Top 3 Cybersecurity Risks to Be Aware of
While cyber-attacks used to be confined only to government agencies or corporate giants, modern cyber terrorists are hardly as discriminating.
In fact, about half of all cyberattacks usually end up with small businesses in the crosshairs. Part of the reason behind this trend is that small businesses are typically less secure than bigger names in the industry.
But beyond that, cyber-attacks are also simply becoming more common across the board. One report from security firm Demisto found that many organizations faced on average about 350 separate cyber security incidents per week.
And with these cyber-attacks becoming increasingly sophisticated as well as more widespread, it’s essential you know which risks to your company’s digital security to keep an eye on.
The 3 Biggest Cybersecurity Risks to Watch Out for Today
While it’s difficult to predict where the future of cybercrime will lead, there are a few especially problematic trends to be on the lookout for.
1. A Seriously Compromised Security Staff
It’s no mystery the cyber security workforce isn’t growing fast enough to meet the needs of the market. A new 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study estimates that by 2022, more than 1.8 million cyber security positions will go unfilled.
The results of this workforce gap can already be seen in the cyber security industry today. Many companies still don’t put stock into preventing and planning for a digital security breach, both when it comes to strategy and resources.
A survey by security auditor Netwrix found that currently 57% of IT professionals are unable to implement preferred security strategies because of a lack of budget. Similarly, 54% report that a lack of time is holding them back.
Many times, organizations don’t even have designated cyber security officers at all, leaving an already overwhelmed IT staff to bear the burden of ensuring compliance and building effective incident response protocols.
While the root of the problem is certainly a lack of quality applicants for such security roles (many organizations report that less than one quarter of IT applicants actually meet the proper qualifications), another issue is an uninterested C-suite. Implementing strategies to deal with cyber threats is often reactive rather than proactive. Such an approach leaves companies vulnerable to attack and it usually falls to an overworked IT team to pick up the pieces.
2. A Raging Ransomware
If there’s anything that 2017 has already taught us, it’s that ransomware is quickly becoming one of the most dangerous threats in the cyber security world today. The WannaCry ransomware attack began in spring 2017 and affected more than 300,000 computers in over 150 different countries.
And while WannaCry is certainly one of the most devastating ransomware attacks the world has ever seen, it certainly isn’t the only one. In fact, Cybersecurity Ventures reports that the global ransomware damage costs for 2017 are estimated to total more than $5 billion, a price tag 15 times higher than the $325 million in damages in 2015.
This is undoubtedly a sobering statistic for many, especially since only about one in five global executives fully incorporate information into their overall strategy and planning.
The takeaway from all of this is that cyber security should undoubtedly be one of the top priorities for executive level decision makers. However, there are a variety of especially simple steps you can take (most of which require very little time or effort) to prevent ransomware attacks.
The most important of these tactics by far is to always update your software. Patches and fixes help repair identified vulnerabilities that, if left exposed, could be leaving the door wide open for ransomware attacks.
3. Negligent Employees
Finally, one of the trickiest threats in the business today is that of your own employees. In fact, the overwhelming majority (60% according to IBMs 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index) of security breaches are actually directly caused by employees.
Whether it’s taking the bait in a phishing trap, connecting to malicious and misleading Wi-Fi hotspots, bringing in compromised programs on their own devices, or failing to follow basic security standards, an uninformed employee can open up a number of backdoors for cyber attackers and cost your business millions.
Instilling a culture of cyber awareness, then, should be a top priority for any executive. An informed workforce is a secure one.
Top Modern Cyber Security Threats Today
Businesses today are subject to more cyber threats than ever before. Three of the biggest threats that you need to be on guard for are a weakened cyber security team, the rise of ransomware attacks, and an increasingly connected but still unsecured workforce.
But as with most problems, identifying and acknowledging these threats can give you and your company the upper hand in facing them head on.