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The total damages from cybercrime amounted to a staggering $6 trillion USD globally in 2021. Damages from ransomware attacks could very well reach $20 billion by 2021 – a 57X increase from levels measured just six years back in 2015.  Estimates from Cybersecurity Ventures put the cost of global cybercrime to grow by 15 percent year on year over the next five years, and expected to reach $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025. In this article we will try to explore the reasons behind why cybercrime is on such a steep rise, the top threats that organizations face and how to secure their networks, especially in a post-pandemic remote work environment. Reliable managed security services provider such as IT security Vancouver may be able to help further.

Why is Cybercrime Increasing?

Data has become the primary driver for businesses across industries, and information has consequently seen a steep rise in value. Organizations now regularly get targeted for information theft that is also the most expensive and fastest-growing segment of cybercrime. With IIoT, industrial controls responsible for managing large-scale power grids, operations and other machinery also form another lucrative target for attackers. Cyberattacks are also being increasingly leveraged to compromise data integrity to sow confusion and distrust in targeted organizations and even governments. Ask technology evolves, so do the tools at the disposal of cybercriminals who are increasingly making use of sophisticated technology such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to launch attacks capable of gauging defense levels and adopt more effective tactics.

Thankfully, a majority of cyber-attacks still do not use such devastatingly effective tools, choosing instead to rely on social engineering to manipulate people. These attacks can include different kinds of malware, ransomware, phishing, and spyware. Supply chain attacks are also becoming increasingly common and could become a major headache for companies in both the short and the long-term. In fact, many managed service providers now offer specialized services in vendor risk management and third-party risk management. Information risk management has become a critical need for organizations. Data breaches at organizations can lead to disclosure/ compromise of significant financial information such as credit card numbers or bank account details, protected health information (PHI), personally identifiable information (PII), trade secrets, intellectual property and a variety of other sensitive and highly valuable data. Data breaches can also be caused by unintentional information disclosure, insider threats, data leak, cloud leak, information leakage or even a data spill.

How to Protect your Organization Against Cybercrime?

Implement employee training

Humans remain the weakest element in any organization’s security efforts. Employees who are either unaware of proper security practices or simply disinclined to follow protocols or understand their importance can become a crippling vulnerability for companies. Employees need regular hand-holding and security awareness drills to be able to recognize the first signs of a data breach or cybercrime, and know exactly how to respond to specific threat scenarios.

Create a system security plan

A system security plan (SSP) can be understood as a comprehensive overview of all security practices at an organization. This document also covers key security policies such as details on identity and access management and zero trust policies. It also covers security habits of employees and how they should respond in specific threat situations. To have a truly effective SSP in place, organizations should consider getting expert help from third-party sources such as IT Support Vancouver, as it is unlikely that your in-house IT staff will have all necessary skill sets and expertise. Even though keeping things in-house, may reduce the cost of building a SSP, the process may backfire if the SSP is badly-written and ends up costing the organization more in the long run.

Keep software updated

Outdated software can expose your company to unnecessary risks and security flaws that leave your mission critical systems vulnerable. In fact, hackers have not made it a practice to study the latest software updates in order to target businesses who lag behind in adopting them.

Enforce optimum password hygiene

Having a reliable password manager in place will make the lives of both your IT teams and your employees a lot easier. At the very least, organizations should ensure that passwords are never recycled, and updated periodically through Cybersecurity Best Practices. Automated processes and reminders make the process easy for employees.

Outsource cybersecurity

Managing the whole gamut of cybersecurity issues can feel overwhelming for many organizations. This is the primary reason why many SMEs continue to lag behind in cyber security. The simplest way out of this would be to outsource your security needs to reliable managed service providers who have Cybersecurity Experts on board to take care of your infrastructure 24/7/365 and also guarantee the security of your data and network through robust monitoring and proactive threat responses.

Top 3 Cybersecurity Threats to Watch Out for in 2022

Phishing Attacks

Phishing uses social engineering to dupe users into divulging sensitive and confidential information such as login credentials, financial information, personally identifiable information, company data and more. In phishing attacks, hackers assume the identity of a trusted and known source of the target and emotionally manipulate them into executing the desired actions.

Ransomware

Ransomware attacks have seen an incredible spike in the wake of the pandemic. These attacks work by gaining entry into the user’s system or network, encrypting all data including mission-critical files and folders and force the user into paying a ransom (usually financial) in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware attacks are distributed through phishing emails and infected websites. To know more about defending your organization against ransomware attacks, please refer to IT Consulting Vancouver.

Credential Stuffing

Credential stuffing tries to steal user access through login credentials. These attacks are particularly impactful because many users continue to use the same login credentials for multiple sites or accounts. Straight Edge Technology estimates credential stuffing to feature prominently among Current Cybersecurity Threats in 2022.

Andrew Dalman

Andrew Dalman, President of ActiveCo has a wealth of industry knowledge and experience, with an outstanding leadership capacity. Andrew has led the execution of multiple projects in ActiveCo with a great track record of success. Andrew believes understanding the business operations of customers is key to successfully incorporating the right technology for the business. When Andrew is not busy leading ActiveCo, he enjoys rock climbing and spending time with his family.