As a society, we have embraced digitization in almost all aspects of our daily lives—to stay connected and informed, communicate with our near and dear ones, work remotely, and even buy and sell stuff.
There is increasing adoption of innovative technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and IoT. As a result, a significant amount of our confidential personal information, financial data, healthcare information is now stored on computers, transmitted across networks, and shared online by banks, healthcare institutions, e-commerce websites, and many other businesses. While digital technologies have provided much ease and convenience in our daily lives, they also make us more vulnerable to cyber threats than ever before.
"We are vulnerable in our military and our government, but I think we are most vulnerable in cyber attacks commercially. This challenge is going to significantly increase, it is not going to go away."
- Michael Mullen (Former United States Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Public and private organizations are storing unprecedented amounts of data on computers and other devices.
No organization, however big or small, is safe from cyber attacks. All organizations using digital and cloud-based technologies must fiercely guard and protect electronic information from cyber criminals and cyber attacks.
What exactly is a cyber attack?
Tech Target defines a cyber attack as a deliberate attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer, computing system, or computer network with the intent to cause damage. A cyber attack can be launched from anywhere, by an individual or group, using one or more attack strategies. The objective of cyber attacks is to disable, disrupt, destroy and control computer systems to alter, block, delete, manipulate or steal the data held within these systems.
Challenges with cyber security: Is your business prepared?
Different kinds of cyber threats emanate from various sources like cloud, mobile, data, endpoint, network, and application security.
Cyber security is the practice of protecting critical systems, networks, programs, and sensitive information from digital attacks.
Why do cyber attacks take place?
Cyber attacks are not new. They have been around since the 1980s when the first Trojan virus was launched. What is the motivation or intention behind these attacks?
Cyber attacks may have various motives, including financial gains, political edge, or even personal vendetta. Unethical hackers launch cyber attacks to exploit the vulnerabilities of organizations and showcase their knowledge and hacking capabilities. Cyber criminals do so for gaining access to valuable personal or financial data that can be used for online thefts. Terrorist groups are known to launch cyber attacks that threaten national security. Company insiders with legitimate access often steal information for personal monetary gains. Corporate spies carry out cyber attacks to steal the trade secrets of competitors.
Attackers may use one or more or a combination of techniques to identify vulnerabilities that will allow them to break into the systems.
What is the impact of a cyber attack?
Cyber attacks can take down a website, disable a payment system, crash servers, alter, delete, insert and steal private and confidential data from the systems and severely impact business. The most significant harm is that it dents the organization's reputation. An organization that falls prey to cyber attacks may have to pay hefty penalties for not complying with cyber security compliances. The resultant lawsuits can have severe financial implications. The organization then has to make monumental efforts to ensure business continuity and repair the damage to its reputation.
See how vicious cyber attacks caused severe damage to some big brands:
Uber: In 2017, hackers stole the names, home addresses, phone and email addresses of about 50 million people using Uber services and drivers' licenses and other information of 7 million Uber drivers. What's worse, in an attempt to cover this up, Uber infamously paid the hackers to delete the data and conceal the breach.
Marriott: In 2018, Marriott Hotels' Starwood database was hacked, and the personal details of 500 million Marriott guests were compromised. Marriott was slapped with a fine of USD 123 million for being unable to protect customer data. The stunning aspect of this cyber crime was that the attack purportedly started years earlier, in 2014!
Cyber security: Protection from ever-evolving cyber threats
"As cyber threats evolve, we need to evolve as well."
—Christopher A Wray, Director FBI
A cyber security framework provides guidelines for implementing best practices to manage an organization’s cyber security risks. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued guidelines in its risk assessment framework that recommend a shift toward continuous monitoring and real-time assessments, a data-focused approach to security instead of the traditional perimeter-based model.
Historically organizations and the government have focused chiefly on perimeter security to protect only the most crucial system components. Today, this approach is insufficient as threats advance. As a result, service providers like SecureIT promote more proactive and adaptive approaches to cyber security to protect the company's IT infrastructure and digital assets.
A good cyber security framework provides multi-layer protection for data and networks with continuous monitoring for real-time threat detection to prevent an attacker from entering your network.
An effective cyber security program helps organizations disrupt attacks as they occur, reduces recovery time, and contains future threats. It also ensures regulatory compliance, improves confidence in the company's reputation, and builds trust.
SecureIT: Your trusted cyber security services provider
With these ever-evolving security challenges, you need cyber security expertise and best-in-class technology to tackle sophisticated hackers. There is a severe shortage of skilled resources – that's why there is a need for dedicated cyber security services such as those from SecureIT.
You need real-time threat detection and proactive prevention that blocks the entry of malicious traffic into your network.
Talk to SecureIT to mitigate all your dynamic challenges emerging from cyber attacks with our dedicated cyber security solutions that proactively protect your assets from cyber attacks.