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why is cyber security important 

Why is Cybersecurity Important to You? This is a question that many business owners and organizations try to answer. cybersecurity was not a job that IT personnel had to do. Cybersecurity is now everyone’s job.

Cybersecurity will be a top priority for all companies in 2022.

Cybersecurity is a critical component of business operations and processes, which organization executives are well aware of. Budget planning and allocation should be based on cybersecurity. Companies strive to obtain the best cyber defenses.

Simple security tools such as firewalls or anti-viruses are not enough today. Threats have increased in sophistication and scope.

Cybersecurity statistics

Before we can discuss why cybersecurity is so important today, it is crucial to first understand the extent of cybercrime. These statistics will demonstrate that cybercrime is widespread and it is imperative to take robust cybersecurity measures.

  • Cybercrime is expected to cause more damage than $6 trillion in the next 2022.
  • They are expected to reach one exploit per day by 2022, compared to one per week in 2015. They will be able to exploit one exploit per day by 2022, compared to one per week in 2015. [3]
  • According to the FBI’s May 2015 tally, the cost of Business Email Compromise Scams has exceeded $12.5 billion over the past four and a quarter years.
  • A PricewaterhouseCooper survey of 3000 business executives from at least 80 countries showed that more than half of the world’s companies are ill-prepared to handle a cyber-attack.
  • Cybercriminals target five industries: manufacturing, healthcare, transport, government, financial services, and transportation.
  • You can find hacking tools and kits for ransomware and malware as well as identity theft and other cybercrimes on various online platforms. They retail for as little as $1.
  • Ransomware attacks will increase by 57 percent by 2022, compared to 2015. [7]
  • Ransomware attacks can cause damage costs of up to $20 billion. This is an increase from $11.5 billion in 2019 and $325m in 2017. [8]
  • [9] Crypto-jacking was 2018’s fastest-growing cyber threat, growing at a rate of 459%.

A changing technological environment

In the past 10-20 years, many new technologies have been developed. These technologies have revolutionized the way organizations do business, communicate, and store data.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook are used frequently to instantly communicate information to millions of customers, including product launches. Television and radio were still the main means of advertising just a few decades ago.

Cloud services are used by almost all businesses. Until recently, all data and IT infrastructure were owned and secured on the premises.

Companies can now offer their services using other technologies such as smartphones, ERP systems, and 4G networks.

IoT devices could be entry points for hackers

IoT ( Internet of Things ) has been used in increasing numbers by businesses. Cisco estimates that 27.1 billion IoT devices worldwide will soon be connected. These smart devices are connected via the internet and include tablets, smartphones, laptops, and iPads.

IoT devices are a great way to simplify business processes, increase productivity, and reduce work time. Hackers can also gain access to every IoT device that is used for work. It can be difficult to keep track of security vulnerabilities in IoT devices.

Some manufacturers of IoT devices are known to abandon them and not provide security patches or updates. These devices may have many exploitable vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can increase the likelihood of a successful cyber attack. Organizations should make sure that IoT devices are subject to thorough vulnerability assessments to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.

Cybersecurity affects everyone

Effective cybersecurity strategies have a ripple effect on the entire online community of an organization, just as safe driving ensures everyone’s safety. Individual cybersecurity strategies should be developed. A personal device infected with malware that connects to a company network or system could infect other systems, making them vulnerable to attack.

Hackers can easily gain access to accounts by securing them with weak passwords or using insecure password storage practices. They could also gain access to the personal information of others who communicate with the account.

Companies should ensure that all employees are protected by their cybersecurity policies. Because different departments may use different IT systems or have different access levels to data, security policies can vary. To ensure that all users’ security needs are met without compromising other users, a comprehensive cybersecurity program must be implemented.

Cybercrime has evolved and increased.

Cybercrimes are now being executed with advanced technology thanks to technological advances over the past decade. Cybercriminals are using advanced techniques and better strategies to target companies.

Artificial intelligence has been used to plan and execute many attacks. They are more intelligent and have greater destructive capabilities. An increase in data storage and processing has also contributed to an increase in cyberattacks.

Every day 2.5 quintillion (1,18 zeros) bytes are created [11]. Data is valuable to cybercriminals so thousands of hacker attempts take place daily. These statistics show that cybersecurity is crucial.

Cyberattacks cause significant damages to victims

Cyber-attacks are designed to cause damage to victims. An attacker can gain unauthorized system access to steal data and lockout system users. They also install malware for remote monitoring.

Cyberattacks have cost large organizations millions in reputation and damage. Cyberattacks can cause severe damage to victims, as the following examples show.

  • 144 Universities Targeted by Cyberattacks

Different types of cyberattacks were launched against 144 universities located in the United States in 2018. [12] Before being caught, the responsible group had been running the attacks for over three years. The group stole 31 terabytes of data during the attacks. The group stole data exceeding 31 terabytes during the attacks.

