Cyber-crime is not a novelty. As a food for thought, I will start with this quote, from “Computers at Risk”, a book by National Research Council published back in 1991.
“The modern thief can steal more with a computer than with a gun. Tomorrow’s terrorist may be able to do more damage with a keyboard than with a bomb”.
And here we are, 21 years later. Cyber-terrorism is a reality. And we, as a collective, make cyber-criminal’s lives easy.
IT endpoint protection solutions company Kaspersky Lab’s statistics show that businesses in the corporate sector are still showing overall lack of awareness of the possibility of cyber threats. According to Kaspersky, about 50% of companies worldwide are not knowledgeable about the security threats they may face; as a result, they do not take effective measures against security risk.
“This [lack of awareness] results in a lack of resources put into gaining relevant knowledge, into IT security systems, and into IT department staffing … Companies shouldn’t underestimate global cyber threats. This issue has started to be taken seriously of late, and businesses have begun to worry, leading to increases in the number of IT staff working specifically in IT security (now about 40% of IT staff in companies all around the world). Increasing the level of computer literacy among staff is an essential element of security, while senior management needs to be fully aware of the potential consequences of cyber threats, and understand that reliable protection of the corporate network is vital in ensuring the effective development of a company’s IT infrastructure.”
– Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and co-founder of Kaspersky Lab.
BYOD, a bring-your own-device movement results in a large number of business organizations allowing employees to use their personal devices for work, making a compromise between convenience and security. Malicious developers will be designing more sophisticated applications to target BYOD-friendly companies. Digital threats will be constantly evolving. Cyber-criminals will be going after most profitable platforms, hacktivists – after most “glorious” ones, and cyber-warfare will continue to affect economy and politics.
“The past year illustrated how quickly the threat landscape continues to evolve, with attacks and exploits redefining the concepts of crime, business espionage and warfare. The risk to organizations continues to be amplified by the frailty of human curiosity. It’s now expanding across diverse mobile platforms, evolving content management systems and an ever-increasing population of online users,”
– Charles Renert, vice-president of Websense Security Labs.
So, what are we to do today to make things better?
- Get educated about your business computer security vulnerabilities. If you haven’t done so yet, bring a security specialist in for an audit and recommendation as to how to protect your business data and your company’s mission-critical applications from risk.
- Take action to protect your computer environment. make a comprehensive plan that would include disaster recovery and cyber-threats protection.
- Evolve. Threats evolve, and so should your strategy. Make a plan to have a continuous effort to stay on top of your security planning and implementation, repeating steps one and two ever so often.