Like any other person, you like to think that you have taken the necessary precautions and are immune to cyber attacks. Think again. With nearly one million malware threats in a day, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the next system being attacked could be yours. Add to that the woes of over a million attempted cyber attacks on individuals and businesses each day! Still, think you’ve done enough to guarantee the safety of your business?
If that was not enough for you to completely re-evaluate your risk mitigation strategy, then hear this out. Data of over half a billion people was accessed by hackers from the databases of insurance providers, financial institutions, and medical facilities, most of which are considered to be safe to disclose personal data to. Apart from it affecting the business of the organization whose database was hacked into, it also affects the individual lives of people, compromising their data security. Identity thefts, fraudulent financial transactions, spam marketing, etc. are only some of the adverse ripple effects of such breach of cyber security.
Estimated Price Tag Of The Damage:
An estimated $1 billion dollars was lost as a result of cyber crime in 2015 itself. Financial institutions in countries like USA, China, Germany, and Russia are being the constant target of such nuisance.
Lloyds is a well known British insurance major. They claim that cyber crime costs amount to about $400 billion every year. A Juniper research claims that by 2019, the cost of data breaching will escalate close to $2.1 trillion globally.
If we look at the breakdown of these numbers, a Kaspersky Lab study claims that a small enterprise will need around $ 38,000 to recover and recuperate from the damages of a cyber attack. On the other hand, large enterprises may have to shell out up to $ 551,000. Intelligence gathered from a research at Ponemon Institute reports that 68% of the stolen cash from attacks that were financial in nature are invariably declared unrecoverable.
Names That Had To Bear The Brunt:
Some organizations that fell prey to cyber attacks and had to face heavy losses, both financial and reputational include:
- The data of nearly 80 million people was hacked by hackers from the database of USA’s 2nd largest health insurance company, namely Anthem Inc.
- Experian is T-Mobile’s well-known credit application partner, but hackers managed to corrupt their database and obtain the records of nearly 15 million customers
- Hackers managed to get in and reveal the data of nearly 22 million people that included over a million fingerprints, from the office of the US Personal Management
- Nearly 80,000 Kindle customers on Amazon had to lose their login credentials as hackers were allegedly refused of a bug bounty
- A staggering 32 million people had to face public shaming, as their online presence and data was exposed, after hackers attacked the adultery website, Ashley Madison
What Are The Kinds Of Attacks That Happen, Despite All The Measures That Businesses Undertake?
Hackers have a knack for finding loopholes in the security systems of businesses, despite organizations being cautious. The constant tug of war between hackers and their potential victims never seems to cease. With over 70% websites being declared vulnerable, there is a very little scope of letting the ball drop, as regards the cyber security of your business. The more vigilant you are, higher will be the chances of averting a strike.
Cyber Attacks Include:
- Denial of Service (DoS): The server of a potential victim can get flooded by more traffic per second than it is capable of handling. This leads to the server not being able to cope with the traffic or even the crashing of services.
- Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): This is the diabolic version of a DoS attack. Multiple computers that are controlled by the hacker are used to intensify the server traffic, sometimes even reaching above 400 GB per second. Application Layer attack, Volume-based attack, or a Protocol attack, are some of the variants of a DDoS attack.
- Spear Phishing: This kind of an attack is executed through an embedded link in an email and is the most common form of an Advanced Persistent Threat.
- Man In The Middle (MITM): When a user uses their smartphone to conduct a financial transaction with their bank, an MITM can happen through a non-encrypted access point.
- Botnets: Hackers can acquire the control of hundreds and even thousands of computers and unleash a massive cyber attack on a specific target.
Gartner is predicting the rise of connected devices to amount to 6.8 million in 2016. The flipside of this is that it will provide a larger number of opportunities for hackers, making safety in numbers null and void in such a scenario.
What Safety Measures Can You Resort To?
Prevention is the best cure, even when it comes to being impervious to cyber attacks. Some best practices that will further enhance your risk mitigation strategy include:
- Simple things such as employee education go a long way in ensuring the digital safety of the organization. Encourage your employees to always scan attachments before opening them. Ask them to avoid clicking on embedded links, especially from unknown sources.
- The usage of safe connections to the internet and constantly upgrading your firewall is another practice that can see you on the safe side.
- The internet is filled with misleading advertisements that make tall claims. It is prudent to steer clear of clicking on such links.
- You can also consider these four tried and tested risk mitigation strategies that are recognized by the Australian Signals Directorate to avert 85% of the targeted cyber threats.
Medjacking, Ghostwares, Blastwares, to name a few, are only new forms of threats that keep emerging in the field of cyber security. With hackers becoming increasingly Machiavellian, the only way you can stay safe is if you keep raising your guard.