CEO of DKBinnovativea leading managed IT services company that provides secure, reliable solutions to small and medium-sized businesses around the world.
On our computers, cell phones and bright devices, a war rages quietly in the background. Bytes of information are moved from device to device, wreaking havoc on government infrastructure, business information security and individual access to information.
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has urged US companies and individuals to focus on: cyber resilience† The CISA and each MSSP are encouraging US companies to create a plan to respond to disruptive cyber threats.
Here are just a few things businesses should keep in mind when it comes to cybersecurity:
Bytes can injure a company and then destroy those who depend on them.
The infrastructure has been affected in the past and caused problems for the American people. In 2021, a Russia-affiliated cybercrime group known as DarkSide attacked the colonial pipeline with ransomware and gas production shut down for three days. Americans waited in long lines for the gas Colonial pumped into gas stations and businesses. Colonial paid a $4.4 million ransom to turn the gas back on and prevent 100GB of stolen data from leaking. All of this happened because of one compromised password accessing the VPN.
Cyber criminals can trick companies into thinking something is true when it isn’t.
Fake video content is quickly becoming a source of misinformation on the Internet. In the past, hackers have used artificial intelligence-based software to mimic the voices of CEOs telling their employees to approve fraudulent money transfers. International news channels have been hacked and broadcast links to deep fake leadership videos. News spreads quickly and this use of video content to spread misinformation is dangerous. Hackers will learn from past mistakes and get better.
Anything connected becomes a threat to a business.
The power of the Internet of Things (IoT) is that it quickly and systematically connects systems and people. If not properly secured, that strength also makes it a target for international hackers. IoT devices can be targeted within the first five minutes of booting, and once inside an unsecured device, hackers can gain access to the network it’s connected to. Within minutes, a cybercriminal can put a business at risk.
Cyber attacks have long-lasting consequences.
I have found that it is not uncommon for companies to spend up to 25% percent of their IT budget on cybersecurity due to the increasing cyberthreats at home and abroad. The average cost of a cyberattack on a business is about $4.24 million, according to the Ponemon Institute Cost of a data breach report 2022† this includes downtime, personnel costs, device costs, network costs and higher insurance premiums. It is also a strategic attack to cripple businesses of all sizes.
There is not only an impact on business, but also on the people of this world.
Human trafficking, child pornography and other illegal activities have moved from dark alleys to home computer screens. This creates a large wave of cyber criminals and users, and many innocent victims are exploited by the system. When we protect our information in both businesses and homes, we make sure we don’t give access to people who would exploit the most vulnerable of us.
Organizations must work together to actively fight cyber-attacks and prosecute the criminals behind the attacks. Companies can protect themselves by joining a cybersecurity framework such as CIS (Center for Internet Security) or NIST CSF (National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework). Good cyber hygiene includes implementing multi-factor authentication, ensuring backups are air-gapped, moving from an outdated antivirus to endpoint detection and response, training employees in email phishing, and ensuring that all critical data is encrypted. When it comes to protecting a company from international attacks, there must be an email filtering solution and the company must actively block all information coming from known cyber threat locations.
We are becoming more sophisticated in identifying security threats and individuals are becoming more cautious online, but we all need to be aware that the threat is increasing and will only become more sophisticated and expensive in the future.
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