These days, everything is digital. We rely on the internet for work, to connect with friends, and even to entertain ourselves.
Unfortunately, as wonderful as the virtual world may be, it has its challenges too. For instance, companies nowadays - more than ever before - need to ensure that their technology is secure and compliant.
According to analytics from Norton Security, around 60 million Americans have been exposed to identity theft, and by 2023, criminals will be stealing around 33 billion records each year.
Although anyone can suffer because of cybercrime, businesses are particularly at risk. Not only do companies deal with significant amounts of data on a regular basis, but in the new world of remote work, the amount of private data being sent back and forth through the internet has increased exponentially.
Plus, organizations don’t always have full control over the way information moves back and forth between employees.
The result of these new business realities, in addition to the fact that cybercrime is on the rise, is that many companies are now more vulnerable to cyber attacks than ever before.
Today, we’re going to examine some of the biggest cyber threats that it’s important to be aware of as a modern business owner.
Endpoint Security Issues
When the remote working revolution began in 2020, a lot of people assumed it would be a temporary solution to a current problem. However, experts now agree that remote work may well be the strategy of the future.
Many companies are beginning to implement strategies for hybrid work that will connect office-based and remote-workers. This is creating an increase in BYOD (bring your own device) technology in the workplace.
As more people continue to use their own laptops, computers, and smartphones for work, endpoint security is a major concern. There’s a growing risk that insufficiently secured personal devices and home routers could lead to a higher number of data leaks.
Investing in endpoint security strategies like multi-factor authentication, anti-virus software for phones, and the use of mobile VPNs will be crucial for business leaders in the years to come.
Evolving Cybersecurity Threats
Having basic protection in place from anti-virus software and firewalls isn’t enough to support companies in an environment where criminals are becoming more sophisticated all the time.
For example, have you noticed that many of the scammer emails you receive now are way more sophisticated than scammer emails of years past?
Not only is the language more grammatically correct, but they are also using graphics and email layouts very similar to the companies that they’re trying to portray in order to get you to click on a link and submit personal information.
Imagine how much more complicated the schemes are for breaching the personal information being passed around in a business -- especially from remote employees to each other and back to the business.
It’s important for today’s organizations to be able to monitor cybersecurity issues in real-time. If a breach does happen, it’s best to stop it as soon as possible to limit the damage and the amount of private information that gets out into the wrong hands.
Plus, in today’s environment, where many people are prone to suing others and the companies that they do business with, legal liabilities around cyber security issues are a true concern.
Increasingly, security providers are investing in artificial intelligence solutions and machine learning technology that may assist companies in detecting cyber issues within the workforce in real-time.
Intelligent solutions will be able to check for suspicious activity on a constant basis to ensure that any threats are handled as quickly as possible.
Having an intelligent solution in place could also include using automation and smart assistants to instantly notify business leaders and security experts when a breach may be taking place.
These technologies make it possible for companies to proactively fight back against crime.
The Rise of Phishing and Ransomware
Phishing has been a persistent problem in the cybersecurity landscape for some time. The chances are that this issue will continue to plague businesses in the years to come.
The COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a popular theme for phishing campaigns in 2020, with many users being fooled by emails promising a new vaccine or a request to update details after a potential breach.
Cybercriminals have proven that there are no limits to what they’re willing to do to get their hands-on valuable consumer data. In the years to come, phishing strategies will only become more intelligent.
With more people spending the majority of their time online for work and play, there’s no doubt that criminals will find plenty of inspiration in the digital world to help them cheat their victims out of their information.
Companies will need to put careful security policies in place to help their team members recognize the presence of a phishing attempt.
In a similar vein, ransomware attacks are likely to increase in popularity. Some statistics expect that mid-to-large businesses will be falling victim to ransomware attacks every 11 seconds throughout 2021.
This could lead to huge expenses for businesses, as ransomware attacks in 2021 are expected to account for over $20 billion in losses worldwide.
With such crimes on the upswing, investing in additional cyber security is not only necessary, but may actually save the company many thousands of dollars.
Cloud Technology and File-less Attacks
Today, more companies than ever are moving their applications and infrastructure into the cloud. As companies shift rapidly towards this new flexible environment, it will be essential for them to ensure that they’re not compromising on security measures.
VPNs and private networking solutions will be a must have for employees with teams working remotely.
It’s also crucial for companies to have strategies in place for dealing with file-less attacks and business process compromises.
These issues are on the increase, and they tend to avoid common attack prevention and detection solutions. This means that going forward, companies may need to invest in more specialist solutions to protect against new threats.
One thing’s for certain: no organization can afford to overlook the importance of having an effective security strategy in place.
The question is, is your business protected?