Posted by Trevagh Stankard on Tue, Oct 4th, 2022
The increasing dependency on technology from accessing information at your fingertips, smart home automation, digital banking, online e-commerce, the Internet-of-Things and more, makes cybersecurity the need of the hour.
Globally cybercrimes are expected to rise by 15 percent over the next few years and cost businesses $10.5 trillion in losses annually by 2025. Managing cybersecurity risks has thus become a priority. Businesses, both big and small, can no longer afford to be complacent about cybersecurity and the sooner you start implementing the necessary measures, the better off your customers and clients will be.
Top Cybersecurity Risks Companies Faced in 2021
As companies worldwide tighten security measures, cybercriminals are only getting smarter and quicker. Several companies have had to pay a high price for not protecting their networks and data sufficiently.
In April 2021, hackers successfully compromised Colonial Pipeline’s IT systems to steal confidential data. They did that by infecting the company’s accounting and billing systems with the DarkSide ransomware.
Colonial Pipeline was forced to shut down several of its systems, as part of countermeasures. The company was also forced to pay millions of dollars in ransom in exchange for the decryption key.
In July of that same year, IT solutions developer Kaseya fell prey to a cyberattack, exposing thousands of its customers to ransomware infection. The company immediately took corrective measures, asking clients to temporarily shut down their software-as-a-service (SaaS) systems.
Kaseya also created a patch shortly after, preventing the attack from spreading further.
JBS, among the world’s largest meat processors, also suffered at the hands of cyber attackers last year. Threat actors infected their systems with the REvil or Sodinokibi ransomware which disrupted operations at their manufacturing plants. The company was forced to pay $11 million in bitcoin to mitigate the attack.
The Cost of Data Breaches
Organizations lose not just money to data breaches, but in many cases, they also have to cease operations to curb the spread of malware.
In 2021, data breaches cost companies $4.24 million, up from $3.86 million in 2020. Apart from money, cyberattacks also affected customer turnover as businesses missed out on opportunities due to prolonged system unavailability.
Health care was reportedly among the hardest hit, losing $9.23 million in 2021, up from $7.13 million in 2020.
In addition to financial losses, companies also stand to lose intellectual property during a data breach. Their reputation also takes a beating.
Risk Mitigation and Prevention
The costs associated with data breaches are avoidable if companies employ risk mitigation and prevention strategies like:
Staff need to be trained to identify and report suspicious and possibly fraudulent emails.
Employees should be trained to tell legitimate and illegitimate email addresses and links apart. Take them through the process of identifying emails with malicious embedded links or malware-laden attachments. Encourage them to make careful email scrutiny part of their work process.
Inculcating security awareness among employees is the best way to prevent threats from affecting your network.
2. Regular System Updates
Patching is a must.
Ensure your systems are regularly updated because cyber attackers are always looking for weak and exploitable links to get to their targets.
Consider hiring a managed security solutions provider, if you do not have a dedicated IT team to handle system updates.
3. Use Firewalls and Endpoint Protection Solutions
Putting up firewalls and installing security software on each connected device protects your entire network from data breaches. Solutions that detect known and unknown threats are the best since cyber attackers always enhance their attack tools to avoid blocking.
4. Limit System Access
Limiting access to systems containing confidential and valuable information can reduce a company’s chances of a data breach. The fewer people with access to the data, the fewer possible entry points cyber attackers have.
Always add strong passwords and unique credentials, especially those requiring two-factor authentication (2FA).
Security Awareness Matters
Did you know that phishing remained the second most prominent cause of data breaches in 2021? The tactic is quite old, and we’re all probably familiar with it now, yet many employees still fall for it.
Most often than not, staff can’t tell a phishing email from a legitimate one. However, concerns such as this are addressable through security awareness training. Be safe, not sorry. If you feel the urgent need to empower your team with security awareness, contact TitanHQ. Our elite cyber experts will be happy to help you and your team learn how to protect your brand and your assets.
Sign up for a FREE Demo of SafeTitan Security Awareness Training to learn how the solution works to empower employees to become a line of defense against security threats.
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