With the sophistication of technology rising at a progressively rapid rate, cyber security breaches have become increasingly alarming. 2021 started off with a plethora of cyber security threats, and the second half of the year began, more threats began to emerge, putting companies on edge. By the middle of the year, the number of data breaches had already surpassed those of 2020, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. Even more harrowing, the increase in breaches not only includes the amount, but the quality of data being hacked into. With these rapidly progressing breaches, Ransomeware costs are expected to reach $265 billion by 2031 while hackers improve their malware payloads.
No Business is Safe From Cyber Attacks:
Alarmingly, no company appears safe from these threats. Just this year alone, companies who have suffered through major cyber-attacks include: Microsoft Exchange Server, AXA, Kia Motors, Quanta, CNA Insurance, NBA, HSE, and Brenntag among many others. These high profile breaches have evidenced the vulnerabilities of even large conglomerates. On average, only 5% of companies’ folders are properly protected.
Necessary Steps to Face Cyber Attacks:
Now more than ever, companies, large and small, need to make cyber security a business priority. They need to know how to identify an attack as well as how to respond to one. Business owners need to have crucial discussions with their employees about the risks of cyber-attacks and present a plan of response in the event of one.
On top of organizing a security plan, businesses should install security software and keep everything up to date. All updates should be addressed immediately. Strong passwords should always be used. With the pandemic and the rise of remote working, more and more employees have resorted to using personal and easy to hack passwords. Companies should enforce the use of work passwords in order to protect data.
Employers and employees should know how to identify suspicious activity. Phishing has made up 57% of cyber-attacks and come from emails and now even social media direct messages and text messages.
One element deemed essential by business and insurance leaders is cyber insurance. With the rise of attacks, the lack of cyber insurance is no longer something that companies can risk. In the event of an attack, insurance may be able to retrieve lost data and cover financial losses.
Running a company in the ever maturing digital age can be daunting and honestly terrifying. But doing the research, staying up to date, and taking the appropriate steps towards protecting data is a crucial part of staying safe from attacks.