This month is Cyber Security Awareness Month – so we are looking at the state of cybercrime in 2019.
The conversation about cybercrime has kind of become white noise, right? There are so many scams, hacks, and major data breaches that it’s hard to stay engaged.
Let’s keep it simple, and stick to the data – like the fact that the global cybercrime industry will cause up to $6 trillion in damages in just a few years.
How? Just consider the rate at which attacks are occurring…
Landmark Cybercrime In 2019 (So Far)
iPhone Vulnerabilities Exposed
In August, Google published research showing that an iPhone-based cyber-attack has been going on for the past two years at least. The largest iPhone attack in history, this long-term cybercrime effort has been infecting iOS users with malware that steals their private data, including:
- Encrypted messages
The same month, another Google Project researcher published an article all about how iPhone software can be penetrated to give hackers remote access, even though none of it operates as conventional “server side” code.
Ransomware On The Rise
In May, the city of Baltimore was hit with ransomware that made their server’s inaccessible. They refused to pay the ransom, which kept their systems offline for weeks – in the meantime, they attempted to “rebuild certain systems”, according to Mayor Jack Young.
Baltimore joins the growing number of municipalities hit by ransomware this year – all of which, after the attack, invest considerable resources in investigating the source of the incident.
22 different organizations in Texas, many of which are local government agencies, were just infected with ransomware in August as well.
Cybersecurity Expertise In High Demand
“The shortage of skilled security professionals has been a perennial problem that consistently results in failed security technology deployments. The number of unfilled cybersecurity roles is expected to grow from 1 million in 2018 to 1.5 million by the end of 2020.”
Furthermore, recent polling performed on behalf of Tripwire found even more troubling evidence:
- 93% of polled IT security professionals say the skills required to be a great security professional have changed over the past few years, which is making it harder to find properly skilled cybersecurity professionals.
- 85% report their security teams are already understaffed, and only 1% believe they can manage all of their organization’s cybersecurity needs when facing a shortage of skilled workers.
- 96% say they are either currently facing difficulty in staffing security teams due to the skills gap or can see it coming.
What Should You Be Watching Out For?
- Phishing Targeting Your Business
The average phishing attack costs businesses $1.6 million – can you afford to pay that price because one of your staff members can’t recognize a phishing email?
- CEO Fraud
CEO Fraud has quickly become one of the most popular ways for cybercriminals to make money – not too long ago, a Canadian University paid out more than $11 million due to CEO Fraud.
- Sale Of Your Data Online
Did you know that your SNN could be for sale for as much as $45 on the dark web right now?
How Can You Protect Yourself?
The first step is to actually pay attention – did you know it takes most businesses up to 6 months to find out that they’ve experienced a data breach?
Beyond that, follow these three key tips to boost your cybersecurity:
- Enlist Your Staff’s Help
Train your staff to ask themselves these key questions before opening an email:
- Do I know the sender of this email?
- Does it make sense that it was sent to me?
- Can I verify that the attached link or PDF is safe?
- Does the email threaten to close my accounts or cancel my cards if I don’t provide information?
- Is this email really from someone I trust or does it just look like someone I trust? What can I do to verify?
- Does anything seem “off” about this email, its contents or sender?
- Back Up Your Data
If you have you have a data backup solution, then it doesn’t matter if your data has been encrypted by ransomware. You can just replace it with your backup, simple as that.
That’s why you should make a considerable investment in a comprehensive backup data recovery solution so that you can restore your data at a moment’s notice when necessary.
Be sure to:
- Back up data on a regular basis (at least daily).
- Inspect your backups to verify that they maintain their integrity.
- Secure your backups and keep them independent from the networks and computers they are backing up.
- Work With An Expert
When you’re not sure if you have the skills or knowledge to get the job done, what can you do? Consult with cybersecurity professionals.
What Do Cyber Security Professionals Do?
The cybersecurity professional’s job is to manage your cybersecurity, simple as that. Instead of needing an employee or internal team to keep your tech and data secure, you let someone else with the skills and knowledge do it for you:
- Cybersecurity professionals perform regular vulnerability testing as per industry standards to ensure you aren’t dealing with overlooked cybersecurity weaknesses.
- Cybersecurity professionals help you plan and achieve a secure environment to work in.
- Cybersecurity professionals provide ongoing service and support for any security-related concerns you may have.
Like this article? Check out the following blogs to learn more: