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The Latest Trends in CyberSecurity - A Business Owner's Guide

Updated: Feb 9

Business security is constantly evolving and with it comes both positive and negative aspects. Although continuous technological advancements are being made, the cybercrime industry is projected to incur a global cost exceeding $10 trillion annually by 2025. Staying informed about trends is crucial for safeguarding your business and upholding data security.

 

We've compiled a guide highlighting key insights that we believe should grab your attention in 2024. Let's delve into the essential information you need to be aware of.



lock on computer chip

 

Increase in Remote Workforce

 

The era of remote work is firmly established, with employees expressing a reluctance to return to daily commutes and many business owners embracing facility downsizing.

However, this shift brings an elevated risk in cybersecurity. Human error stands out as a significant factor contributing to compromised data security. A single incident is often all it takes for hackers to gain access to sensitive information, and remote workers are frequently targeted by cybercriminals who recognize this vulnerability.

 

Phishing attacks, utilizing social engineering tactics, are a prevalent method employed by hackers. In such scenarios, a common ploy involves an employee, especially in financial institutions, receiving an email purportedly from the CEO. The message claims that a recent system update hinders the CEO's access to crucial information and requests specific credentials.

 

The challenge in these situations lies in the difficulty of discerning spoofed messages. Hackers adeptly craft emails that mimic legitimate sources, closely mirroring the company's typical format.

 

Consequently, it becomes imperative to provide comprehensive training on common cyber threats to your organization's remote workers. This proactive measure significantly reduces the likelihood of encountering a data breach.

 

IoT Vulnerabilities

A myriad of household products now have internet connectivity.

 

Items such as fitness watches, smart refrigerators, and Google Home pose potential concerns. Projections suggest there will be around 3.7 billion IoT mobile connections by the close of 2025. While the convenience offered by IoT is undeniable, it presents a dual challenge, offering both enhanced functionality and increased opportunities for hackers to access sensitive data.

 

Businesses must exercise caution in selecting the devices present within their facilities. This situation has also prompted deliberation on whether remote workers should utilize IoT devices during their work hours.

 

As time progresses, companies are likely to formulate explicit policies delineating the acceptable use of IoT devices.

 

Machine Learning

Fortunately, there are numerous advancements in cybersecurity aimed at countering the escalating threats, with machine learning standing out as a particularly noteworthy innovation.

 

In essence, machine learning swiftly analyzes patterns within datasets and transforms them into algorithms. This capability enables the anticipation of specific behaviors and aids in predicting potential methods employed by cybercriminals to acquire data.

 

As an example, a company confronted with a data breach could employ a machine learning algorithm. This application would assist in identifying early indicators of an impending breach, enabling the organization to detect suspicious activities in the future and thereby mitigate the risk of further attacks.

 

Multi-Factor Authentication

This concept involves the insistence on multiple forms of identification before granting access to data. For instance, to log into a specific account, you might be required to provide a password, email, and employee ID number collectively.

 

As time progresses, this practice is gaining heightened significance due to the continuous evolution of hacker tactics aimed at compromising user data. The more diverse forms of identification you mandate, the more challenging it becomes for hackers to gain unauthorized access to specific information.

 

Many businesses are now adopting zero-trust policies, wherein the system remains skeptical of the user's identity regardless of their prior login history. Whether it's the first or tenth time accessing specific data, comprehensive identification is necessary.

 

Artificial-Intelligence (AI) Integration

AI has experienced a significant surge in popularity across various industries in recent years, and this trend holds true in nearly every sector.

 

The cybersecurity realm, in particular, has witnessed a substantial reliance on AI. Traditional defenses like firewalls, anti-malware engines, and antivirus software no longer suffice to combat the evolving methods employed by modern hackers. The integration of AI has become imperative to enhance protective capabilities.

 

AI-powered tools excel at handling vast amounts of data within short time frames, resembling the principles of machine learning, although they are not identical. Employing a synergistic blend of both AI and machine learning yields the most formidable defense against contemporary cyber threats.

 

Malware Prevention

To thwart malware, prioritize secure storage and implement robust business continuity plans. Essential data protection measures, such as encryption, should also be part of your considerations. Given the increasing proficiency of criminals in breaching defenses, it's only a matter of time before your business faces a potential cyberattack.

 

However, encountering such a threat doesn't spell doom for your data. Implementing effective malware prevention strategies will not only safeguard your company's information but also contribute to minimizing downtime in the event of a breach.

 

Cyber Espionage

While not applicable to most small businesses, this concept holds significant relevance for companies operating in the defense or tech sectors. Cyberespionage entails the utilization of electronic devices to illicitly obtain sensitive or classified information.

