Maybe your organization has been the victim of a supply chain attack, or saw one of your major suppliers shut down by one. Maybe hackers found a new and novel way to squirm into your systems. Or maybe you found yourself on the receiving end of a politically motivated ransomware attack.
Whatever sort of run-in you have had with cyber risk (or, if you are very lucky, have not had), the global cybersecurity landscape is an ever-changing beast, and it’s only expected to grow more complex.
Being informed of the latest developments and threats on the horizon is the best way to ensure you’re staying on top of the cyber risks facing your organization. Keep an eye on these three big trends changing the face of cybersecurity as we know it.
1. Geopolitical issues threatened international cybersecurity
Geopolitical tensions are arguably higher than at any point since the Cold War, but the technology used to wage conflict has changed significantly. The world’s powers now have access to advanced cyberwarfare capabilities—and so do some non-governmental actors and hacker groups.
This trend was on full display after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which resulted in not only a grueling armed conflict, but also saw widespread use of cyberwarfare tactics on both sides and a tidal wave of politically-motivated cyberattacks by third-party actors.
With soaring inflation and a potential recession on the horizon forcing many organizations to look for ways to cut costs and do more with less, this trend could not have emerged at a worse time.
3. Attackers exploited IoT devices
Cybercriminals have realized how easy it is to exploit Internet of Things (IoT) devices, especially those with out-of-date firmware and poor security capabilities. And to make matters worse, these devices are quickly becoming ubiquitous. Everything from your office printer to the smart fridge in your breakroom to an employee’s Fitbit could lead to an attack without the proper precautions.
The issue is that many organizations rely on IoT devices to do better business, but managing and updating these devices is challenging. Organizations have realized they needed to inventory their IoT devices to protect them against exploits, making IT’s job more complex.
Tips to prepare for a changing cybersecurity landscape
Cyberattacks have become more common, complex, and expensive, but that doesn’t mean all is lost. Organizations can stay one step ahead of scammers, fraudsters, and criminals with these four tips.
1. Invest in cyber insurance
If your business hasn’t experienced a cyberattack yet, it probably will soon. That’s just the reality of the ever-increasing volume of attacks and constant (malicious) innovations made by threat actors. And because attacks are getting more expensive to address, these events are also going to cause huge financial headaches for many firms and organizations.
If you can’t afford the price tag that comes with a cyberattack or other cyber incident, it’s a good idea to get cyber insurance. Jump in sooner rather than later because cyber insurance rates are expected to increase across the board in tandem with the frequency of attacks.
A single ransomware attack can cause you to lose an immense amount of sensitive data. If you choose not to pay the ransom (which is what experts recommend, so as not to encourage even more ransomware activity), you need to be prepared for an attacker to destroy your data. That’s why performing regular backups is essential before you experience a ransomware attack or data breach.
While there’s nothing wrong with cloud backups, your information technology team should also complete offline backups. They may take time and require physical storage, but cybercriminals will have a much harder time getting their hands on offline hard drives. In fact, a single offline device ended up helping Maersk get their operations back online after the NotPetya cyberattack crippled their business in 2017.
Your security is only as solid as the weakest link in the chain, including all of the third parties with access to your systems. This “extended enterprise” might help you save time and money in other ways, but it’s definitely a security risk this year. Target famously experienced a major data breach because an HVAC contractor with access to their systems became compromised.
Now is when you can start to require vendors to follow your cybersecurity protocols and implement proper access management to ensure they don’t have more access to your systems than is necessary.
4. Create an all-in-one portal for cybersecurity, GRC, and ESG
Geopolitical issues aren’t going away anytime soon, and cyberattacks will continue to rise in cost and complexity. You can’t stop all cyberattacks, but you can move forward with greater peace of mind this year by following these simple steps.