Cybersecurity Resilience Encounters A Changing Threat Landscape
Cybersecurity protects all information on the internet or in the digital realm, plus related systems and infrastructures, from infiltration attempts and data breaches. That sounds straightforward enough, but the digital business landscape is changing and having a keen eye on cybersecurity ensures that businesses can maintain a competitive advantage. Digital transformation has created fundamental changes for modern companies concerning their security strategy. The risks extend beyond enterprises, even to governments and society as a whole.
Enterprises must redouble their efforts to secure mission-critical assets. The first step is to dig even more deeply – bringing security professionals, operations professionals, and developers into teams focused entirely on vulnerability discovery and breach remediation rather than response planning. These steps will require that investment matches effort. According to the Forbes report, Enterprises Re-Engineer Security in the Age of Digital Transformation, Forbes surveyed 308 executives. 82% of CIOs plan to invest more in security in the coming year. Businesses that suffer a cataclysmic breach and end up on the front page of the Wall Street Journal carry significant weight in an era where responsible business practice denotes commercial reputation. Here are a few ways CIOs and CISOs are closing the vulnerability gaps within their organizations.
- Creating a modern cybersecurity strategy backed by a business model, including proposals that target security spending to the areas of most significant impact
- Increasing efforts to secure mission-critical assets and the physical systems that connect to cyberenvironments – protecting the tasks those systems were meant to perform
- Increasing investments by adding personnel and technology focused on designing and implementing a mature cybersecurity program
- Developing an enterprise-wide security culture that manages risk by including collaboration with every business leader in the organization helps remove security siloes
For digital businesses and a digital world to succeed, resilience will be critical. To achieve necessary stability, assets require protection and operation recovery processes in the wake of a disruptive event; businesses must operate their security strategy in alignment with effective decision-making, priority setting, risk reporting, and execution plans. Old IT strategies that included cost cutting can no longer deliver the desired outcomes. Merely cutting costs overlooks the redundancy needed to circumvent attacks, the distributed and modular models within which businesses operate today, and the shared responsibility and decision-making potential across an entire organization. The landscape of cyber risk management in an interconnected world no longer has only core IT systems. The systems at risk include all the resources used to deliver business operations.
What Are the Main Types of Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a broad field. Several specific types exist, and they serve different purposes. The growing severity of modern, internet-based threats usually requires several security methods simultaneously, depending on needs and the most likely risks. They include:
- Critical infrastructure security: Protecting cyber-physical systems, networks, and assets that modern societies rely on.
- Network security: Safeguarding a network and its files and databases from random outsider access with firewalls and virtual private networks (VPNs). This includes endpoint security – securing all devices connected to a network — such as smartphones, internet-enabled gadgets, and computers, by removing or minimizing the associated vulnerabilities. Cybersecurity professionals and enthusiasts should not overlook internet-based devices such as security cameras, fitness trackers, and digital whiteboards with Wi-Fi.
- Cloud security: Addressing cybersecurity for all cloud-based applications and material stored in the cloud.
- Website security: Stopping threats that could make a website fail to function as expected or take it offline. Screening for malware is a primary part of website security, mainly since it could infect visitors’ computers and cause a site to drop in search engine rankings if detected.
- Application security: Proactively preventing cybercriminals from exploiting weaknesses in apps used by internet-connected devices. It also encompasses releasing updates that address known issues through patches.
- Mobile security: Mobile devices and tablets have access to corporate data and are often overlooked as business threats. Yet they expose organizations to malicious apps, zero-day, phishing, and IM attacks.
- IoT security: While using the Internet of Things, devices can be vulnerable while connected to the internet and create a pathway into corporate networks.
The threat landscape is constantly changing. Here are a few of the current cyber threats.
- Hybrid workplace: A diverse workforce creates process complexity, and talent shortages only make it harder for organizations to operate.
- The proliferation of assets: Organizations no longer have complete control of distributed applications and IT architecture. People, technology (IT and cyber physical), third-party suppliers (suppliers, services, IT providers), equipment, and facilities are everywhere.
- Supply chain attacks: Incidents like SolarWinds, Microsoft Exchange Server, and Kasaye hacks demonstrated that trust relationships with other organizations can be a weakness in a corporate cyber security strategy. By exploiting one organization and leveraging these trusted relationships, threat actors can gain access to the networks of all their customers.
- Ransomeware: Ransomeware was used only to encrypt files, but now cyber attackers will steal data to extort the victim and customers with double and triple extortion attacks.
- Phishing: In recent years, phishing attacks have become more sophisticated and challenging to detect as messages become indistinguishable from legitimate emails.
- Malware: Gen V malware requires cyber solutions to prevent attacks before they begin. The former technique of responses that were detection only based is now insufficient.
Why Is Cybersecurity So Important?
In today’s society, internet-transmitted or stored information is valuable, and hackers know it. They know that successfully breaking into a system could give them access to data they could sell on the black market or hold in direct ransom with the business itself for a hefty payout. Plus, the costs associated with cyberattacks are substantial and can be far-reaching – including the increase in cybersecurity insurance premiums after an attack occurs.
Recently published data from IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach report https://www.csoonline.com/article/3434601/what-is-the-cost-of-a-data-breach.html indicates that the cost of a data breach globally reached an all-time high of $4.35 million. However, in terms of security and preparedness, the report also indicated that organizations with fully deployed security AI and automation cost $3.05 million less than breaches not protected by security AI and automation. Also, companies that employed a data protection officer did not have cyber incidents that caused monetary losses. Also, when businesses created on-site security operations centers, their cybersecurity incident costs decreased by more than half.
Lost profits are not the only consequences associated with cybersecurity shortcomings, though. The most significant threat of a data breach is still reputational damage. Customer trust is easy to break; companies who have suffered a public breach find that their brand does not command the same price premium, and market share is lost. Secondary to trust impacts, severe business downtime can cost organizations millions. When a breach affects critical systems, costs can translate into millions of dollars daily for companies suffering downtime. Regulated industries suffer further costs with mounting litigation costs. IBM’s 2022 report found that in highly regulated industry segments, an average of 24% of data breach costs were accrued two years after the breach occurred from penalties, lawsuits, and legal representation.
Organizations are paying cyber insurance premiums to mitigate these risks due to the frequency and severity of data breaches. Yet, the most shocking statistics reveal that companies are increasingly open to paying ransoms as part of their breach response, even setting aside millions in advance for this purpose. This painfully showcases how intrinsically bound cyberattacks are to the day-to-day operations of a business when threat actors are looking to determine an amount that companies might pay to continue operational normalcy.
Data proliferates amid emerging technologies like autonomous vehicles, predictive analytics, AI, machine learning, and big data. The need for robust cybersecurity increases as more information is collected, too. The amount of data collected and the speed of the associated processing mean that old IT infrastructures are no longer sufficient. Upgrades are necessary, and people must make cybersecurity a top-of-mind concern.