TheTechFools on December 15, 2020
Cyberattacks are perhaps the most devastating occurrences that could affect a business today – especially one with an online presence. Not limiting the scope to businesses alone, individuals, corporate organizations are not left out of the mix as they also face a fair share of these threats. Cyber threats, such as phishing, viruses, ransomware, distributed denial of service attacks, and many more, cause varying degrees of damages to small, medium, and large-scale enterprises.
Cybersecurity vs. Cyber resilience
Given that every individual and organization must have experienced a cyberattack at least once, they should have also come across the term Cybersecurity. Cybersecurity is often described as an individual or organization’s ability to put systems in place to prevent a cyberattack. While this is widely spoken of, it would be impractical to not prepare for an unfortunate eventuality if the defense mechanisms put in place to counter these attacks fail. This is where cyber resilience comes in.
On the other hand, cyber resilience describes the ability of a company to continue operations even after a successful attack on its systems. This concept brings together business continuity areas, organizational strength, and business continuity to ensure that if malicious and non-adversarial threats materialize, essential business processes can still proceed without interruption.
A practical way to look at this concept is to accept that no system can be 100% secure, and there should be strategies in place to minimize the effect of the damage caused by any attack.
Top Cyber risks faced by Individuals and Companies
Having a decent understanding of the potential threats is just as important as knowing how to stop them. Explained below are a few cyber risks faced by companies and individuals:
1. Phishing Attack: Topping the list is this biggest and voracious threat faced by all and sundry. Statistics say 9 out of 10 organizational breaches are caused by phishing, and the frequency of these attacks has increased by 65% over the past year.
Phishing attacks are often facilitated by human errors where a malicious actor poses as a trusted contact, tricking an employee into clicking a malicious link or downloading a corrupted file. Other times, the victims are tricked into giving out sensitive account details – financial or otherwise.
2. Malware Attack: Ranging from viruses to worms, spyware, Trojans, etc., this malicious software comes in various forms and can constitute varying degrees of damage to the victim organization. These malicious programs can gain access to the network, steal data, and destroy data and devices on the infected network.
3. Ransomware Attack: Ransomware attacks have become quite popular and lucrative for malicious actors over the past couple of years. This form of attack goes after the company’s data, encrypts them, and makes them unusable to the administrators. To regain access to their files, the company must pay some form of ransom to the attacker before a decryption tool/key is provided.
Preventing Cyberattacks though Cybersecurity Measures
Preventing these kinds of attacks fall under cybersecurity measures. Some of these are:
- Use Encryption Tools: Encryption tools such as VPN and encrypted disks can also help keep unauthorized entities out of the network and its files. Asides from this, VPNs also encrypt network data as they travel from one point to the other, preventing malicious actors from stealing sensitive information off the network.
- Staff Training: It has and should be standard practice in organizations where the employees are continually educated on the dos and don’ts while using the company network. This, of course, should also extend to personal networks to achieve safer cyberspace. Some of these rules should include avoiding suspicious links and websites, staying away from public networks, etc.
- Regularly Update System Software: A good rule of thumb would be to keep all software – antivirus, operating system, firewall, etc. up to date. This would help keep all parts of the system abreast with the vendors’ latest security offerings.
Achieving a Strong Cyber Resilience Program
Similar to the idea of continuous improvement in management theory, the pathway towards developing and executing a cyber-resilient program can be done by effecting little changes in the organization as time goes on. There are, however, six crucial factors to note in achieving a stellar cyber resilient program, and they are outlined below:
- Detection of breaches early enough;
- Containment of attacks through automation;
- Continuous cyber sanitation;
- Resilient culture across all members of the organization.
Unlike cybersecurity measures, a cyber-resilient program is a continuous effort taken to put the proper infrastructure in place and condition the human resources and infrastructure to behave in a manner that ensures hygienic cyberspace.
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