Cyber security is a never-ending job for IT departments and IT specialists. The amount of attacks and growing vulnerabilities for businesses of all sizes is unprecedented. Staying on top of the trends and statistics can help small and large businesses alike remain apprised of the latest threats. Let’s explore where the world stands in regard to cyber attacks including what’s new, what older techniques are still being used, and the phenomenon of cyber fatigue that seems to be gripping many businesses.
What Are Cyber Attacks?
Cyber attacks are the deliberate exploitation of an organization’s systems and/or network, and cybercriminals are getting smarter and more adept at launching them on a daily basis. Statistics tell us that the U.S. was the target of 46 percent of cyberattacks in 2020, more than double any other country. (Microsoft) As a result of this American-focused cyber threat, a majority, approximately 68 percent of business leaders feel their cybersecurity risks are increasing. (Accenture) The numbers of cyber crimes, hacks, and malicious software installed are simply astounding. Last year alone, data breaches exposed 22 billion records. Knowing that American companies are the primary focus of cyber attacks worldwide would lead many to believe that most businesses have their cyber security ‘ducks in a row,’ so to speak. Sadly, many small companies believe they are immune due to the fewer assets they retain. Sophos reports that “54 percent of companies say their IT departments are not sophisticated enough to handle advanced cyberattacks.”
One would think that with the savviness of cyber attackers that old techniques or habits would be long forgotten. This is not the case.The World Economic Forum reports that human error, such as opening malicious emails and attachments is responsible for 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches. According to their study, teaching basic skills such as using strong passwords, identifying phishing scams, and understanding how data is gathered as well as how digital identity is tracked online can dramatically improve the cybersecurity and the safety of an individual business. This issue of human error can be prevented using strategic and ongoing training for your workforce to identify vulnerabilities as well as stop a potential issue in its tracks by knowing the right protocols.
According to Cisco‘s CISO Benchmark Study, cyber fatigue is causing many to 'virtually give up’ on proactively defending against malicious actors. This fairly new and growing issue in the world of cyber security is worrisome. Cyber fatigue, or apathy to proactively defend against cyberattacks, affects as much as 42 percent of companies. Simplifying and streamlining cyber security protocols can help employees handle the day-to-day struggles of managing potential internal and external threats.
Common Cyber Prevention Strategies
Safeguarding your business is a top priority whether the issues are old or new. Some strategies to employ include: