As technology advances, so do security threats and cyberattacks. Businesses, now more than ever, are targeted for any potential vulnerability to be exploited.
An increase in cybercrime was a direct consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic with so many resorting to work from home. Organizations now are required to place cybersecurity at the top of their list of priorities.
Businesses can experience cyber attacks or security breaches at any time, so preparation can mitigate what might otherwise prove to be irreparable damage.
Technological advances do not exclude cybersecurity, and thankfully there are several trends in security technology that can aid businesses in security preparation of this kind.
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The Need for Cybersecurity Professionals
If there is one professional figure or service that needs to be included in any organization, it is the cybersecurity expert. Hackers and cybercriminals will target any business where there is the slightest possibility of gain, even targeting company employees.
While companies do have tools to contrast tech threats, being proactive with new security advances is one way to keep businesses secure.
Providing your business with a cybersecurity expert is the best thing a company can do to protect itself. Security pros can train and guide employees as well as enact regularly scheduled security testing of a company’s system.
Businesses need to consider investing in SaaS-Security as a Service and MSPs-Managed Service Providers to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.
However, not all businesses have a budget for a cybersecurity expert either as an employee or contractor. This is a problem because all businesses are at risk of cyber security issues.
John Wieber, a partner at Web Moves, has over 20 years of experience in running online businesses. According to Wieber, “Most businesses hardly have a budget for investing in present operations, let alone creating new infrastructure for things like security to help mitigate liability.”
This is why SaaS, and other scalable solutions, are so important, he says. “When you have a small business that you’re struggling to market and grow, security is unlikely to be at the forefront of your concerns. Software that’s scalable, secure, and generalized needs to be more of a solution in instances where cyber security staff just isn’t feasible.”
Risks to the Cloud
With an increase in remote or smart working, the transfer of data, communications, and other activities has migrated to the cloud to permit employees to work from any location and at all hours.
Because the cloud offers more convenience, 24-hour availability, and faster updates than on-site physical data storage at less cost, more and more companies will commit to cloud use. Nonetheless, companies will still face the risk of cyber-attacks and perhaps more so.
Due to the increase in the use of Cloud solutions, the Cloud will inevitably become the next big target. Even with a decrease in the reported effects of the pandemic, smart working is here to stay. Businesses will continue integrating remote work in business operations allowing for more schedule flexibility and logistical freedom.
Ensuring that your company uses a cloud service with data encryption and at the same time, employing best practices like multi-factor authentication, will better protect your company from cyber-attacks.
Cloud security and best practices need to be continually checked and updated to guarantee privacy and cloud protection. Companies relying on cloud-based systems must be proactive in securing protective services.
Security and Privacy of Data and Identities
One of the most common cybercrimes is identity theft with login credentials offering daily opportunities for criminals to breach privacy.
Both companies and their employees need to improve the passwords used and change them often. Companies can introduce multi-factor authentication to secure all personal and company data thus reducing if not eliminating the risk of attacks.
Automation and Artificial Intelligence
The use of automation and artificial intelligence continues to prove vital to online business systems. Artificial intelligence allows company security experts to identify anomalous behavior patterns, particularly in large systems with lots of traffic.
Machine learning and automation capabilities are a front-line defense against growing cyberattacks as these automated solutions become a principal tool in contrasting cybercrime.
Businesses can leverage machine learning technology to better detect potential threats. Threat identification will also assist in identifying vulnerable areas of a company’s IT system. This will permit administrators to make better security choices over the long term.
Phishing, Malware, and Ransomware are Still Threats
Ransomware and phishing continued unabated in the wake of the pandemic. With more and more employees working from home using unsecured networks, hackers took advantage of this open door.
Phishing attacks are the principal vehicle for ransomware, and hackers often tricked employees or customers into revealing information or opening links that allowed for ransomware downloads onto computers. 90% of organizational breaches were due to phishing.
With cybercriminals becoming more sophisticated in presenting themselves as legitimate business partners and contacts, attacks have become less identifiable and more frequent.
Company email systems have also been compromised with hackers stealing passwords and using the accounts for fraudulent behavior. Businesses need to improve phishing awareness training along with the management of identity data to prevent phishing threats. E-mail security gateways and cloud-based email servers can reduce phishing activity and threats.
Trojans and virus cyber threats are second only to phishing. Hackers create malicious codes to steal or destroy data and gain system access. These arrive through spam emails, website downloads, or connections to other devices or computers that have already been infected.
This can cripple hardware as well as provide access to data placing customers and employees at risk for further attacks. Employees using personal devices and computers during remote work are more at risk.
Companies need to ensure that users’ security is updated and inhibit malware downloads with system solutions.
This is a common cyber-attack that threatens thousands of businesses annually. Cybercriminals encrypt company data preventing access and use and then require a ransom to unlock it.
Companies lose money and time especially if data is not adequately backed-up. Security software can detect and mitigate any ransomware threats.
New Technology and Multiple Devices
With the introduction of 5G systems, IoT interconnectivity is the path to the future. Multiple devices communicating increases the number of vulnerabilities to outside influence and interference from software bugs.
As a new technology, 5G loopholes are still being discovered and will require continued research to secure systems from attacks.
The Insider Threat
“Errare humanum est, sed in errare perseverare diabolicum”… To err is human, but to persist in error is diabolical or so said the Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger.
Human error remains a principal cause of data breaches. Verizon reports that 34% of data attacks were due to employees either directly or indirectly.
Awareness training becomes fundamental in contrasting these losses. Two-factor authentication, software updates, encryption, and the limitation of data access to only those who need it will go a long way in contrasting employee errors.
Expect the future to introduce artificial intelligence for employee profiling to identify bad actors within company walls. While this may appear to be a too “big brother” for most people, businesses may resort to protecting themselves from the human element when all else fails.
Winning the War Against Cybercrime
As cybersecurity needs increase, physical security needs will also require upgrading. Convergence between the two should no longer be avoided with security divided into two different departments with two sets of security professionals. Businesses should plan their cybersecurity together with their physical security needs.
Physical security and cybersecurity must work together. The management of physical security hardware using access card readers is just one example of how integrated security systems will not only add convenience but improve security.
The new reality is a more technology-based society requiring businesses to move quickly to keep pace.
A business’s capability in leveraging real-time data will allow for better protection from cyberattacks aiding businesses in remaining agile and timely in responses to both security challenges and customer needs.
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