All successful companies have already experienced cyber attacks more than once and developed measures to protect their business from cybercriminals. But those measures could be both successful and not so. Those companies hold their ground because they invested enough money in protection. According to the Cybersecurity Ventures report, global cybercrime costs will grow 15 percent annually over the next five years, reaching $ 10.5 trillion by 2025, apart from $ 3 trillion in 2015.
Although companies spend more and more on their cyber protection every year, the number of cyberattacks continues to grow with the COVID-19 outbreak. The enormous rise in virtual interactions such as WFH (working from home) and online shopping has turned corporate networks and websites into an attractive target for cybercrime. Theft of technologies and confidential information, downtime at enterprises, and a decrease in the quality of their products and services led not only to profit losses but also to a drop in customers, partners, and investors’ trust.
The most common data breaches types
Cybercriminals attack personal computers and smartphones, steal access to financial and email accounts, and gain access to instant messengers, and company websites.
Verizon’s report states that 86% of cyberattacks were financially motivated: cybercriminals directly squeeze money from the victim or carry out a third-party order from unscrupulous competitors or other haters.
A growing number of small and medium-sized businesses use cloud and web-based applications and tools in their everyday workflows. And that makes them prime targets for cybercriminals. The 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report shows that:
- Phishing is the biggest threat to small organizations, accounting for over 30% of hacks. The second and third places took using stolen credentials (27%) and password dumpers (16%).
- Attackers used credentials, personal information, and other internal business data such as EMR (Electronic Medical Records), commercially sensitive or billing information.
- More than 20% of attacks target web applications using stolen credentials.
The reason for the vulnerability of small and mid-sized businesses is that their owners often begin to build their protection only after the fact of an attack and not in advance.
The diagram shows the current data by the type of cyberattacks that took place in February 2021 (Source: February 2021 Cyber Attacks Statistics)
This data demonstrates that it is time to move the basic understanding of cybersecurity from the professional field of IT specialists to the field of general knowledge. Each employee of the company must have a comprehension of the existing threats. And the CXO who is responsible for company strategy should be at least aware.
What should a company do when a cyberattack has already hit?
Elimination of the consequences can be difficult and costly even if it’s feasible and expedient. Also, it’s not always possible to recover from the product, service, and reputation damage caused to the company.
Incident analysis is the first step towards counteraction and protection, even in case the company has already become a victim of cybercriminals. After understanding what the company or its employees/owners are facing, cybersecurity specialists will have the opportunity to develop and implement a set of measures to reduce the damage caused by the attack and protect the company from subsequent cyber threats.
Still, the best solution is not waiting for the cyber strike, but to prepare in advance and protect the company by following these steps:
- Implement best practices for cybersecurity management
- Develop a cybersecurity strategy
- Build resilient IT infrastructure
- Implement technical measures of information protection
- Constantly monitor network security and password strength
- Use login security such as 2FA
- Train company employees in the basics of cybersecurity
- Use Threat Intelligence Feeds
- Use licensed software
- Don’t forget about Patch Management
- Minimize the use of third-party applications on mobile devices
- Find competent employees or contractors to implement and control all of the above
Applying the above, a company can protect its business at a basic level from most cyber threats.
There is never too much protection. Select the best tools, solutions, and specialists only. Threats do not remain the same – they evolve. So we should not forget that cybercriminals use artificial intelligence and employ social engineering methods in recent years. The staff of a small or mid-sized company most likely won’t be able to handle such sophisticated threats. They will need the help of a qualified cybersecurity team.
Feel free to schedule a consultation with our cybersecurity experts now, and be prepared to protect your business every day!