Cybercrime is the buzzword in the digital world and one of the hottest topics nowadays. Not a week passes without security hitting headlines describing a major cyber-attack or some new strain of malware being used to attack businesses around the world.
With more connected devices, connected people and connected things everything and everyone getting hacked. As the 21st century progresses we are witnessing a more proliferating and sophisticated security threats than ever before.
What made the cyber security more challenging is the emergence of new services and apps, cloud and cognitive technologies, and the Internet of Things, (IoT). These innovations have also made it possible for business and consumers alike to streamline their operations and carry out complex processes through their network. For companies, these technologies have become central to their everyday operations, and a breach in security poses grave threat to their business.
The brilliant thing about connected technologies is that it helps to make life easier and more fun. With gadgets, gizmos, and wearables, people have become more accustomed to a more streamlined way of life. Computers and smart technologies are gaining a more protagonist role in society. Yet, thanks to today’s cyber criminals, such important tools became more potential access points for hackers to inflict grave damage.
Similarly, in order to meet customer expectations and provide better services businesses are relying heavily on connected technology and third parties. As a result, the number of target points for cyber threat actors is rapidly increasing as connected infrastructures and use of third-party service providers proliferates.
According to experts cyber threats had evolved swiftly from viruses and “nuisance” attacks in the early 2000s to sophisticated malware and advanced denial of service, and could pose the risk of severely destructive attacks by 2020.
The noteworthy feature of today’s cyber threats is that they are silent and invisible. Using custom codes without a signature they can hijack an organization or destroy it completely. The recent high-profile WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks are symptomatic of how just and how serious cybercrime has become, affecting nations and critical infrastructure with massive consequences.
Recognizing this new reality, a recent whitepaper released by BT-KPMG, calls organizations to move beyond the jargon and understand the real risks of the digital world.
Urging them to treat cyber security as a journey and not a destination, the paper said organizations who will be able to defend themselves more successfully during a significant attack will be those that treat cyber security as a journey and not a destination – something which cannot be ‘fixed’. It describes five stages to the maturity journey: denial, worry, false confidence, hard lessons, and true leadership. Of course, you’ll wrestle with different problems at each stage. The paper also looks at the practical steps businesses go through on their journey towards managing the risks.
It further iterates that attacks like WannaCry, could have been avoidable had companies updated their computers and set up their firewalls as tightly as they should have. It became a real crisis for those with outdated, unsupported operating systems.
Regulators across the world are also actively introducing new measures to address the increasing risks. Last year in January, the US Securities and Exchange Commission had announced cybersecurity as a top focus area for 2016 and beyond.
India now recognize cyber security as a “strategic domain” and devise strategies aimed at deepening cooperation at the international level as the country face increasingly sophisticated “destructive” cyber threats.
The landscape of software attacks is both evolving and growing rapidly and there’s no absolute immunity to anybody. This calls for new tactics in the enterprise to meet the enduring challenges. The security environment must advance in tandem with the evolving threat landscape.
Organizations must focus on innovation, and maintain a sustainable risk position against the evolving threat landscape. That’s the task we have at hand to save the digital world from cyber criminals.
Mridul Srivastava, head of Marketing and Portfolio, BT in India