Are Innovative Technologies Improving Cybersecurity Defense or Adding to the Problem of Staying Prepared?
There is certainly something to be said about having the proper systems in place during a cyber-attack.
Sophisticated monitoring tools can help to identify a breach before it gets out of hand, advanced diagnostics will aid in classifying just how critical the attack could become, and semi-autonomous security measures can execute a proven solution to eliminate that threat, all within just a few seconds – with the right equipment of course.
But is the brave new world of highly-innovative technologies really helping us to hold back the potential onslaught of cyber-terrorism? Or are they actually just making us lazier, more complacent, and less aware of the real threats to the cyber-security of our businesses?
Cyber-Security: A Growing Concern for Any Modern Business
Every modern business should have cyber-security in the front of their mind when planning spending strategies. Never before have there been such an enormous number of cyber-attacks taking place every single day.
To put things into perspective, there were an average of 80 to 90 million cybersecurity events that occurred according to data from 2015.
What’s more, half of the 28 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are directly targeted by cyber attackers. In an interview with CNBC, Hemu Nigam, founder of internet security consultant agency SSP Blue, characterized the state of the industry as, “Hackers love small businesses [because] they don’t have the resources to put in high-end cybersecurity protection and they may not be consciously aware they are a target.”
In fact, global spending in the cyber-security sector is expected to reach $90 billion in 2017 alone. Gartner Inc., one of the world’s leading research and advisory companies, actually predicted that worldwide spending in cyber-security is poised to reach $170 billion by 2020.
Additionally, cyber-attacks are also becoming ever more sophisticated as well. Rather than focusing on more affected parties, cyber terrorists are increasingly targeting specific victims with less comprehensive cyber defenses, more assets to exploit, or especially intricate connections with other powerful organizations.
A rise in sophistication means even more expensive breaches. A global report from the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach has increased by almost 25% in the past two years and reached $3.79 million in 2015 alone.
How Innovation Helps Thwart Increasingly Sophisticated Attackers
Given all of these statistics, it can be easy to fall into a state of absolute panic. After all, how are you supposed to fend off cyber-attacks when they keep evolving and adapting at an unprecedented pace?
The good news is that there are people on the other end of the screen that are just as dedicated to protecting your information as the people that are out to exploit it.
SecondWrite, one such company looking to give businesses the upper hand over cyber attackers, aims to tackle one of the biggest problems in cyber security today: analyzing the overall threat level of an attack.
This product in particular helps to cut down on the confusion surrounding whether an intrusion is in fact a malevolent hacker or simply a benign entity, thereby reducing the human factor needed to assess a threat.
Cymmetria’s MazeRunner, another innovative cyber security product, focuses on mitigating damage once a cyber attacker actually does infiltrate the system. This product “leads attackers away from real targets and creates a footprint of the attack,” giving you the data and insights you need to improve your systems. It can also integrate with other tools to quarantine and block attackers as well.
Innovations in the field are undoubtedly changing the way we look at cyber-security and giving companies the tools they need to combat increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks.
The Greatest Threat to Cyber-Security: The Human Element
One issue that these innovations in the world of cyber-security call to mind though is whether they are really helping businesses and individuals to fight back against cyber-attackers or if they are simply making information security professionals more complacent.
And when you look at just how important the human factor is when it comes to safeguarding your data, it seems pretty obvious that an educated workforce is absolutely critical in keeping your systems secure.
The 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index from IBM found that a whopping 60% of all cyber-attacks were actually caused by insiders. While 75% of these attacks were due to malicious intent (e.g. corporate espionage, disgruntled employees), 25% were entirely inadvertent. That means that 15% of all cyber-attacks can be traced back to negligence alone.
Misplaced devices, unsecured networks, unapproved app usage, improper devices hooked up to your network, and more may all seem like harmless acts in the moment. But the truth is that each of these instances can in fact lead to significant vulnerability for the entire enterprise.
What’s more, lazy login credentials, haphazard conversations, and providing sensitive information to phishing scams (the #1 delivery vehicle for most malware) are all problems on the employee level. And they can all end up costing you millions due to a data breach.
As such, instilling a culture of cyber awareness should be a top concern for any modern business, even if you already have some of the most advanced and innovative security technologies on the market today.
There are a number of tips you can follow to do so, including performing “live fire” training exercises, starting cyber awareness during onboarding, and appointing cybersecurity culture advocates.
Ultimately, a more cyber-conscious workforce can help keep your company secure and put your advanced cyber security defenses to far better use.
An Informed Workforce & Sophisticated IT: The Perfect Combination
Cyber security is becoming one of the most important investments a company can make today. Attacks are becoming far more common, they’re leading to costlier damages, and they’re also becoming ever more sophisticated with each passing year.
And while innovation in the cyber security sector is certainly key to keeping up with these evolving threats, there is only so much they can handle on their own. They need to be coupled with a knowledgeable and cyber-aware workforce that recognizes that cyber security isn’t a product, but rather it’s an entire mindset.