According to a Ponemon Institute and IBM study, organizations that have lost their customers, employees, or other corporate data to hackers will suffer a significant financial loss. A single data breach costs $3.86 million on average in the United States. In a COVID-19 world that has seen a fourfold rise in documented cyberattacks in the last year, the FBI says it's past time for large and small businesses to become cyber resilient.

Your company's success or failure may be decided by how well you react to the many cyber threats you were not previously exposed to before COVID-19. Hence why adoption of managed cybersecurity services is skyrocketing. Continue reading to learn about how cyber threats have evolved and what you can do to protect your information technology systems and data.

The ability to work from home has become the new standard

As a consequence of COVID-19, several companies have been forced to enable their employees to work from home. While many companies predicted that all or at least mission-critical workers would need secure remote access to networks and applications in the future, most were unprepared. Before the pandemic, 88 percent of small business owners believed their firm was susceptible to a data breach, according to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

In recent years, the attack surface has expanded, and some of these companies may be considerably more vulnerable as a consequence. The following are some instances of cyber vulnerabilities:

Cloud access: Migrating from on-premises software to cloud-based systems and databases may expose the environment to new risks.

Endpoint-related risks: Only a tiny percentage of companies permitted their employees to connect to corporate networks using personal devices such as home routers, smartphones, and laptops before COVID-19. As your online visibility grows, so does your vulnerability to cyberattacks.

VPNs: COVID-19's work-from-home regulations have boosted the usage of virtual private networks for remote access (VPNs). For hacking reasons, cybercriminals are increasingly targeting virtual private networks (VPNs).

What does it mean to be cyber resilient?

When you think about it, cyber resilience and digital fitness are almost synonymous. It's the ability to keep your business, data, and gadgets online in the face of potential threats. It provides complete security against cyber attacks and data loss from start to finish, rather than simply a single line of defense against a specific assault.

The following are some of the ways that cyber resilience may help your business:

  • Training to help the most vulnerable part of your security strategy, mainly your employees, stay aware.
  • A critical element of network security is rendering threats ineffective before they can reach your network.
  • Endpoint security against the most recent attacks to keep your users productive and your data secure.
  • In the event of a data breach (ransomware) or other unexpected events, having frequent data backups is critical (such as human mistakes, network failures, natural catastrophes, or something else). Businesses can continue operations as standard thanks to the capacity to recover with little downtime and minimal data loss.Get Started with a Proposal

How does cyber resilience work?

Several levels of security are used to create cyber resilience. Invariably, a single solution will not manage constantly shifting threats and provide seamless company continuity in unforeseen circumstances. Defense-in-depth techniques successfully cope with an unlimited number of attack paths and data loss scenarios since they do not rely on a single solution.

Rather than relying on one technology, it’s crucial to use a combination of technologies to ensure that their users, networks, and devices are safe. That compromised data can be retrieved quickly. Fortunately, SSI offers the capacity to educate workers, prevent threats on devices, back up data, and recover fast from setbacks, in addition to providing unrivaled security and data backup and recovery solutions.

Expanding attack surfaces

A significant trend driving the need for cyber resilience is the increased digital attack surface due to device mobility. Businesses quickly saw the value and promise of cloud computing, which enabled them to reduce infrastructure costs and increase resource availability.

Undoubtedly, mobile-enabled employees have resulted in scattered networks that are more difficult to secure. As a result, hackers now have more avenues through which to conduct attacks against companies. Consequently, one of the most critical demands on companies to improve cyber resilience and security has arisen due to the expanded corporate attack surface.

Big data collection

Insight-driven business is described as the use of data to generate growth via market disruption, increased productivity, and the creation of new income streams. Companies have evolved to the point where the data they gather has become their most valuable asset across industries. As a result, 63 percent of senior decision-makers believe that big data is becoming a revenue source for their businesses. It is developing to be as valuable as their existing products and services.

Cybercriminals have recognized the value of corporate data and have taken steps to protect it. They may sell stolen personal information on the black market for up to $1,000 per record, and they can use the information to undertake social engineering schemes and other illegal acts. Attacks against corporate networks, which actively seek employee endpoints to establish a foothold within the business, are motivated by the desire to access this highly sought-after information.

Given that 70% of organizations consider their data to be highly or critically important to their operations, cyber resilience becomes essential for businesses to ensure that their data is safe and accessible at all times. At first, attacks against endpoints were carried out only to obtain access to the corporate network to pursue more profitable targets. However, automated attacks, such as ransomware and lateral movement, have grown in recent years.

Evolving cyberthreats

Exploits like SMB vulnerabilities have "democratized" the victim pool, making the endpoint and the data stored on it the most susceptible point of vulnerability. And companies of all sizes are getting in on the act. Cybercriminals have created dark web marketplaces to collaborate and build sophisticated attack bundles for the lowest feasible price. These markets enable their peers to cooperate and create complex attack bundles for the lowest possible cost.

