Nowadays, everyone depends on the Internet to store and share data — individuals, business enterprises, and even governments. Keeping this data safe has become top priority for all. Cyber security, however, comes with its own challenges. Systems can be compromised by data breaches, malware attacks, ransomware attacks, or even phishing attacks as cybercriminals constantly come up with new ways to exploit vulnerabilities.
Cyberspace, which was once simply the domain of websites, has come to include IT infrastructure, computer resources, and Internet access points from all countries as cloud storage and virtual machines have taken over the market. Cyber security challenges have become a significant aspect for organisations and governments to tackle, as cyber security threats have gone from being local or organisational issues to international security concerns.
Let us discuss the most common cyber security problems that businesses encounter and what you need to do to overcome them.
- Advanced Persistent Threats
Advanced Persistent Threats, also known as APTs are stealthy attacks on servers and systems that can go undetected for a long time. Such attacks are specifically designed to extract highly sensitive information from businesses. Investing in high-end IT infrastructure may help save your business’ data from attackers.
- Evolution of Ransomware
The evolution of ransomware has become one of the major challenges in cyber security for businesses. Ransomware is a kind of APT attack where malware hacks into the targeted system and slowly encrypts all the data and other sensitive information. Once all the files in that system are locked, the attacker demands a ransom in exchange for a decryption key. However, giving in to the attacker’s demands won’t always see your data being safely returned. Once payment is made, the attacker may or may not give access to the decryption key that you’ll need to unlock data and resume operations. You’d be dealing with a cybercriminal, after all – not the most trustworthy of characters. A good way to ensure that ransomware attacks don’t affect your business is to keep a backup of your apps and data so that even if the information does become encrypted or corrupted, you’ll be able to continue operations without a hitch.
- IoT Threats
The Internet of Things (IoT) is made up of digital, computing, and mechanical devices that are linked to your technology, transmitting data over a network with the intention of making your life easier. But it’s not always the case! Compromised IoT devices such as mobile phones, laptops, desktops, and smart security devices can be used by cybercriminals to carry out Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, resulting in your data becoming inaccessible. There are also ready-to-use botnet kits that attackers can buy to carry out botnet attacks. Though IoT devices don’t often store sensitive data, attackers often find cyber security vulnerabilities through critical systems such as smart cars, power grids, or factory lines to hack into information being transferred across them and encrypt it for ransom.
- Cloud Security
It’s hard to find a single person who doesn’t use cloud services in one way or another. Cloud servers store huge amounts of data, and a cloud server’s data breach can be a major cyber security challenge. Data can be lost or compromised through misconfigurations, insecure APIs, spectre or meltdown vulnerabilities, natural disaster, or simply due to human error. Once again, ensuring that you have backups of your data, and have it replicated across multiple data centres, will see your operations continuing uninterrupted even if disaster does strike your cloud server.
- Technical Skills Gap
Think of the most technically skilled person in your business. Now imagine them not being there. Would your company survive without the knowledge and know-how that your skilled employees possess? If the answer is no, then your business is at risk.
When your employees have gaps in their technical skills, or when you rely on a single individual for all of your technical needs, your business is going to struggle to keep up with enhancements and advances in tech. To avoid this happening, you need to regularly upskill your employees to protect yourself against potential threats, and to make sure that should something happen to that one person in charge of your techs, your operations won’t come to a stand-still.
Artificial Intelligence Expansion
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has been a boon for businesses that deal with Big Data. But this technology may also pose a threat. Cyber attackers and hackers often use the data fed into AI and machine learning systems to launch more sophisticated attacks on businesses. If you’re using AI and machine learning technologies, you need to stay up to date with the latest technology to reduce your risk.
The blockchain revolution has taken the industry by storm, but it can also add to security vulnerabilities, adding challenges in cyber security for business. Businesses need to be aware of the security vulnerabilities that frameworks like blockchain may have. That way, you’ll be able to tackle the problem and put the necessary security protocols in place.
Moving to DevOps
Though many businesses use DevOps for their enhanced speed, higher efficiency, and responsive delivery of IT services, they can also pose a cyber security challenge. Cyber security threats in the DevOps stage include security group misconfiguration, accidental exposure of public data, or too many false positives. Businesses always need to be alert, looking for gaps in their security controls and addressing them efficiently.
Biometric authentication such as facial recognition and iris scanning, but there are real-world scenarios where biometric solutions are being used. Think of fingerprint scans and voice recognition, for example. They provide access to the people who need it, and are almost impossible to compromise, making them great single-factor or multi-factor authentication systems. Adding biometric authentication can be a good way to tackle challenges in cyber security for businesses.
One of the best ways of tackling cyber security challenges is simply to increase awareness. Businesses should stay aware and up to date with the latest hardware and software advances to meet their digital needs. Along with installing advanced firewalls as an added security layer, you should keep track of who is able to access your data, and ensure that security measures like biometric authentication are put in place to reduce the risk of their details being compromised.