Why cybersecurity is needed
With reason, cybersecurity is a top priority for today’s business owners and technology executives. According to a report by Risk Based Security, 36 billion records were exposed due to data breaches in the first half of 2020 alone. Hackers are aware of common vulnerabilities that afflict businesses and organizations, keeping cybersecurity professionals on their toes. As the ability to access cyberspace grows due to technological advancements, so will the number of cybersecurity issues organizations may face.
Cybersecurity attacks on organizations
Cybersecurity breaches can occur at any time and in any organization. Established organizations such as Marriott, MGM Resorts, Twitter, and Magellan Health were all victims of cyber-attacks in 2020. However, hackers do not only target heavyweights. According to Verizon Business’ 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report, small businesses were involved in more than one out of every four data breaches.
These attacks can be costly. According to a 2019 Hiscox report, the average cost of a cyber-attack is around $200,000. This economic impact has caused widespread concern, particularly among small business owners. A United States Small Business Association survey shows that 88% of small businesses believe their operations are vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Preventing these attacks is critical in terms of money. In today’s business landscape, there are several cybersecurity issues to be aware of — issues that only a seasoned cybersecurity professional can help prevent.
Social engineering is a catch-all term for a variety of hacking techniques. These techniques are intended to dupe people into disclosing sensitive or confidential information. These types of attacks are frequently disguised as phishing. According to Digital Guardian, phishing accounts for 91% of all social engineering attacks.
Phishing attacks rely on emails that appear to be from a legitimate source, such as a company, bank, or government agency. When recipients open a file or click on a link in an email, they expose their network to malware. The practice has become more sophisticated over time, making it critical for employers to train their employees to recognize these attacks and avoid falling for their deception.
Hackers also use ransomware as a tactic. The goal is to hold a company’s data hostage until the affected user pays a specific dollar amount, which is frequently substantial. These attacks can be launched via email, but they can also be launched by visiting an infected website, clicking on an online ad containing malicious code, or hackers exploiting network vulnerabilities. Prevention necessitates a combination of training employees to be cautious about the websites they visit and remaining vigilant in identifying and fixing system vulnerabilities.
Cloud computing issues
Since the early days of computing, the amount of valuable information stored on multiple data sources has grown exponentially. As the number of devices storing confidential data grows, so does the risk of data compromise for organizations of all sizes. Cloud storage and the Internet of Things (IoT) have revealed new flaws. Organizations and businesses must develop security plans that account for new security threats rather than simply protecting business computers and mobile devices.
Distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS)
Coordination is a defining feature of these attacks. A cyber attacker overwhelms the system with a large number of concurrent functions, such as a request to a webpage. The goal is to completely overload networks, systems, or devices. This may eventually reveal vulnerabilities that cyber attackers can exploit. The sophistication of this method, like other types of cyber attacks, has increased as technology has evolved, making it critical for organizations to be aware of the latest innovations to protect against these cybersecurity issues.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) (ML)
In the hands of cybercriminals, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning can enable cyber-attacks to become more sophisticated and efficient. Both can “learn” which attack methods are effective and which are not, making them useful tools for criminals. AI and machine learning, fortunately for savvy cybersecurity professionals, can also be used to combat cyber-attacks.
Crypto and blockchain attacks
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are increasingly being used in business. According to Allied Market Research, the global cryptocurrency industry (hardware, software, platforms, and services) is expected to reach nearly $5 billion by 2030. Because the infrastructure required to safeguard the information associated with these assets has needed to be developed faster, this digital form of monetary exchange has become a breeding ground for cyber attackers. Those considering using blockchain in their businesses should exercise extreme caution in ensuring that their cybersecurity strategies include protection for these emerging, evolving markets.
Small businesses are a tempting target for cyber attackers. One reason is that their smaller computer infrastructures can occasionally serve as gateways to larger targets. Small businesses frequently lack robust security protocols in place to prevent theft. The Target breach in 2013 was a well-known example of this attack. The attack began with a cyber-attack on a small business that serviced Target’s heating and air conditioning. This incident resulted in the theft of approximately 40 million credit and debit card numbers and approximately 70 million personal records containing sensitive information.
Stay one step ahead of cybersecurity threats.
In the new age of cybersecurity threats, vulnerabilities exist for large and small organizations. Understanding hackers’ methods can help to reduce the risk of data loss. Cybersecurity professionals can avoid the potentially disastrous consequences of a large-scale data breach by keeping an eye on trends and new technologies.