Everywhere a business looks, there are risks, pitfalls, threats, and potential problems. We live in a world where there’s very little separation between the physical and the digital. While this is beneficial in some ways, it’s problematic in others. When it comes to cybersecurity, businesses have to account for an array of technical and intensive challenges.
4 Major Cybersecurity Issues
For better or worse, cloud computing, the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning have converged to create a connected environment that businesses must access without overexposing themselves to hackers, cyber criminals, and other individuals and groups with unsavory intents. In 2019, it’s the following issues that are most pertinent and pressing:
1. The Rise of Cryptojacking
As the swift and malicious rise of ransomware has shown, criminal organizations will go to any lengths to employ malware and profit. This year, cryptojacking is a major topic.
“Cryptojacking, otherwise known as “cryptomining malware”, uses both invasive methods of initial access, and drive-by scripts on websites, to steal resources from unsuspecting victims,” SecurityMagazine.com explains. “Cryptojacking is a quieter, more insidious means of profit affecting endpoints, mobile devices, and servers: it runs in the background, quietly stealing spare machine resources to make greater profits for less risk.”
2. Lack of Confidence in the Marketplace
There’s a widespread lack of confidence in cybersecurity among customers and consumers in the marketplace. This limits many of the opportunities businesses have to implement much-needed change.
This lack of confidence stems from highly publicized data breaches and cybersecurity issues. Take the 2016 presidential election, for example. Despite that no proof of election tampering has been found, the media has led people to believe that there was some sort of breach. In the process, the notion of online voting seems unsafe – despite the fact that it’s something we need.
In the context of business, every time there’s a major data breach – like Target or Experian – consumers lose trust in the ability of companies to protect their data. (Despite the fact that thousands of companies protect billions of pieces of data on a daily basis.)
The challenge moving forward will be for individual businesses to practice data integrity and promote the right cyber security policies to rebuild trust and gain confidence from their customers.
3. Supply Chain Attacks
As businesses continue to build up their defenses around key aspects of their businesses, cyber criminals are looking for a softer underbelly that’s less fortified. Many of these attackers are finding it in vulnerable supply chains where risks aren’t completely understood (and where there has to be better cooperation between partners who rarely care to be on the same page).
As we move through 2019, businesses would do well to consider what sensitive information they share with vendors. It’s equally important to consider the risk level of each vendor and which ones are worth working with.
4. Insider Threats
According to a recent survey by Bricata on the top network security challenges facing businesses in 2019, 44 percent of respondents identified insider threats as an issue. (The next closest threat was IT infrastructure complexity at 42 percent.)
In the context of this survey, insider threats aren’t necessarily malicious actions from employees. Instead, it’s often the result of accidental incidents and well-intended actions that go wrong. Businesses can counteract some of these insider threats by using tools like SAP Cloud Identity Access Governance, which allows businesses to use real-time visualizations to monitor and optimize employee access to data and applications.
Better employee education and training is also a wise investment. Far too many employees remain aloof to the risks facing their employers, continuing to make foolish mistakes without realizing they’re making them.
Moving Toward a Safer Digital Future
While some would say we’re already living in the future, it’s important for business leaders to remain cognizant of what’s coming down the innovation pipeline so that the right strategic initiatives can be put into place. In doing so, we can all bask in the optimism of a brighter, safer digital future.