data. Intellectual property worth more than $3 billion was stolen in this heist.

Exactis was the victim of a large-scale hack in which the perpetrators were able to access data belonging to 340 million clients.

The firm provides premium data compilation and aggregation services. Because it has access to at least 3.5 billion personal records, it is a prime target.

  • The authentication security of Yahoo and Gmail was breached.

The world’s largest service providers are Yahoo and Gmail. To protect users’ accounts, the companies have taken many security procedures. Multi-factor authentication, for example, requires a user to submit the right login and password, as well as extra information such as a verification code.

Despite this, the organisations were targeted by spear-phishing attacks. The targets, the majority of whom were top US government personnel, were duped into providing personal information that the hackers could access, allowing them to log into the victims’ accounts. [15] Despite the fact that Gmail and Yahoo did not lose any money, their reputations were seriously damaged.

  • The accounts of 150 million users of Under Armour have been hacked.

MyFitnessPal is a mobile app owned by Under Armor that allows users to track their daily calorie consumption and compare it to their exercise levels. In 2018, a data breach exposed the personal information of over 150 million individuals. [16] Usernames, email addresses, and passwords were among the information stolen.

The WannaCry ransomware outbreak hit hospitals across the United Kingdom, shutting them down for nearly a week. The incident was a ransomware attack, in which cyber thieves took control of health-care systems and demanded payment in exchange for their release. Patients in the United Kingdom and other affected countries were unable to receive medical care, indicating that it was a large-scale attack.

Many other attacks have targeted businesses that provide a variety of services and operate in a variety of industries. Cybercriminals target any industry, including healthcare, banking, communication, and health and fitness, as seen in the instances above. Cyber criminals don’t go after a specific organisation or industry; instead, they go after the most vulnerable systems. Any firm can become a target, making cybersecurity more important than ever.

Cyberattacks can have a detrimental influence on your company

Cyberattacks have a direct detrimental impact on the victim, as evidenced by the examples above. Cyberattacks might befall a company that lacks appropriate cybersecurity measures. The economic impact of cybercrime is a substantial consequence. A corporation that has been assaulted can;

The company’s intellectual properties and corporate knowledge, both of which are vital to its success, will be lost.

The afflicted organisation will lose its intellectual property, which means it will be unable to claim ownership of its services or goods.

Due to system outages or ransomware attacks, be unable to continue with commercial operations.

Customers will leave if they are concerned that their data will be compromised as a result of poor security practises. Profitability suffers as a result of a tarnished reputation.

Aside from such immediate consequences, a hack frequently results in expensive legal fights. A company that has been a victim of cybercrime is liable for any cyber mishaps, especially if the incidents were caused by the company’s negligence in terms of cybersecurity. A firm is at fault if it fails to protect personal data using a password or encryption. It’s possible that the corporation will be forced to reimburse all affected data owners, which might amount to millions of dollars.

Many countries have passed cybersecurity legislation requiring businesses to follow a set of rules when managing personal data. For example, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) mandates that data handlers obtain the approval of data owners before utilising their data for any reason. Companies that are breached are subject to significant fines under cybersecurity legislation. For failing to secure consumer data adequately, GDPR can levy penalties of up to 4% of a company’s yearly revenue.

How your business can be cyber secure

Today’s businesses don’t have the option of deciding whether or not to employ cybersecurity systems, tools, or procedures. Because a cyberattack can target anyone, it is now required. While it is difficult to be completely safe online, there are various ways that a company may use to achieve the best possible cybersecurity.

Create cyber awareness

When an employee or a user makes a security error, many attacks are successful. The error could be the result of a failure to follow best security procedures when accessing IT assets. Creating cyber awareness and cybersecurity training for employees can dramatically reduce the risk of a cyberattack.

Effective password management methods should be part of cyber awareness and training. Passwords are the most basic kind of defence, but if they aren’t properly handled, they can lead to a slew of security issues. Creating difficult-to-crack passwords, locking a workstation with a complex password, and storing passwords securely are all part of effective password management.

Increasing awareness on how to recognise phishing attempts can help an organization’s cybersecurity posture. Phishing attacks involve sending a malicious link or attachment to a target via email. The probability of a phishing assault can be reduced if such emails are identified quickly. Users should be taught how to recognise phoney emails during training.

Attackers send emails that look like they came from a reliable source. A genuine email address, such as bestsolutions@gmail.com, can be changed to bestsolutiions@gmail.com, making it difficult for a user to distinguish between the two. A business can be cyber secure by equipping system users with the essential cybersecurity knowledge.

