Cybersecurity In The Digital age

In a digital world, security online is key


You must have heard about the global cyber attack of WannaCry ransomware in over 200 countries. It encrypted all the files on the machine and asked for payment. Ransomware, which demands payment after launching a cyber-attack, has become a rising trend among hackers looking for a quick payout.

Every day it seems another news piece breaks about cyber-criminals hacking in and stealing data and information. Private companies, government agencies, hospitals…no one is immune. Cyber security is no longer buried in the tech section of organizations, newspapers, and websites - it's front-page news.

With the penetration of the digital movement, cyber-attacks have also doubled year over year, making businesses and government sites more vulnerable.

In simple terms, cybersecurity is the use of digital technologies to protect company networks, computers and programs from unauthorized access and subsequent damage.

In recent times, every organization has launched a 'go-digital' initiative. This has led to an explosion of connected environments. The growing mobility trend has sparked a rapid growth of endpoints that must be secured, and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs mean that employees could be accessing sensitive data on unsecured devices.

The prevalence of cloud-based services and third party data storage has opened up new areas of risk. As businesses adopt the new technologies like Big Data, Analytics, IoT & Mobility, the focus must be on how to safeguard the data spread across devices and cloud.

Cybersecurity must be a key factor during your journey to digitally transforming your business, just as you would ensure that your offices or brick-and-mortar stores have locks and security systems of the highest quality, your digital storefront must have the same levels of security. If consumers do not trust these digital storefronts with their data, or if that trust is broken because of a data breach, the cost to rebuild that trust is incredibly high.

The best way to protect yourself is to be suspicious of unsolicited emails and always type out web addresses yourself rather than clicking on links.

There are different types of attacks we have seen so far:

- Hackers target the software vulnerabilities that are yet to be discovered and patched

- Attack on mobile devices: malwares designed specifically for smartphones to steal data

- Data leakage: hackers steal the data by interrupting the traffic between organization and cloud environments

- Programming: hackers use malicious code on any server that gets replicated and allow them to delete, steal data

There are multiple ways to combat these cyber-attacks:

- Network defense: detect unwarranted traffic e.g. someone communicating with malicious host, malware entry into the network, unauthorized data transfer

- Detect user access violations: misuse of user access within the system, ensure proper authentications, use of antivirus, malware to prevent steal user information

- Mobile device protection: detect unauthorized devices or prevent hackers from compromising individual devices.

- Protect data in motion & rest: ensure data transfers protected within various environments

- Investment in securing IoT devices – today with everything is connected it is extremely important to secure all access points.

Today, with machine learning, organizations are in a very good position to know what users are doing that can affect the network and increase risk. Artificial Intelligence is used to constantly learn new malware behaviors and recognize how viruses may mutate to try and get around security systems.

Traditional IT security practices like network monitoring and segmentation will become even more critical as businesses and governments deploy IoT devices.

Recent events have highlighted the growing need for enhanced cybersecurity.



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Last Week In Digital - 26th June 2017