The rapid evolution of technology and the Internet, as well as cyberthreats and its potential impacts, are always side-by-side. Although the adoption of emerging technologies has allowed immense efficiency in organizations, dynamic cybersecurity challenges are as it is – inevitable. Cyberthreats are no longer just account hacks and identity thefts – as our world paces faster towards an era of all things connected, cyberthreats also impact our code-enabled physical world. With all the smart devices that we have integrated into our lives, cyberthreats may just be the ultimate pull-back on the utopia that digital technologies can promise.
What is a cyberthreat?
A cyberthreat is a malicious assault launched by cybercriminals to breach the information system of an individual or an organization, often seeking benefit from inciting a network disruption. Such attempts can disable devices, steal data, or invade a breached device as an ignition point for other attacks. In a broad sense, the intent of cyberthreats can be either one: disabling the target device/network, or gaining access to the target’s device/network to gain admin privileges over it.
Some cybercriminals also bear ulterior motives in their attacks, destroying systems and data as a form of “hacktivism” – a common term among its supporters, aside from “cyberwarfare”, which has been gaining more popularity and attention from nation-states.
Types of cyberthreats
From phishing and malware to crypto-jacking, in 2019 the cybersecurity landscape witnessed cyberthreats that preceded its own fashion, serving organizations everywhere a cautious reminder that as much as cybersecurity and protective practices have evolved to become more advanced, such threats are dynamic – they always catch up.
Source: Check Point Cyber Security Report 2020
The fall on businesses, and rising above it
Security risks surrounding smart devices spread and shapeshift quickly. In an all-things-connected world, therefore, the lack of security awareness will no longer deem cyberthreats as a matter of “if”, but rather “when” – a gruesome reminder that businesses should not downgrade a fundamental aspect as a mere afterthought. Are we ready? Its fall on organizations, as reported by Deloitte (2019) in Future of Risk in The Digital Era, can be seen in various aspects:
- Increased complexity in tackling cybersecurity risks as cyberthreats become more sophisticated following the adoption of digital technologies that increase the potential of attacks.
- Invisibility of cyber risks due to the cybersecurity skill gap in organizations, as its management is typically delegated among lower-level IT professionals and service providers.
- Infliction of physical safety in such cases where physical systems (home automation, industrial infrastructure) are compromised by automated attacks.
- Identifying threats becomes harder as intelligent malware with passable mimicry of normal user behaviour easily avoids being detected.
- Higher occurrences of large-scale intelligent attacks powered by AI and automation technologies via the cloud.
In response to the ever-shifting cyberthreat landscape, there are several countermeasures that organizations can take:
- Establish a cyber-minded, risk-smart culture through comprehensive security awareness – especially in organizations with digital transformation underway, grounding security-related roles and accountability is crucial.
- Reframe processes to support DevSecOps, establishing a ‘Security as Code’ culture that is integral to the development process within an agile framework.
- Magnify existing cyber risk programs to monitor and eliminate the risks to newly deployed technologies, as well as the dynamic nature of cyberthreats powered by emerging technologies.
- Accelerate the adoption of digital technology as a way to simplify, hence making risk protection simpler and reducing the number of vulnerabilities.
- Direct crisis simulations or wargaming exercises to train involved personnel in real crises to increase confidence in addressing cyber risks and events in real-time.
- Improve the automation of security functions, digital identity management and secure code reviews as means to minimize human errors, limit escalating costs, and expedite detection and response.
IX and Cybersecurity: You’re in safe hands!
The complete interconnectivity that we have in the present digital world opens doors to a whole new pitch ground of vulnerabilities, but cyberthreats should not be the ultimate downfall for organizations. If anything, it’s preventable! Armed with the latest technologies up our forte, IX Telecom offers a premium suite of cybersecurity solutions to protect and ultimately safeguard your business to become more resilient against the ever-changing landscape of cyberthreats. Don’t fall victim to the vast playing field of cybercrime – stay protected, and do your business right with IX.