In Part 1 and Part 2 of the 2019 Cyber Security planning series, we looked at the evolution of technology and the future of cybersecurity defense systems. There has been a steady evolution of defense options to curtail the rising efforts to commit cybercrimes. In this segment, we look at emerging and enhanced threats moving forward.
Cybersecurity preparedness relies on year-over-year planning and strategic implementation. That means corporate decision-makers must cull together key staff members who include IT support team leaders, department heads and primary stakeholders. Determined preparation for 2019 relies on a rich, interdepartmental understanding of company goals, system needs and actionable knowledge of cybersecurity policy and protocols.
Knowledge equals power in the cybersecurity sector and arming employees with information about how and why measures are taken to protect vital information remains job one. That being said these rank among the biggest anticipated threats facing companies in 2019.
Cybercriminals have steadily made a shift away from direct systems hacks and are more inclined to plant encrypted files that take over a company’s data and require payment to send a code to unlock them. The FBI reportedly claims that upwards of 4,000 ransomware attacks are carried out every day. That figure is expected to escalate in the coming years.
Most ransomware attacks are conducted by prompting a user to inadvertently click on a malicious link or website that results in infection. Although only a fraction of ransomware incursions are reported, cybercriminals generally ask for $200 to $3,000 in bitcoin payments to send a cure. These are some of the ways an IT support team can mitigate ransomware attacks.
Consider for a moment that more than half of all breaches are initiated through third-parties, often vendors. Organizations generally have hundreds of business partners on a variety of levels. Many of these enjoy daily engagement through electronics and direct links to an outfit’s systems. From ordering products to pay invoices to basic communication, there could be thousands of points of contact between your servers and third-parties.
Moving forward, hackers will be increasingly targeting vulnerable systems to steal sensitive information to sell or ransom. Companies that do not secure their data at a high level can act as a backdoor into other servers. Once today’s hacker has infiltrated one of your vendors, they can email ransomware and other infections programs undetected. Cyber theft efforts are more likely to be successful because employees open vendor communications with confidence. These are some of the key steps organizations may want to consider for 2019.
We are all well aware of the headlines regarding high-ranking government officials using personal devices. In many instances, the federal government considers using a personal electronic device for work purposes a direct and discernable security threat. Despite that glaring warning, the number of companies that allow employees to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has grown exponentially in the last few years.
The convenience of a values staff member having tangible connectivity 24-7 seems to outweigh any risk. In the past, this policy may not have brought about a negative result. But cybercriminals are well aware that an employee Smartphone is now a doorway into a company’s system.
What makes BYOD even more problematic moving forward is that an average of 22 percent of workers misplaces their electronic device. Compounding that misstep, only about 35 percent use a password or PIN to secure it. This vulnerability does not even account for purposeful theft of a staff member’s device. Businesses would be wise to change course on the BYOD practice in 2019 by taking the following steps.
Cybersecurity breaches have proven to be costly for companies and organizations in every sector. The loss of time, productivity, and damage to reputation are exponentially expensive. Many of the seemingly low-level nuisances are expected to become high-level threats in the coming years. Decision-makers would do well to address these issues with the same determination as others in 2019.
It takes strong cyber Security planning to minimize the growing threats to innovation, productivity, and profitability. With hackers using every conceivable means to gain access to critical data, it’s easy to lose sight of the forest through the trees. In terms of planning cybersecurity in 2019, an organization’s leadership team would be wise to consider their efforts under these four foundational ideas.
It’s essential for an organization to understand cybersecurity as a process. Cybercriminals are continually looking for creative ways to steal valuable data, and industry leaders are tasked with ongoing cybersecurity planning.
It was nice to find someone in this field to be patient, courteous and made me feel like my questions were not too stupid to ask.”