  • Exactis hacked compromising data of 340 million users

Exactis was the victim of a large-scale attack. The attackers were able to access data belonging to 340 million customers [14] This company provides services for compiling and aggregating premium data. It has access to at least 3.5 million personal data, making it a prime target.

  • Yahoo’s and Gmail’s authentication security were hacked.

Yahoo! and Gmail are two of the largest service providers in the world. To protect user accounts, the companies have taken many security precautions. Multi-factor authentication is a method that requires users to enter their username and password, and then add additional information like a verification code.

The companies were nevertheless hacked by hackers using spear-phishing techniques. Most of the targets were senior U.S. government officials. The hackers tricked them into entering personal details that could be accessed by the hackers. However, Yahoo and Gmail suffered severe reputational damage.

  • 150,000,000 Under Armor user accounts were breached

Under Armor is the owner of the MyFitnessPal app, which allows users to track their daily calories and compare them to their exercise level. In 2018, more than 150 million user data was compromised. [16]

  • WannaCry cyberattack

The WannaCry attack on hospitals in the U.K. caused a shutdown of health services for nearly a week. Ransomware attacks were carried out by cybercriminals who took control over health systems and demanded payment to surrender control. Patients in the U.K. and other affected countries were unable to access medical care due to this large-scale attack.

Other attacks have also targeted companies that provide different services or are involved in different industries. Cybercriminals can target any sector. These include healthcare, finance, and communication, as well as health and fitness. Cybercriminals don’t target any particular industry or company, but instead, they aim at the most vulnerable systems. Cybersecurity is critical because any organization can become a target.

Cyberattacks could negatively impact your business.

These examples show that cyberattacks can have a direct impact on victims. Cyberattacks can also affect businesses without cybersecurity solutions. Cybercrime has a significant economic impact. Cybercrime can affect a company’s ability to;

  • The company mustn’t lose its intellectual property and corporate information.
  • The affected organization will lose the intellectual property. This means that it cannot claim ownership of its products or services.
  • You may be unable to continue business operations because of system downtime, or ransomware attacks.
  • Customers who fear that their data might be compromised by insufficient security measures may lose customers. A damaged reputation can lead to lower profitability.

A cyberattack can also have costly legal consequences. Cybercrime can cause cyber incidents, particularly if the business is negligent in cybersecurity. It is responsible if a company fails to secure personal data using a password or encryption. It may be necessary to pay millions of dollars to all data owners affected.

Cybersecurity legislation has been adopted in many countries. It requires that organizations follow certain guidelines when handling personal information. The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), for instance, requires data handlers first to obtain the consent of data owners before any use is made. Companies that are found to be in breach of cybersecurity legislation face severe penalties. For failing to protect customer data properly, GDPR can penalize a company with more than 4% annual revenue.

Cybersecurity for your business

Companies don’t have the option to choose whether or not they want to implement cybersecurity policies, tools, and systems. Cyberattacks can strike anyone, so it is mandatory. It is impossible to achieve 100% cybersecurity. However, there are many strategies that organizations can use to ensure optimal cybersecurity.

1. Create cyber awareness

An employee or user making a security error can lead to many successful attacks. This could be because the user or employee is not following best security practices when using IT assets. Cybersecurity awareness training can help to reduce the risk of cyberattacks.

Effective password management practices should be part of cyber awareness training. Although passwords are the best form of defense, they can also be a security risk if not properly managed. A good password management strategy includes using strong passwords that are hard to crack, locking workstations with complex passwords, and keeping secure password storage.

An organization’s cybersecurity posture can be improved by raising awareness about how to spot phishing attacks. Phishing attacks use emails in which the attacker sends malicious links or attachments to a target. It is important to identify such emails quickly so that phishing attacks are less likely. Users should be trained to recognize fake emails.

Emails that look like they are from a trusted source can be used by attackers. A legitimate email like bestsolutions@gmail.com can be modified to bestsolutiions@gmail.com such that a user can have trouble identifying the differences. A business can be made more secure by equipping its users with the necessary cybersecurity skills.

2. Data leakage prevention

Leakages of data are one of the greatest threats to cybersecurity in a company. Data leakages can cause irreparable damage at both the individual and company levels. Each business deals with sensitive data. This includes customer details, confidential supplier data, employee data, and data that reveal the company’s strategic direction and objectives, intellectual property, and other information. Information leakage can lead to serious consequences for a business.

Limiting data that is accessible to the public is one way to prevent data leaks. A company has no business sharing employee or customer data on a public platform like Facebook. Only authorized personnel should have access to sensitive information, and they must follow the policies of the business regarding how to handle it.

It is not enough to restrict data access to the public. Insider Threats could exist among employees of a company. These employees could misuse company data for malicious purposes. An angry employee might threaten to give company data to others to force the employer to comply with certain demands. Access control measures can prevent such problems.

Access control is the process of determining who has access to specific content. The concept of least privilege is a widely used access control technique. This means that employees can only access the data they require. This type of role-based access allows employees to access only the data they need.

