Security risk and data breaches have become a growing global issue as cyber criminals rampantly steal and sell sensitive data and privacy. Financial institutions are some of the most targeted by cyber attacks, with over 254 million leaked records in 2022. The World Economic Forum also reported that cybercrime could reach USD10.5 trillion by 2025.
One example of a widely exploited cyber threat in recent years is the ransomware attack. It’s a type of malware that encrypts victims’ files and demands payment or other compensation in exchange for access, leading to scams that cripple users and businesses. In 2021, more than USD 590 million in ransomware payments were made in the year’s first half. In addition, based on the same report by the United States Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), about USD 5.2 billion in Bitcoin transactions are also linked to ransomware.
Despite these alarming cases of ransomware attacks, a recent survey from cyber management company Axio reported that only 30 percent of organizations have a ransomware-specific playbook. Why is that so, and how do organizations address such cyber attacks? Let’s discuss this in detail in the next sections.
Why Not a Majority of Organizations Have Cyber Risk Management Plans in Place
Richard Caralli, a senior cybersecurity advisor at Axio and co-author of the report, explains in a Forbes article that many organizations are not equipped to handle the “basics of cybersecurity hygiene and risk management.” He further states that only 24 percent of these organizations can address cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities within a day. For users of their system, data breaches and identity theft are highly likely.
The findings of the 2022 Axio study reflect what many have long suspected: firms are frequently ill-equipped to deal with cyber threats due to a lack of fundamental security practices. According to the research, companies must focus on institutionalizing and implementing the most fundamental security procedures to be better prepared for future cyber attacks.
Further, the research emphasizes that companies still need to focus on these aspects of cybersecurity overall:
- Monitoring and handling of privileged access
- Enhancing cyber hygiene practices
- Reducing risks to supply chain and third parties
- Managing and defending networks
- Addressing ransomware attacks and incidents
- Identifying and managing vulnerabilities quickly
- Increasing organizational cybersecurity awareness and training
This raises the need to be more vigilant and cautious, as Cisco additionally explains that cyber attacks on businesses happen daily. Lack of enough cybersecurity professionals, poor data breach reporting, and no global agreements on cybersecurity can worsen the situation when a company experiences a security breach.
Ransomware is only one of the many possible cybersecurity incidents. Other threats include malware, phishing, denial-of-service, man-in-the-middle, SQL injection, zero-day export, and DNS tunneling. With all of these potential attacks comes the need for a robust cybersecurity program in organizations.
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Explaining Cyber Attacks and What Happens To Your System
A cyber attack can severely impact your business’s sustainability and credibility. It can also cost your employees and clients identity theft and more. Let’s go over the different cyber attacks that most organizations encounter.
Typically targeting computers and systems, malware comes in many forms, including spyware, adware, and ransomware. It can be installed without your knowledge. Sometimes, a simple click on an email link or downloading an infected file online can contain malicious code that can crash a computer system.
Phishing is when a hacker sends emails to lure you into giving your personal information. These emails can pretend to be from your bank or a legitimate business asking you to go to a link and input data. Phishing emails are often disguised as messages from well-known companies, such as banks, airlines, or popular social media platforms.
3. Distributed Denial-of-Service
Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks using a surge of requests on web servers. As web servers have a limited capacity for processing requests, DDOS attacks can paralyze a server, preventing users from accessing the site. Botnets are known to frequently cause DDoS attacks.
This happens when a stranger pretends to be someone you know to get information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card numbers. The attack happens when cyber criminals eavesdrop on conversations. Different scenarios of this attack can even involve the use of proxies.
5. SQL Injection
Known as a code-injection technique that targets and attacks data-driven applications. Using SQL statements, the attacker manipulates the database, which tricks applications.
6. Zero-Day Exploit
This involves bulk exploiting data that marketers and analysts use. Popular types of this attack include textual data, image export, and video export. Zero-day means developers or vendors have zero days to fix the flaw since the vulnerability has recently been exposed. When hackers see a vulnerability, they use an “exploit code.” It can victimize users through identity theft and other forms of cybercrime.
7. DNS Tunneling
This causes data to be transferred through a DNS service. It is used to bypass firewalls and other restrictions. This helps attackers access information without a firewall blocking them.
