The New Approaches to Cybersecurity

The New Approaches to Cybersecurity

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4 minutes Read | Published January 19, 2022 | KISH ROXAS

If there is one trend in this digital age that cybersecurity needs to pay attention to, it’s the digital economy. Blockchain, cryptocurrency, and online transfers of cash and cash equivalents have sped up as more businesses move to the digital space to adapt to changing rules in the new normal. Identities are now in various platforms and websites.

Most people, including you and I, are now connected in cyberspace by some technology and platform.

However, as more technology ventures rise from the technological shift, the surface area for technology gets wider, giving cyber criminals more opportunities where they can probe. When they get a foot in the door, it’s easy for them to run away with your information.

Cyber crimes are increasing at the same rate as e-commerce, which means that companies are in increasing danger of reputation damage, loss of market value, and time and resources spent on addressing breaches in their systems.

It is no wonder that the cyber security industry has seen a rise with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.7 percent to US$ 217.9 billion in 2021. By 2026, experts estimated the market to grow to US$ 345.4 billion. The industry is aware of the growing need to improve our cyber security needs---but are we as business owners?

Now more than ever, our cyber security measures need to take a second look at the gaps we have to cover to make sure we keep our company and our customers safe while managing the risks that exist in the online economy. As responsible businesses, we need to be aware of the threats that loom over our businesses, evolving along—or ahead—of the threats.

There are four technologies that will affect the global digital landscape and will make  threats evolve, increase the “attack surface”, allow cyber criminals to take advantage of structural weaknesses, and multiply harm:

  • Global Interconnectivity
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • Quantum Computing
  • Identity Management

Challenges in cybersecurity and risk management

Cyber security companies are stepping up their game to meet the challenges in cybersecurity. As businesses, we need to be ready to supplement the security gaps that cybersecurity firms cannot fill. At the same time, we have to be aware of the different challenges that we have to prepare for regarding cybersecurity and manage the risks involved with operating in the digital space.

Here are some challenges that we have to consider:

Lack of cybersecurity expertise

Many companies that operate in cyberspace exert, to some degree, basic cyber security protocols given to them by their providers. Be it the SSL encryption included in e-commerce or firewalls in membership sites, most websites have a measure of security that users can depend on.

However, an experienced hacker will not be deterred by these security measures. This is where cybersecurity experts come in. They can be from a third party or employed in-house, and can immediately respond to a threat. Think of first aid responders to a person having a heat stroke.

Unfortunately, many companies do not go beyond the basic security measures their providers offer. According to a 2020 report cited by Forbes, 80 percent of IT managers said that they do not have the confidence that their latest IT security protocols will not be able to keep out cyber-assaults. This is why security providers are encouraging their customers to avail of more comprehensive and updated security packages to mitigate the possible damages a breach may have.

Without this expertise, your cybersecurity “heatstroke” would not survive the hour and you will have to deal with the massive consequences of the breach on your own.

Attacks through employee accounts

Remote work has increased exponentially because of the pandemic, and workers have to access their company infrastructure through their accounts at home. The 2020 Kaspersky report says that 37 percent of employees woefully lack knowledge and training when it comes to ransomware, making them and their companies vulnerable to an attack. This poses a problem for many IT security experts, especially due to the rise of ransomware and phishing attacks, both occurring normally through email.

Ransomware attacks jeopardize  the entire computer of the user as the hacker prevents you from accessing your files unless you pay a “ransom.” Phishing, on the other hand, uses your information for their own gain, which could lead to the depletion of your bank account or the overbilling of your credit card.

Both will not only harm the company, but the individual user as well, making the workforce less efficient and the company riddled with problems in getting back their customer information.

Attacks through IoT devices

Employees are not the only people who are vulnerable to attacks. Customers, clients and others who are accessing your network or website can be the gateway by which hackers get into your system.

As billions of IoT devices—from laptops to mobile phones—transmit data to one another, they can be the pathways that hackers use to gain access to important enterprise networks and compromise sensitive data. Security Magazine says that the number of IoT devices that were infected by viruses increased by 100 percent in 2020. These devices must be safeguarded at all costs, or risk opening the millions of loopholes for hackers to enter in.

Cybersecurity companies are working hard to beat the hackers who are getting more creative and innovative with their attacks. But cybersecurity companies alone are not the silver pill for data security. What we need to understand is that the “new normal” has created new rules in the cybersecurity game, and hackers continue to recreate the rules that your company needs to keep up with.

Your companies must be able to fill in the gaps and mitigate the risks associated with such threats. It can be as simple as constantly briefing and educating your employees about hacks that may come in their emails, or  discouraging them from accessing sites that may be dubious.

While these steps may seem small, prevention goes a long way than combating a breach.

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