Why Businesses of All Sizes Are Now Targets of Cyberattacks
… and 3 steps to secure your data and infrastructure today!
The past few decades have seen breakthroughs across industries, including transportation, media and entertainment, education, and healthcare. The widespread access to broadband internet and the emergence of web 2.0 in the early 2000s kickstarted the rapid adoption of advanced technologies and further fostered entrepreneurship and innovation. Businesses now use a variety of hardware and software platforms with experience-rich applications to deliver their products and services, engage their customers and suppliers, and increase their market share. Today’s business operations are, therefore, heavily dependent on internet-connected systems and the handling and storage of digitized information.
Cybersecurity: A Universal Challenge in the Age of Digital Transformation
Unfortunately, as the rapid digitization continues, the risks from cyberattacks become increasingly daunting. It now only takes one successful cyberattack on a company’s network infrastructure to disrupt operations overnight. All of its hard work can be wiped out by a well-intentioned employee clicking a link in a nefarious email. Doing so might infect an entire company’s systems with malware, impacting accounting software, credit card and other payment information, social security numbers, sensitive customer information like names or addresses, and more. Such incidents have pushed many businesses to the verge of bankruptcy.
The major cyberattacks covered in the media—Target, Sony, Equifax— only represent a small fraction of the incidents that businesses struggle with. Based on Verizon’s research from 2018, 58% of victims of data breaches were categorized as small businesses, and most of these don’t get any media coverage. As hacking tools and techniques become more commoditized, cybercriminals have expanded their targets. Attacks have gotten increasingly cheaper in terms of the time, complexity, costs, and resources necessary to launch them. And attackers don’t have much to lose if an attempted attack is unsuccessful. Smaller businesses often become specifically targeted as easy prey for criminals seeking to infiltrate their much larger clients. Clearly, businesses of all sizes have never been more at risk. Which raises the question…
Why Do Businesses Still Struggle to Secure Their Data and Infrastructure?
Why do phishing, advanced malware, brute-force logins and other attacks—that we’ve known about for years—still plague businesses all over the world?
Too many products: Smaller businesses often incorrectly assume that investing in point products is enough to keep them safe. Unfortunately, deploying prevention products alone has consistently proven to be ineffective. Based on Ponemon’s research from 2017, more SMBs find that exploits and malware evade their intrusion detection systems (66 percent of respondents) and anti-virus solutions (81 percent) than ever before.
Too much noise: It’s practically an impossible task for IT teams at smaller businesses to keep up with the massive number of alerts they receive from their security products—the vast majority which are false positives. Some attempt to deploy SIEMs, notorious for being difficult to install, tune and operate. Based on Cisco’s research from 2018 among organizations that receive daily security alerts, 44 percent of those alerts are simply not investigated. Furthermore, of those alerts investigated and deemed legitimate, nearly half are not remediated.
Severe cybersecurity skills shortage: A growing problem for smaller businesses and midsize enterprises is their inability to properly staff IT functions. Ponemon’s research identifies the biggest problems as insufficient budgets, not having the necessary personnel to mitigate threats, and not understanding how to protect against cyberattacks. Today’s cybercriminals hold a strategic advantage as they can typically launch attacks at a fraction of the cost that businesses must spend to successfully defend against them. This asymmetric nature of cybercrime is particularly pronounced when businesses lack access to skilled security professionals.
Stay Ahead of Cybercriminals with a Renewed Cybersecurity Strategy
Make no mistake, international cybercriminals are well aware of the cybersecurity shortcomings of smaller businesses and increasingly formulate attack strategies to target them. So, how can businesses help ensure their data and network infrastructure remain secure? Here are three suggestions to help you immediately improve your security posture:
- Think about outsourcing your security operations: In the current threat landscape, it’s wise to look at services that can supplement a lack of in-house cybersecurity expertise. Many are available without the need for significant internal training or a disruptive impact on your existing IT resources.
- Evaluate service providers based on your business needs: The proliferation of new security service providers makes it challenging for businesses to evaluate and select suitable vendors. What’s important to seek in a service provider is alignment with your business objectives, and its ability to reduce your operational burdens while addressing advanced threats with a low total cost of ownership.
- Consider a SOC-as-a-service: SMBs and small and midsize enterprises can now enjoy the same security benefits large enterprises take for granted in the form of a security operations center (SOC). For example, Arctic Wolf’s SOC-as-a-service, the AWN CyberSOC™, extends your IT team or augments your security team through our experience and expertise combating sophisticated attacks. We make sure that your business remains secure as cybercriminals continue to evolve.
A few simple changes to your cybersecurity strategy can keep your employees, suppliers, and partners safely connected, your customers engaged, and your investors confident. A SOC-as-a-service provides access to experienced threat hunters and security engineers working 24x7x365 to keep your business safe, so you can focus on what you do best and not worry about whether you’re secure.