As an IT company we often look at Cybersecurity concerns from a technicality standpoint or as subject matter experts. But Cybersecurity in itself is an evolving topic with constant changes in level of security and the level of threat. It becomes important to update current understanding and constantly educate yourself on existing and future concerns relating to Cybersecurity.
Let’s start with the terminology
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a process of protecting an organization’s digital data and infrastructure against cyber based attacks and other threat actors. This includes protecting your networks, applications, systems and client information.
Cybersecurity is a strategy made up of 3 P’s
- Process aka a strategic approach;
- People who implement it.
Prevention of damage to, protection of, and restoration of computers, electronic communications systems, electronic communications services, wire communication, and electronic communication, including information contained therein, to ensure its availability, integrity, authentication, confidentiality, and nonrepudiation. – NIST
What are the main Cybersecurity Threats?
The reason why it’s important to talk about threats in 2020, is mainly due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.
With a lot of changes in the workspace and the way businesses are forced to navigate and operate, Cybersecurity has become a main source of concern for many enterprises.
Here are the top Cybersecurity threats:
Phishing attacks are when company credentials are stolen through social engineering techniques for on-site as well as cloud-based services.
Phishing has always remained the most commonly used form of Cyber-attack carried out by cyber criminals. In 2019 alone more than 79% phishing incidents were recorded. This number is set to rise in 2020. Only difference, this time it’s not only through traditional email but also cloud based attacks.
Remote Worker Security
With a pandemic in motion, most companies are forced to work remotely through online channels. This exposes the infrastructure to a higher online traffic than it usually is capable of handling.
With employees using remote networks and devices. The overall network security gets compromised, resulting in a more significant risk to data and cyber-attacks to the system.
During 2020, 25% of All Breaches Will Happen Outside the Perimeter – Watchguard
Application Programming Interface (API) Vulnerabilities and Breaches
API’s which are made public allow developers and other parties to work on software with data available. While this can help improve and develop new programme it also imposes a greater risk of breach.
Security readiness has been considered to be significantly lagging behind in terms of web security across major organisations. This in turn can trigger major breaches in financial apps, peer to peer messengers and social media which may be used to communicate and collaborate within an organisation.
Insider threats could mean negligence, lack of education as well as malicious intent from sources within an organisation.
A simple example of this is a cyber-attack through email which masks a marked company email opened by unsuspecting employees which leads to a company-wide cyber-attack or phishing attempt.
To avoid any such complications, organisations need to set up cyber security measures for detecting, investigating and promptly addressing any such scenarios.
Other ways to protect an organisation against insider threats are:
- hold workshops to educate their employees and clients.
- Install tools that detect unauthorized logins, enable admin rights and restrict networks.
70% of organizations are reportedly seeing more frequent insider attacks.- techjury.net
With great advancements come greater risks. This applies aptly to AI and ML. While there is much to discover about Artificial Intelligence and how it can benefit the way we conduct business. Cyber criminals have also started to employee Artificial Intelligence to carry out sophisticated cyber-attacks. Synthetically modified identity and the use of deep fake “as a service organisation” are some of the emerging Cybersecurity threats to an organisation.
Ransomware has been one of the top emerging threats to Cybersecurity in the past few years. With cheap Ransomware kits readily available on the dark web and its added simplicity with which a sophisticated attack can be carried out, it’s no surprise that Ransomware has been a cause of concern for many business organisations around the world given that it causes significant loss and downtime which is mainly damaging to a small and medium business.
Strategies to Enhance IT Security
- Automate and patch vulnerabilities to manage and protect your infrastructure
- Create a backup of your data both online and offline
- Deploy AV/AM solutions that help in endpoint detection and response.
- Ensure encryption and secure VPN access, filters and firewalls for networks that are used remotely.
- Ensure multi factor authentication
- Have an incident response plan in place should a phishing attempt be made your network can flag and show how it was dealt with
- Have a discussion with vendor parties about security measures they have put in place and provide a similar update to your customers as well.