3. Protect against ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks are a major threat to businesses over the past years. This is when a cybercriminal encrypts the victim’s data and IT assets, then demands ransom payments to decrypt them. Ransomware attacks that target cloud-based data are increasing in frequency, even though most ransomware attacks target data stored on physical computers.

Ransomware attacks can be prevented by creating multiple backups and keeping them in separate secure locations. An organization can still access the backups even if the attacker encrypts data on physical computers and continues with its day-to-day operations. Although cloud backups are sufficient, they may sometimes not be available. Backups should always be stored on locally accessible, but highly secured devices.

Ransomware attacks can be prevented by using trusted antiviruses and firewalls. Ransomware attacks can be prevented by a secure firewall that has reliable security rules to filter out incoming connections.

Antivirus products should be updated as soon as security updates are made. Every day new malware programs are developed. Keeping your antivirus up-to-date will ensure that it is protected against these threats. A company must be cautious when choosing antivirus products from trusted vendors.

Fake antivirus products that claim to protect against ransomware attacks could expose your company to security risks. Microsoft’s Windows security center is an excellent example of a trusted antivirus solution.

4. Avoid phishing attacks and social engineering

Phishing is a technique attackers use fraudulently to gain confidential information. To convince their victims to click on malicious attachments or links, attackers use tricks. Phishing is a form of social engineering.

One-click installs malware and downloads it into your system. A phishing attack is usually carried out via emails. Victims are sent messages by a sender pretending to be a trusted party. One example of this is when an attacker pretends he is a bank employee and sends an email to inform the victim that his bank account is having problems and that he needs to log in to the online bank account.

The link will redirect the user to a malicious website that installs malware on his computer. Emails may also contain attachments that look legit, such as those from a supplier and a customer. Attachments may contain malware that automatically installs once opened.

Cybercriminals are now using artificial intelligence to find new victims. Artificial intelligence is used to send smarter emails to many email accounts at once.

Do not open any attachments or links from unknown persons to stop phishing attacks. All emails containing suspicious links, attachments, or requests for personal information from unknown recipients should be marked spam.

Avoiding sensitive information such as email addresses, on online platforms, can reduce the chance of a phishing attack. Organizations are strongly advised to use personal emails that are not opened on company computers if an email address is required. Once verified safe, the emails can be set up to send new messages to official accounts.

5. Policies to secure emerging technologies

Companies are eager to test new technologies, particularly those that promise to offer better functionality than the existing ones. Although this is a good thing, there are serious security concerns that can be caused by new technologies. These technologies may have undiscovered vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can exploit.

Emerging technologies may be incompatible or conflict with existing systems. This increases security risks. As part of their cybersecurity programs, a company should have strong policies regarding the acquisition and use of new technologies in the workplace.

This policy, for example, would require that emerging technologies have been successfully used and tested to the limits to ensure their security.

It can be a good idea to benchmark organizations that have successfully used the technology without security issues. IT professionals need to keep up with the latest technological developments. This allows IT, professionals, to ensure that policies that govern data access, use, and handling in the past technologies can be applied to provide security for the new technologies.

As organizations upgrade their IT infrastructures, they should continue to update cybersecurity policies. Changes in security policies reduce the risk of being attacked.

  1. https://cybersecurityventures.com/cybersecurity-almanac-2019/ |
  2. https://www.networkworld.com/article/3198474/lan-wan/cisco-to-network-engineers-get-comfortable-with-software-it-s-here-to-stay.html |
  3. https://www.infosecurity-magazine.com/opinions/zero-day-attack-recovery/ |
  4. https://www.ic3.gov/media/2018/180712.aspx |
  5. https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevemorgan/2016/05/13/list-of-the-5-most-cyber-attacked-industries |
  6. http://fortune.com/2017/10/25/cybercrime-spyware-marketplace/ |
  7. https://cybersecurityventures.com/cybersecurity-almanac-2019/ |
  8. https://cybersecurityventures.com/global-ransomware-damage-costs-predicted-to-reach-20-billion-usd-by-2021/ |
  9. https://www.ccn.com/cryptojacking-is-up-459-in-2018-and-its-the-nsas-fault/ |
  10. https://www.consultancy.uk/news/18435/five-reasons-cyber-security-is-more-important-than-ever |
  11. https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2018/05/21/how-much-data-do-we-create-every-day-the-mind-blowing-stats-everyone-should-read/ |
  12. https://www.wired.com/story/iran-cyberattacks-us-universities-indictment/ |
  13. https://www.wired.com/story/iran-cyberattacks-us-universities-indictment/ |
  14. https://www.wired.com/story/exactis-database-leak-340-million-records/ |
  15. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2018/12/iranian-phishers-bypass-2fa-protections-offered-by-yahoo-mail-and-gmail/ |
  16. https://www.forbes.com/sites/paullamkin/2018/03/30/under-armour-admits-huge-myfitnesspal-data-hack/#649ee2f0cc54 |