Thus, threat actors may broaden their target pool and seek out businesses of various sizes. Even a single successful attack may interrupt operations significantly, forcing reaction teams to work for weeks to restore the network correctly.

Breach costs are increasing, as are mitigating costs. Breach success costs businesses much money in terms of lost revenue, customer attrition, and data loss, among other things. Additionally, many organizations find it challenging to recover from operational interruptions and brand value reductions.

Consider the 32GBs of data leaked by hackers in July 2015, exposing the personal details of Ashley Madison's entire customer base after the company refused to pay a bitcoin ransom. Consumers whose personal information was taken may be able to file a class-action lawsuit against the company for US$11.2 million as a result of the breach. Today, breach and mitigation expenses are rising. The Ponemon Institute and IBM estimate that the average data breach currently impacts 24,615 records worldwide and costs US$3.8 million.

Even if the costs of a data breach do not force a company to go out of business, it may take years for the company to recover and return to profitability. The business endpoint has emerged as the new first line of defense in the battle against cybersecurity breaches due to these converging developments. Also, they emphasize the need for a business to be prepared to offer sufficient cyber resilience in the case of an attack, which will undoubtedly occur.

A few distinctions between cybersecurity and cyber resilience

What's the difference between cybersecurity and cyber resilience? Endpoint and network security and security awareness training and education are all part of internet security, which is a sub-component of cyber resilience. All of these topics are included under the umbrella term "cybersecurity."

When data backup and recovery is included in — which provides for endpoint backup and recovery, server backup, migration services, and other similar services — we can start to talk about cyber resilience in the broader sense. Further, data security, data backup, and data recovery are all aspects of cyber resilience that work together to keep your business online.

What does it mean to be cyber resilient?

Beyond just relying on technology at a greater rate than at any previous time in human history, today's global trends are putting unprecedented pressure on the cyber resilience of the whole human race. Organizations now stand to lose more money than ever before if their data is stolen or damaged as the arms race between the security industry and hackers heats up.

Moreover, the threat landscape is shifting, and more than half of small businesses have experienced a data breach. To defend yourself against polymorphic malware and hazardous, evasive programs, you'll need much more than standard antivirus software.

The edges of traditional networks have been dissolved due to ubiquitous connectivity, resulting in the stretching of IT resources and the participation of many cloud applications. Therefore, malicious actors, human mistakes, system failure, network failure, and natural disasters may drive organizational data loss.

Market challenges, such as ever-stricter data security and compliance regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, and a severe shortage of qualified IT professionals to help manage it, all contribute to the present predicament.

To become more cyber resilient, keep an eye out for these threats

The following are the cyber hazards that many small and medium-sized companies (SMBs) and large enterprises are facing in the COVID-19 era:

Phishing would not be considered a new cyber threat in an ideal world. Creative bad actors utilize coronavirus warnings as bait in their attacks to get information from naive, less cyber-savvy workers. Sending fraudulent emails in the name of a legitimate organization, such as a COVID-19 non-profit or a government-sponsored COVID-19 support agency or program, is a common tactic.

Malware distribution
Some of the phony emails that COVID 19 cyber-attack victims are receiving these days include dangerous payloads, according to the FBI. For malware to be placed on their computer, the unsuspecting victim must click on a link or open an attached file. The malware may have been designed to spread quickly throughout the infected network. In addition, hackers utilize this technique to spread ransomware the bulk of the time.

Malicious domains
In 2020 alone, cybercriminals registered a significant number of dangerous websites using COVID-19-related terminology. Phishing forms or dangerous malware may be found on these websites.

Remote breaches
Today, hackers are reportedly launching remote cyber-attacks against remote access systems that have been deployed lately and rapidly, such as collaborative workforce software.

Cyber resilience best practices

Here are some approaches that work to protect your network against sophisticated threats:

  • Employees should be taught the significance of password security as well as how to recognize phishing emails. Teach them about the need to restrict physical access to their equipment, particularly if they share their remote working environment with others.
  • Access to corporate cloud services for mission-critical processes and activities should be restricted to remote personal device access.
  • Maintain the most significant degree of security hygiene by protecting your data with up-to-date firewalls, antivirus software, strong passwords, and multifactor authentication.
  • Protect your data by keeping two copies of your company database, one on-premises and one in the cloud.

Final thought

Is your company's cyber resilience strong enough to withstand the new dangers that have emerged in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak? From 24/7 monitoring and expert threat hunting to advanced email filtering, SSI can help you. Don't hesitate to get in touch with us right away. We're here to assist you today!