Three Cyber Security Issues Organizations Face

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Cyber security is a top concern for today’s business owners and technology executives. In fact, a CBS Money Watch report revealed recently that 80% of U.S. businesses have been hacked successfully. Hackers are aware of common vulnerabilities that organizations are subject to, keeping security professionals constantly on their toes. Here are three Cyber Security concerns business owners may face:

Unprecedented Attacks

The amount of valuable information that resides on multiple data sources has grown exponentially from the early days of a single computer. The opportunity for organizations of all sizes to have their data compromised grows as the number of devices that store confidential data increases. Internet of Things (IoT), borne of all these devices, has lent itself well to creating an unprecedented attack surface security professionals never had to deal with in the past. Business owners must make security plans with this attack surface in mind, and not think only about their business computers and mobile devices.

Cyber Espionage

Both large and small organizations are beginning to store at least some of their data in the cloud. Right Scale recently found that private cloud adoption increased to 77% among organizations; hybrid cloud computing increased as well. Whether the thief is coming from the inside or outside, attacking private, public or hybrid cloud technologies, trade secrets and other valuable intellectual properties are at risk. This is, of course, in addition to valuable customer data.

It’s important for business owners to be aware of cloud technology best practices and regulations surrounding sensitive data. Setting the cloud up securely is important, and monitoring it is key. After all, the same Right Scale survey found that security is no longer the number one concern regarding the cloud; it has been supplanted by the lack of expertise and resources in the area.

Data Theft

According to the SEC, “small and midsize businesses (“SMBs”)] are not just targets of cybercrime, they are its principal target. In fact, the majority of all targeted cyberattacks last year were directed at SMBs.” Many criminals target these businesses as “gateways” into larger ones, as small businesses usually don’t have the large and robust security protocols in place that prevent theft. The SEC refers to, as an example, the Target breach that occurred as a result of an initial cyber attack on a small business that serviced the organization’s heating and air conditioning. Customer data was stolen in a breach that touched both a small and a large organization.

The SEC also notes that small businesses face similar data security threats as large organizations do, but must confront them with fewer resources and less expertise. A staggering 83% of the time, the owners of small businesses handle threats on their own. One survey highlighted by the SEC notes that only 29% of small businesses know what they need to do to improve security measures; another study found that companies making less than $100 million have reduced their spending on cyber security even in the face of increasing incidents.

Clearly, vulnerabilities abound for both large and small businesses in a new age of cyber security threats. Understanding a hacker’s methodology can help mitigate the imminent threat of having data stolen. By staying ahead of the game when it comes to cyber security, you can prevent the massive damage that results from large-scale data breaches.