Rarely a day goes by when we don’t hear of a huge multi-national corporation falling victim to cyber-criminals and losing some of their valuable data. In fact, it’s such a common occurrence that people have become desensitized to the fallout, adopting either an “it won’t happen to us” attitude or one that plays down the consequences – in other words, people are becoming numb to the effects of cyber-attacks.
But such an approach isn’t just the least intuitive, it also leaves organizations open to threats. Why? Simply because they have not implemented the right solution for their business.
The bottom line, whether we like it or not, is that the statistics and research show that cyber-attacks are not only real, but seriously devastating when they strike.
With the reputational damage and financial implications of security breaches well known, it is no surprise that many security vendors choose to adopt scare tactics that almost compel organizations to implement their solutions or face the consequences.
Indeed, with the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect on May 25, 2018, companies could face fines of up to €20 million or 4% of their annual worldwide turnover (whichever is greater).
Today, the stakes of getting cyber-security right have never been higher.
HERE’S THE REALITY…
According to Cisco’s latest Annual Cybersecurity Report 2018, “few organizations see IoT botnets as an imminent threat – but they should”. That’s because as botnets grow and mature, attackers can utilize them for increasingly devastating purposes, such as to conduct extremely powerful DDoS attacks.
Worryingly, despite the fact botnets comprising thousands or millions of devices can be mobilized quickly, and are ready to cause chaos 24/7/365, only 13% of companies see them as a major threat to their business in 2018.
Furthermore, the Cisco report highlights how application layer DDoS attacks are becoming more frequent, while network layer attacks are declining. This shift of approach has been attributed to the growth of botnets and the fact there’s little left to exploit in the network layer – testimony to the excellent advances in security that have been made in recent years.
But it’s not just DDoS attacks that organizations need to protect themselves from. According to a report from Carbon Black, released in October 2017, ransomware is growing at a rate of more than 2,500% a year.
Ransomware is especially disruptive for businesses as it literally holds their important data to ransom and threatens to destroy it unless a bounty is paid. It’s a vicious circle because the more companies that pay, the more hackers look to leverage this particular attack vector.
With cryptocurrencies now offering unscrupulous individuals anonymous mediums via which they can get paid, the ransomware phenomenon is only likely to increase in prevalence going forward.
Oftentimes, ransomware gets onto an individual’s computer and infects a network following a phishing scam. The curious nature of humans means that phishing emails are often opened. Despite the best efforts of organizations to educate their users about the risks posed through email systems, two-thirds of all malware was installed via email attachments in 2016.
In addition, RDoS (Ransom DDoS) attacks are on the rise too. These types of attack are financially motivated and are usually preceded with a letter or Internet post threatening disruption unless a ransom is paid.
While we’ve only mentioned three specific IT security threats above – DDoS attacks, ransomware and phishing emails – the list of risks goes on and on. For businesses, it’s no longer a case of ‘if’ they’ll get impacted by a security breach, but rather ‘when’.
However, all this talk of security breaches and cyber-attacks is nothing new. Security experts have been warning about the impact a data breach can have on organizations for years. As a result, many businesses have become numb to the effects of cyber-attacks and aren’t taking security as seriously as they should or have been scared into implementing solutions that aren’t necessarily right for them.
SO, WHAT’S THE ANSWER TO THE MODERN SECURITY CONUNDRUM?
There is no silver bullet for organizations when it comes to IT security. However, by working with a trusted security partner to integrate IT security into a robust Risk Management framework, businesses can position themselves in the best situation to thwart the vast majority of cyber-risks that are out there today. After all, modern cyber-security is a business threat, not just an IT threat, so it needs a business-wide approach to deal with it effectively.
A solid approach to IT security will inevitably include various firewalls, DDoS prevention shields/systems, endpoint protection, intrusion detection systems and SIEM solutions. With so many different attack vectors targeting different components/layers of an organization’s infrastructure, it’s only with a multi-layered approach to IT security that businesses can mitigate risk. The individual strengths and focus of each layer also help to cover the gaps potentially left by other defenses.
While it is virtually impossible to cover every single aspect and make your organization immune to the ever-evolving threats on the security landscape, addressing vulnerabilities and weaknesses ahead of time, and implementing solutions to protect critical business environments, is certainly a much better plan of attack than adopting a ‘we won’t get hit’ attitude.
One of the biggest considerations for businesses today is whether they should keep IT security in-house and manage it themselves or outsource it to a reputable third-party provider.
In our latest whitepaper, “Getting Numb to The Effects of Cyber-Attacks”, we don’t use scare tactics to give you the lowdown. We simply provide facts and figures that highlight the reality of the IT security landscape today.
Businesses are (unfortunately) getting numb to the effects of cyber-attacks and that’s something that can potentially damage entire industries.
Download the whitepaper today or speak to one of the team to discuss how we can help with your security needs.