Although advancements in the field of technology are resulting in improved efficiency and performances of organizations, there are a few challenges that come with adopting these more effective methods. Cybersecurity is the most at risk amongst these challenges.
With added access to an organization’s operations and records through the means of online connectivity, cybercriminals have expanded their attacks well beyond the typical identity theft or online account hacking. This has resulted in a threat not just to organizations but also to homes, infrastructure, and even extending to any medical devices present in our bodies.
A variety of digital technologies have been created and evolved, which have served to both protect organizations from attacks as well as be the means through which attacks are conducted on them. These technologies include Artificial Intelligence (AI), automated botnets, the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing.
As if this wasn’t enough, new types of malware have emerged, which are threatening to increase the cybersecurity risk faced by companies. These include automated phishing tools and crypto mining software combined with emerging technologies.
In order to ensure protection from such attacks and minimize any damage should an attack still occur, organizations are urged to review and update their cybersecurity measures to be compliant with any future attacks of such magnitudes.
Where has this trend had an impact?
There have been numerous incidents where organizations have suffered heavy losses both financially and non financially due to their cybersecurity systems being breached. A few examples include:
- A software company fell victim to a dangerous malware attack that scrambled the hard drives of their computer systems, causing a stop in their order receiving and processing systems. This resulted in the company suffering losses amounting to millions of dollars in revenue.
- A financial services firm suffered heavy economic losses as a result of a software glitch in its high-frequency trading algorithm, which caused the company to sell overvalued shares back into the market at a lower price automatically.
- It has been identified by security researchers that hackers possess the tools to monitor and alter a patient’s vital signs remotely, causing the hospital’s medical staff to make incorrect and potentially fatal decisions which can lead to harm or even death to the patients.
What does this mean for organizations?
These incidents showcase that there are several challenges facing organizations when it comes to cybersecurity:
- There is a difficulty in coordination and addressing cybersecurity risks by senior executives as this role is distributed among lower-level IT professionals and technology service providers.
- Malware is more challenging to identify as it adapts to the behavior of the user in order to avoid being detected.
- In addition to online systems, physical systems are also threatened when attacks occur.
- There is an increased quantity of attacks occurring through AI and automation technologies delivered via the cloud.
How can organizations respond?
Despite feeling like they are helpless to attacks on their systems, there are a few actions that can be undertaken by organizations to prevent such attacks:
- Establish clearly defined roles and accountability to create a culture of risk intelligence and cybersecurity awareness.
- Adopt new security protocols and processes as they become available in order to improve cybersecurity.
- Have contingency plans and crisis management training sessions to familiarize employees with what to do should an actual cyberattack occur.