How your business can combat cybersecurity breaches

By Scott Steinberg

Security-related incidents are growing at an alarming rate — over 38 percent more were detected in 2016 than in the 12 months prior, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). What’s more, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center, over 169 million personal records were exposed in this same period due to cybersecurity breaches, costing corporations an average of USD 154 per record and totaling billions in losses. It’s no small wonder that PwC reported nearly half of America’s CEOs say they’re extremely concerned about these types of threats, especially as more and more data and information shifts to mobile devices and the cloud. Needless to say, in tomorrow’s business world, cybercriminals will only aim to concentrate more attacks on digital and online platforms — attacks enterprises will increasingly need to work to get out in front of and combat.

Increasing connectivity

Case in point: According to Gartner, there will be 21 billion electronic devices connected online in 2020. Naturally, myriad mobile devices capable of collecting data on everything from contact information to personal buying habits will number among them. What’s more, nearly 5.5 million new devices are connecting to the cloud with each passing day, making cybersecurity an increasingly pressing topic for enterprises of every kind. All the prospective data being collected — which can include a range of sensitive material from financial information to healthcare details — presents a treasure trove of valuable material to mine for cybercriminals. Furthermore, the more devices that are connected to the cloud, the more potential points of failure they have to exploit — and potential ways they have to exploit them.

Cloud-based data storage

Cloud-based services and storage banks leave data within reach of cybercriminals because all it takes to access them is an internet connection. As these internet-based solutions are software-based and prone to frequent updates, it makes them far more prone to exhibiting flaws, glitches and technical hiccups that cybercriminals can exploit on a routine basis. In fact, in its 2016 Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec noted that in 2015, the number of zero-day vulnerabilities discovered by experts jumped 125 percent, with new flaws found each week. As you might imagine, the more tomorrow’s enterprise becomes mobile and virtualized and the more that sensitive data and day-to-day operations shift to the cloud, the more tempting a target online solutions and apps will present. Happily, at the same time these threats are growing, so too are a growing range of providers offering enterprises and enterprise leaders a way to fight back.

Keep in mind that cybercriminals may be motivated to compromise your business’s cybersecurity for a number of reasons, such as the following:

  • Profit: Gaining from the valuable, sensitive and highly confidential information they obtain.
  • Malice: Looking to inflict harm on systems, processes, businesses and brands and/or cause the temporary or permanent shutdown of operations.
  • Mischief: Enjoying the illicit thrills some gain from compromising safety measures or circumventing legal channels.
  • Espionage: Aiming to steal your business’s sources of competitive advantage or pilfer its most precious secrets.

Dealing with future threats

However, being aware of these threats and taking active steps to put safeguards and emergency backup plans in place up front is the first step toward effectively fighting this battle. Tools and platforms for effectively combating the rise in cloud- and mobile-based threats are becoming increasingly cost-affordable and efficient to implement. Training and preparation are key to staying on top of an ever-changing range of security-related challenges and threats. The more your enterprise plans and prepares to greet these issues going forward, the better equipped it will be to handle whatever cybercriminals choose to throw at it.

Granted, the battle between cybercriminals and cybersecurity pros will always be an ongoing arms race. Rather than a single preventative measure, myriad solutions must be utilized and regularly updated to address the threat. However, for enterprise leaders hoping to keep operations running smoothly and keep sensitive data out of the hands of unwanted parties, it’s worth examining how they are prepared to combat cybersecurity breaches.

Image by: iStock

Written By

Scott Steinberg

Keynote Speaker and Bestselling Author

Award-winning professional speaker, Scott Steinberg, is a bestselling expert on leadership and innovation, and the author of Make Change Work for You: 10 Ways to Future-Proof Yourself, Fearlessly Innovate, and Succeed Despite Uncertainty. Among today’s top-rated international speakers…

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