A breach is one of the biggest nightmares for CIOs, CISOs, and any organization executive for that matter; but they are not the only cyber threat to worry about.  There are many more that have undesirable repercussions for an organization and that your risk management plan needs to be prepared to face.  Let’s take a look at some of them.

 

  • We’ve all heard of ransomware.  There’s nothing worse than for a business or a hospital, or an insurance company, to have to call up clients and let them know that their personal data (which was supposed to be secure) was seized and won’t be given back unless payment is made.
  • DDoS attacks aren’t any less destructive.  Even though they were thought to be a minor problem at one time, they turned out to be so much more.  Just ask JPMorgan Chase, they can tell you all about it.
  • Wiper attacks are also no ride in the park.  In less than 10 minutes you could find out that the bad guys wiped out your entire software.  Can anybody say Sony?!
  • Then there’s intellectual property theft and identity theft, both of which allow hackers to take valuable data and use it for their own personal gain; and with some unfortunate ramifications to the owners of that data.
  • Let’s not forget about data manipulation.  Cybercriminals gain access to data and change the information stored.  No big deal, right? Not quite.  Manipulated data can have devastating effects.  A perfect example includes the manipulation of health electronic records with patient healthcare information.  Something like this could be life threatening to a person.
  • And then there’s always data destruction.  Imagine an intruder getting into an electric power generator and giving it the wrong commands.  An entire city goes dark and who knows when the lights will be back on, not to mention the panic that blackouts can cause.

 

Running an organization, whether it’s a hospital, a bank, a shop, or your own business, has always held its challenges.  Breaches have been around for years, since the start of the digital era.  With the passing of time however, cyber threats have evolved.  It’s no longer only securing data from being stolen.  Now it’s hoping your stolen data doesn’t get taken hostage or that you don’t lose the data completely.  Hospitals with medical devices and electronic health records are even more disquieting since any type of intrusion or data access by cybercriminals can lead to life threatening situations for patients.

 

With every aspect of the business process going digital, businesses can’t think that innovation by adopting new technology for the purpose of improved performance stops there.  To stay in business, to actually increase the value of your business, security must be a part of the overall business plan.  The same way cloud or IoT devices are adopted, there is also the need to adopt appropriate security measures and this doesn’t mean patches, firewalls and password managers.

 

The types of cyber threats that exist are not mechanical in nature, they are not created by a computer.  They are created by humans, individuals who think of the different ways they can get into a network, a digital environment, and what they can do once they’ve gained access to a facility, device or sensitive data.  To be prepared, organizations need to have the right security expertise at hand, a security culture within the enterprise, data recovery plans, continuous monitoring, and yes, also security tools.

 

What other cyber threats would you add to the list and how do you plan on securing your business from them?

 

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