We’re close to the start of a new year, which means new priorities for businesses. Your plans should center around cybersecurity, especially since it looks like employees are likely to continue working remotely, possibly forever, at least in some capacity.
Security incidents can be your worst nightmare if you’re an IT professional. They also strike fear in employers, and they can wreak havoc on an entire organization, causing significant disruption.
Attacks by Hackers
Some IT scenarios can be more fear-inducing than others. Recently, JumpCloud conducted a survey. They looked at more than 1000 respondents from the U.S. and UK. During the survey, IT professionals were asked to rank scenarios on a scale of most to least scary.
The types of security incidents that caused the most fear among respondents are detailed below.
Data breaches, as of September 30, 2021, had already gone past the total number of breaches in 2020 by 17%.
Security breaches include both human error and foul play, which is why they’re tough to combat. In order to protect against security breaches, you need a holistic approach in place. A holistic approach to guard against a security breach means addressing employee security best practices, using the best security solutions, and equipping IT teams.
A good protection plan against a security breach is also always addressing vulnerabilities.
Around 88% of security breaches are caused by human error.
Clicking on one malicious link has cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for companies recently, and even that is lower than the average cost of a data breach.
You have to think about communicating with non-IT employees, who aren’t likely to give a lot of consideration to cybersecurity. IT teams need to be frequently communicating with these employees and enabling them to have what they need for best cybersecurity practices.
Luckily, according to the same JumpCloud research, nearly 82% of respondents said they frequently communicate with employees about best security practices.
Attacks by Hackers
The second-scariest scenario is hacker attacks. Hacker attacks are intentional and carried out by bad actors. They can take advantage of human error, but even when you do everything right and your team does as well, they can still occur.
Cybercrime operations tend to function like legitimate businesses. Cybercriminals will learn and grow their skills regularly. The COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid shift to remote work have let many cybercriminals take advantage of new opportunities and vulnerabilities.
To secure against hackers, you need to do more than just have antivirus software and a firewall in place.
Hacking is strategic, and you have to stay one step ahead, at a minimum, requiring updated and holistic security approaches.
You’re going to have to make sure you’re investing enough money and resources into the right security solutions.
There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach that will work here, although in general the best practice right now is Zero Trust.
Zero Trust security is an approach to cybersecurity that works well in a remote work world because it doesn’t secure a perimeter, which is no longer relevant. Zero Trust is optimized for a cloud-based environment and goes well beyond security relying on traditional username and password-based logins.
The philosophy of Zero Trust security is to trust nothing and verify everything.
Zero Trust uses multi-factor authentication (MFA) everywhere, for example. This makes it difficult for hackers. Even if they can penetrate your system, they cannot move laterally in a Zero Trust environment.
Ransomware is another anxiety-producing type of attack. Ransomware is when a hacker attacks and then blocks access to assets, holding them for ransom.
Ransomware attacks can be scary for a few reasons. First, the financial demands are usually high, and in 2021 they were up 518% on average. The average ransomware demand in 2021 was $5.3 million.
Ransomware attacks go after everyone. There are attacks on everything from government systems to small businesses. In fact, small businesses make up more than half of ransomware victims.
To safeguard against ransomware attacks, you need to not only have proactive strategies in place for protection, but you do need a plan in place as to what you’ll do if there is an attack.
Companies are increasingly using role-playing scenarios to figure out things like whether they’d pay the ransom and how employees will communicate with one another if ransomware limits application or device usage.
The above scenarios tend to reflect the reliance on a cloud-based infrastructure that we see in the modern world, as well as the large-scale remote work shift.