Protect against data leaks

One of the most serious dangers to a company’s cybersecurity is data leaking. Both on an individual and corporate level, data leaks have the potential to cause irreversible damage. Every business deals with sensitive information, such as a customer’s personal information, confidential employee and supplier information, information about the company’s strategic directions and objectives, intellectual property, and so on. Data leaks containing this type of information might have serious ramifications for a company.

Limiting data accessibility to the public is one technique to prevent data leaks. A company has no right to share customer or employee information in the public domain, such as on Facebook. Only authorised individuals should have access to sensitive information, and they must follow the company’s regulations on how to handle it.

It is insufficient to restrict public access to data. Insider dangers can exist among a company’s personnel. These employees could be using company data for nefarious purposes. An enraged employee, for example, can blackmail his or her employer into accepting certain requests by threatening to send over confidential information to competitors. Such issues can be avoided by putting in place access control procedures.

Access control determines who has all of the necessary permissions to view a certain piece of content. The concept of least privilege is widely used in access control strategies. Employees are only given access to the data they require in this situation. A type of role-based access in which the data that an employee can access is determined by their responsibilities.

Protect against ransomware attacks

For years, ransomware has been the most serious danger to organisations. A cybercriminal encrypts the victim’s data or IT assets and demands huge ransom payments in exchange for the decryption keys. Although the assaults mostly target data saved on physical computers, the number of ransomware attacks targeting data kept in the cloud is on the rise.

Creating numerous backups and keeping them in secure and distinct locations is one way to protect against ransomware attacks. Even if a cyberattack encrypts data saved on physical systems, a company can restore backups and resume normal operations. Cloud backups are adequate, however they may be inaccessible at times. As a result, backups should be replicated on devices that are both locally accessible and extremely secure.

Ransomware can be thwarted by using reliable firewalls and antivirus software. Ransomware attacks can be prevented by using a robust firewall with comprehensive and dependable security rules for filtering incoming connections.

When new security definitions are issued, users should update their antivirus software. Every day, new malware programmes are launched, and keeping the antivirus up to date ensures that it can protect you from new threats. However, a corporation should employ antivirus software from reputable manufacturers.

A bogus antivirus solution that claims to protect your business from ransomware threats can put your company at risk. Microsoft’s Windows security centre is a great example of a reliable antivirus programme.

Prevent phishing and social engineering attacks

Phishing attacks are methods by which attackers get confidential information through deception. To persuade their victims to click on infected links or attachments, attackers use deception. Social engineering is a type of phishing.

Malware is downloaded and installed into the system with a single click. A phishing assault usually takes place over email, with unsuspecting victims receiving messages from a sender posing as a trusted source. An attacker may impersonate a bank employee and send an email to a victim claiming that his bank account has a problem and that he has to connect into the bank’s online account.

However, when the individual clicks on the offered link, he is routed to a rogue website that infects his machine with malware. Other emails, such as those from a supplier or a customer, may contain attachments that appear to be legitimate. The attachments may include malware that is automatically installed when they are opened.

Cybercriminals are now employing a new strategy in which they employ artificial intelligence to find new victims. Artificial intelligence is utilised to develop smarter emails that are delivered to hundreds of email accounts at once.

Do not click attachments or links received by unknown people to avoid phishing attempts. All suspicious email addresses that require the recipient to click on links or attachments or ask for personal information should be flagged as spam and submitted to the IT department for further action.

Avoiding sensitive information such as email addresses from being posted on online platforms can help prevent phishing attacks. If an email address is required, it is strongly advised that businesses use a personal email address that is not opened on company equipment. Once the emails have been validated as safe, they can be set to forward new messages to official accounts.

Adopt policies aimed at ensuring the security of developing technology

Businesses are eager to test out new technologies, particularly those that claim to give enhanced functionality over existing ones. While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, new, untested technology can pose serious security risks. They may contain previously unknown flaws that attackers might easily exploit.

Emerging technology may be incompatible with existing systems, raising security concerns. As part of its cybersecurity strategies, a corporation should create strong policies governing the acquisition and usage of new technologies in the workplace.

For example, such a strategy would necessitate the successful usage and testing of developing technologies to ensure that they are completely safe.

Benchmarking organisations that have successfully implemented technologies with no security issues might also be a good policy. With the quick pace of technological progress, IT professionals must keep up with new advances. This ensures that the policies in place to manage data access, usage, and handling in previous technologies can successfully protect the latest technology.

Jennifer Thomas
Jennifer Thomas is the Co-founder and Chief Business Development Officer at Cybers Guards. Prior to that, She was responsible for leading its Cyber Security Practice and Cyber Security Operations Center, which provided managed security services.