Protecting Your Business From Cyber Attacks
Cyber attacks are becoming more common and difficult to predict, and their aftermath is too expensive to manage. Hence, companies must have a plan in place, including measures in different stages of a cyber attack. Most importantly, these security policies must help guide people in the organization to prevent incidents from happening.
Determine the Security of and Risks to Your Business and Its Assets
Security and risk assessment can help you analyze where you are vulnerable to attacks. As you use technology, you also become susceptible to its current flaws. What assets are at stake?
Knowing where you stand when it comes to cybersecurity is a definite game-changer. These initial assessments fuel your proactiveness for the sustainability of your business. By doing so, you can identify the risks and consider solutions to mitigate them.
Protect your business data and assets with encryption.
As data loss can be debilitating for some departments, it can also be catastrophic for your entire business. Encrypting data to keep it safe must be widely used. You can include different configuration functions in decrypting data that can also be shared once the user’s identity has been authenticated. Setting up password protection and multiple authentications in accessing and opening files can be a start.
Monitor your digital presence for potential and actual threats.
Fraudulent behavior can easily be done by pretending to be a legitimate business. Since many do not have the luxury of time and resources to verify information quickly, simple messages and even posts online can lure the innocent. They could believe that the scammers and hackers represent your business conducting something legitimate.
These threats to your business can come from blog posts, emails, message board posts, online forums, and even fake ads. Encouraging your users to report these suspected threats can empower them to know that you value their security concerns.
Invest in and use secure operating and network systems and processes.
Using emerging technologies may draw you into unstable systems and poorly designed cybersecurity infrastructure. Having good systems protects you from different forms of cyber attacks like malware and viruses. Protecting your data through authentication can empower you and your employees. If you have employees working from home, you can secure authentication by providing them with equipment that locks access.
As cybercrimes become more common, criminals will always look into how to exploit your systems. Invest in endpoint security, threat intelligence, and anti-DDOS are some cyber-ready solutions. Endpoint security can help you to protect the endpoints connecting to your organizational networks, such as mobile devices, laptops, and desktops. It analyzes and checks files, processes, and systems for any malicious activity. On the other hand, threat intelligence can look into the possibilities of security threats by using data. It can help organizations in facing attacks proactively as and when they come.
You can also include maintaining adequate backup plans and equipment. Many devices are built to last for a few years, and some can be completely difficult to repair. Having a contingency plan for when a breach happens in your business will prevent further loss of data, client trust, and business credibility.
Check with your vendors and employees on their cybersecurity readiness.
Hacking is quite common and has been a major concern for the last few decades. They use different forms of cyber attacks to disrupt your business operations and take control of devices. Often, these hackers find vulnerabilities in employee or vendor systems.
While setting expectations with your vendors and employees can be tricky, looking closely into their cybersecurity defenses can prevent malware from infiltrating your system. Ask your employees if they have experienced a form of cyber attack. How were they able to navigate through it? Check the fine print of any technology-based product or service for recruitment that a vendor offers. The fine print will usually tell how they will honor your data.
Strengthen your defense with reliable cybersecurity workforce.
Having a skilled workforce can strengthen your defense walls. You can start by assessing the current skills and abilities of your employees. Then, fill the gaps with the necessary human resource. The need for more data protectors, business gatekeepers, and sustainability mobilizers for your business is more apparent with the influx of data in the last two decades.
In choosing from a candidate pool, you can employ the service of recruitment experts in IT and tech. They can best communicate your needs as a business. If you are looking for a contractual security engineer or full-time data analyst, a recruitment specialist can best communicate your business needs with potential candidates.
VET THE RIGHT CYBER PROFESSIONALS, THE DAVIS WAY.
With Davis, you can have confidence and trust that we will honor and protect your data through our cybersecurity measures. Our years of recruiting and onboarding tech professionals are proof of our service.
We have a team of human resource professionals and experts that can provide professional staffing and recruiting services, contract staffing services, and outsourced talent solutions, including Managed Services Program (MSP), Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO), and Human Resource Outsourcing (HRO). You can count on Davis to bring you the most suitable and equipped candidate to strengthen your corporate soldiers against cyber threats. Contact us today!