2016 was the year of cybersecurity breach- when the biggest leaks, hacks, and data breaches took place and affected millions. It was also a wake-up call, especially for companies that considered themselves as impervious to digital hacks. The world realized that in a digitized economy, no organization is immune to cyber threats irrespective of their sector, size or resources. The realization did come for a price— more than two billion stolen records.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, as of October 2016, there were 783 reported breaches, exposing more than 29 million records. According to PwC Global Economic Crime Survey 2016, cybercrime became the second most reported economic crime affecting 32 percent of organizations. These included everything from big brand breaches to the Ransomware attacks.
Last year’s security one another incidents have clearly shown that two distinct, powerful forces are at play, pulling in opposite directions. On one hand, the attackers are getting better at their job while on the other hand companies are struggling to cope with the pressure of urgent security tasks.
Will 2017 be worse?
More importantly, what can you do about it?
Your first step should be to learn about the new risks that might expose your organization to malicious attacks. Here are five cyber security risks that you can prepare for regardless of your company’s size or industry type:
Breaches Relating to IoT (Internet of Things)
The proliferation of IoT devices is going to open up the entry points to countless vulnerable environments. The October 21, 2016 DDoS attack that brought the economies in both sides of the Atlantic to a grinding halt demonstrated the scale of IoT-related security issues. The bad news? IoT breaches will continue to evolve and grow in impact in the coming months. The way out? Developers must keep the vulnerable entry points in mind while programming these always-connected devices.
Threats Coming from the Cloud
More and more companies are embracing cloud – a phenomenon which is often called the great migration. As more services and workloads move to cloud-based platforms, more and more hitherto unseen issues are likely to emerge.
Remember the leakage of the Mirai botnet source code where the Mirai malware was used to infect IoT devices and use them as a launching platform for DDoS attacks? Well, DoS/DDoS attacks of similar or more intensity are likely to grow both in frequency and in strength in the future. There is a silver lining in the cloud though; new avenues in anti-DDoS services are likely to open up in the coming months.
Ransomware will Continue to Remain a Pain Point for Corporations
Cyber cons will perform more researches to identify targets in order to be able to extort the maximum amount of money. More smartly-crafted emails are expected to be used to launch Ransomware attacks. On the other side of the spectrum, the Cybersecurity industry is expected to join forces with the law enforcement wings to detect and respond to these incidents, which may help curb these types of attacks.
Drones will Be Leveraged to Private Wi-Fi Networks
Drones with inherent security loopholes, such as open ports and/or weak authentication mechanisms, will be used by the attackers to take unauthorized aerial photography, to perform illicit surveillance, and to hack into the Wi-Fi networks of the business premises where they land. How to stay protected? Download software updates released by the drone manufacturers.
Mitigation Plans: Fight Back
When you have a cyber security blueprint for your business, you stay one step ahead of the attackers. Opt for the reactive ways of doing things, and attackers will take advantage of your vulnerabilities. Conversely, invest in proactive cybersecurity, and you will be able to mitigate risks before they turn into security breaches. Here are many other benefits of embracing proactive information security:
• It enables you to comply with legal requirements.
• It will enhance your brand image in front of your clients.
• It will show that you have taken proactive measures to take the cyber security threats by the horns and will improve your company’s credibility in the eyes of your investors, shareholders and other stakeholders.
• It will give your employees confidence that their organization is capable of resuming operations as usual even after a cyber attack.
It may take time to bolster your company’s defense mechanism against cyber crimes and strengthen Cybersecurity. However, the efforts are worth it. The process will give you a competitive advantage over your competitors. You have already taken the first step toward it by trying to educate yourself on the threats. Now, invest in the right talents to protect yourself from the threats. If you are in search of a competent partner, our team of skilled cyber security professionals can help.