While it may seem that we’re in an age where it’s possible to apprehend huge technological disasters and data breaches, even the largest companies and media platforms are still susceptible to them. From everything including social media platforms to airlines encountering large-scale data breaches, technological threats are still something that has to be constantly researched and prevented against.
Not only are technological threats damaging to the reputation of a company, but Juniper Research reported that cybercrime costs across the world will exceed $2 trillion by 2019 – which is four times the cost of data breaches four years prior.
BCI discovered that 85% of business continuity managers – from the 568 organizations they surveyed around the globe – fear the possibility of a cyber-attack. Funnily enough, however, cyber-attacks often come from within the company. Cyber-attacks that originate from inside the organization are in fact the most common cyber threat of all. This may be surprising to hear. In the vast majority of these incidents were caused by employees making mistakes, making it clear that there needs to be more training around the significance and caution that data should be handled with.
Identity theft is often associated with a personal problem, not a business-scale issue. You might be surprised to know that this too affects companies as well as individuals. Once sensitive data is accessed, usually by the method mentioned above, false accounts can then be opened in the company’s name. Although data breach is a likely way of achieving this form of fraud, it’s also good practice to dispose of paper documents and ensure that they are shredded and not freely accessible or readable.
Cybercriminals can access sensitive data by accessing a computer or network and bypassing the company’s security measures. The same aforementioned survey by BCI found that 80% of business continuity managers were worried about data breaches. This has been seen as such a threat to modern life that there are now protection services that monitor the potential for data breaching, which you can find out more about by reading this LifeLock review, as well as other types of fraud.
Trendmicro.com explains that cyber-attacks are usually achieved using the following method:
- Research – hunting down weaknesses in the company’ security boundaries
- Attack – initial contact is made using social interaction or using their network. Network attacks involve penetrating weaknesses in the company’s security measures, and social attacks involve duping employees into providing crucial information.
- Exfiltration – once the cybercriminal has access to the computer in question, they then have access to the sensitive data they were after. Once the hacker extracts the data, the attack is considered successful.
Data breaches are so harmful to companies not just because of the loss of good reputation and sensitive information, but also the loss of trust from customers. If customers’ information is exposed or exploited, then it’s unlikely they will return to the company in the future.
When we think of the effects of adverse weather on a company, the mind first tends to think of snow days and the potential for an excuse to not come into work for a few days. Snow drifts and golf-ball sized hailstones aside, however, adverse weather really can have a detrimental effect on companies. Flooding and other extreme forms of weather can not only prevent employees from entering the company’s premises but can also bring down an entire network. The stakes are always high when you risk the loss of information and money. Improvements to infrastructure are needed to help reduce the toll that extreme weather takes on a company. Daniel Straub, professor for Engineering Risk Analysis at the Technical University of Munich, Germany says that, in order to do this, more research is needed: “you need more complex models to extrapolate this data and to assess how certain infrastructure reacts under extreme weather conditions.”
With cybercriminals operating on the dark web and targeting employees, businesses are still surprisingly vulnerable when it comes to technological threats. Treating your businesses’ financial and delicate information with the same strictness as you’d protect your own is a wise step to take. However, it would also seem that often deliberately, or accidentally, fraud and cyber threats come down to the actions of individual employees. Ensuring that your employees not only share the values of the company but undergo valuable cyber-protection training could mean the difference between the loss of data or the reporting of a cybercriminal.