With the holiday season here and the end of the year coming up, the thought that cybersecurity risks are lurking about puts no one at ease. A key to securing your business always starts with focus and awareness. This is achievable by having a rundown of important cybersecurity incidents and trends.
Taking a look at cybersecurity this way gets businesses to keep eyes on cybersecurity topics that have a high priority and it also gets executives thinking about how to improve information security posture with focus, instead of an overwhelming feeling that there is too much to do.
Let’s get started!
First on the list is artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity. Since innovation is required to move ahead and stay in business nowadays, it is no surprise that AI makes the top of the list.
AI is two-fold when it comes to cybersecurity because it is technology that the industry is using to assist in securing networks and devices, yet it too comes with vulnerabilities, as does anything digital and connected to a network.
If an organization’s AI were hacked, it could take over the entire system and network within the company, even extend as far as the world depending on where and to what the AI is connected. Industry experts are looking into ways they can protect and secure AI, but in the meantime organizations that plan on using AI to innovate their business operations and products need to ensure they regularly get a complete vulnerability assessment of their networks, systems, machines, everything the AI will work with and beyond.
Phishing and ransomware are second on our list because they are one of the biggest threats 2017 has seen year-round and it’s not slowing down either. Just this quarter Proofpoint’s Quarterly Threat Report found that there’s been a 600% increase in phishing attacks using malicious URLs. The Report also found an 85% rise in malicious emails in Q3 alone. Those malicious emails most likely contain ransomware; and without the proper training, your business could become a victim of such an attack and end up like companies that were not able to conduct business when hit by WannaCry.
Be prepared for phishing and ransomware as your employees get ready to shop for holiday gifts, new tech coming out, especially buying at a discount during Thanksgiving’s Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday deals. Training employees to identify malicious emails is the first step to protecting your business. If you need any help, you can take a look at our phishing training services here.
Now for our last cybersecurity topic: mega breaches from this year. Who thought of Equifax? Or how about Deloitte? Or maybe you thought of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)? Or Verizon? Or Blue Cross Blue Shield / Anthem? Or Gmail? As you can see, the list includes companies that everyone knows, that some use, and that no one likes the idea of hearing they’ve been compromised since that means your sensitive data could be in the hands of cybercriminals.
It is not so much the fact that these businesses made the headlines that should be of concern, as much as it shows how all businesses, large or small, of any industry type, are in the same boat and risk the same as any other, of becoming a victim of breach. Also, worth noting from mega breach stories is that it’s not the budget you have or don’t have that makes the difference, but how you use that budget to improve and make effective the information security steps and posture you want to implement.
Before the end of the year, take up the challenge to make your business more secure. Don’t do it only for the holidays or as part of a new year’s resolution item to check off your list; do it because you care about your business and you know how important it is nowadays to ensure you are protected as best possible from the number of vulnerabilities out there.
Photo courtesy of alexskopje