 

These attacks, orchestrated by entities in foreign countries, pose a considerable challenge in terms of detection. This uncertainty contributes to the apprehension surrounding the increasing adoption of IoT devices.

 

The proliferation of endpoints amplifies the complexity of managing and thwarting such attacks. Consequently, businesses might opt to restrict access to a minimal number of endpoints as a proactive measure.

 

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks

DDoS attacks are experiencing a renewed surge in popularity.

 

Their objective is to overwhelm systems and interrupt regular traffic to a specific server, rendering a website entirely inaccessible. The ramifications for businesses can be severe.

 

Consider the scenario where your audience is unable to make purchases on your site or access it altogether. Not everyone will patiently wait for it to return online; some may opt to visit a competitor instead. DDoS attacks are evolving in sophistication, rendering them more challenging to counter.

 

Among the prevalent types are routing attacks, protocol attacks, and volume-based attacks.

 

Ransomware

Ransomware poses a significant and unavoidable threat for business owners, as it specifically targets businesses.

 

In this context, a user might discover one day that all their data is encrypted upon logging in. A message on the screen demands a Bitcoin payment within 12 hours, threatening to delete all data if the payment isn't made. The FBI strongly advises against paying such ransoms, as there is no assurance that the hacker will grant access to the information, and the money paid may fuel future attacks.

 

Typically, the recommended course of action is to disregard the threat and restore information from a previous backup. However, certain scenarios may arise where ransomware leads to significant complications. Some hackers go beyond encryption and threaten to expose sensitive information publicly or sell it to a competitor.

 

While restoring from a backup may address data access, the potential realization of the other components of the threat remains a concern.

 

Firewall as a Service (FwaaS)

Firms now provide businesses with firewall-as-a-service, offering continuous monitoring of their company's network to proactively address threats before they escalate. Partnering with a managed service provider ensures robust protection without compromising your infrastructure's computational power. This proves especially beneficial for small businesses lacking a robust IT foundation.

 

Cloud Storage Security

Over the last decade, cloud storage has gained significant popularity, and its relevance is continually increasing.

 

Businesses are streamlining their reliance on hardware within their facilities, finding it more convenient to access data through service-based solutions. This approach enables consistency across multiple devices. However, it introduces additional risks, with major concerns in cloud security revolving around insufficient app security and a lack of adequate monitoring.

 

Given the vast scale of cloud servers, visibility can be significantly reduced, and challenges may arise from cumbersome or incomplete data deletion processes. Businesses are becoming increasingly discerning in their choice of cloud service providers, recognizing that even a single data breach could be exceedingly difficult to recover from.

 

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)

This term, relatively new, pertains to the integration of various Cloud security measures. For instance, SASE may incorporate FWaaS and zero trust within a single service.

 

The objective is to streamline diverse layers of security without compromising quality.

 

Over time, an increasing number of businesses are likely to provide SASE solutions.

 

It's important to note that SASE is a comprehensive form of security, and not every business may require access to it.

 

Extended Detection and Response

This tool functions as a threat detection and incident response system, integrating various security products, akin to SASE.

 

Its primary goal is swift issue identification and prompt action, aligning with a notable XDR trend emphasizing shortened response times. The ultimate objective is to achieve nearly instantaneous responses.

 

Though we may be a step away from this scenario presently, it holds potential to become a reality in the future. These tools also gather threat information, storing it in a database for analysis, aiding in the identification and management of future threats.

 

 

Third-Party Supply Chain Risk Management (SCRM)

Many companies harbor a significant worry regarding the third-party entities they engage with. Collaborating with vendors posing potential risks could lead to unfavorable outcomes.

 

For instance, consider vendors who might neglect compliance regulations, putting themselves at the mercy of cyberattacks. In the event of a breach, a hacker gaining access to their systems could subsequently compromise your information. Even if your own business maintains robust protection measures, it remains susceptible to such indirect risks.

 

Thoroughly evaluating these risks becomes essential to mitigate scenarios like these. It also facilitates the identification of trustworthy partners committed to safeguarding your data as required.

 

Finding a Service Provider

Numerous companies carry significant concerns about the third-party entities they associate with. Partnering with vendors that present potential risks could result in adverse outcomes.

 

For example, vendors neglecting compliance regulations expose themselves to cyberattacks, placing your information at risk in case of a breach. Even if your own business implements robust protection measures, susceptibility to such indirect risks persists.

 

Conducting a thorough evaluation of these risks is essential to minimize scenarios like these. It also aids in identifying reliable partners dedicated to safeguarding your data as required.

 

Our team at MapleTronics has over 3 decades of multifaceted technology experience. We offer a comprehensive range of IT solutions, including cloud services and fully managed security servicesGet in touch with us today to learn more about how we can take your business to the next level.

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