The pandemic pushed many businesses and professionals into the digital world. In the process, it also made them more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. In 2020, there was a 667% surge in phishing scams. Ransomware attacks rose 105%, and about 530,000 Zoom accounts were sold on the dark web. The push for cybersecurity is greater than ever before.
Why cybersecurity is so important today?
The recent spike of cyber attacks
This much is evident from the startling statistics we’ve previously cited. Following mandatory office closures and stay-at-home orders, many businesses have pivoted online. The truth is that nearly every business now has an online presence, operation, and office. Much, if not all, of the day-to-day tasks, are done online now. Outside of work networks, individual workers are more vulnerable to cyber attacks, and hackers have targeted this vulnerability. It’s easier for them to infiltrate work systems and files through these remote workstations.
The high cost of compromised cybersecurity
Cyber attacks aren’t just nuisances. They actually cost businesses an average of $200,000; 60% go out of business within six months after a cybersecurity breach. These attacks cause interruptions in workflow and operations. More than that, they damage brand reputation and customer goodwill. When you begin to factor in additional expenses like attorneys’ fees, technical investigations, and loss of customer relationships and trust, costs can begin to become overwhelming.
How to improve cybersecurity?
Businesses can’t afford to be complacent about these cyber threats, as both time and money are at stake. Fortunately, there are concrete steps you can take to bolster your cybersecurity:
Focusing on digital literacy
Battling cyber threats can be as simple as educating employees about digital literacy. A good first step is to teach everyone in your network to practice “password hygiene.” To put it simply, ensure that passwords for work-related accounts are rotated, robust, and differentiated from one platform to another. It’s also a good idea to be hyper-vigilant. Avoid dubious surveys on social media sites that may be fishing for information such as your pet’s name or your mom’s maiden name— these could answer your recovery questions and facilitate a hack.
Hiring a professional
Cyber attackers are always coming up with new ways to disrupt systems. It’s crucial to get the right professional to set up your cybersecurity strategy. Today, individuals have more access to the right training thanks to the continuous rise of remote learning. This has mainly been seen in the online courses provided by top tier universities. Those with online cybersecurity degrees are particularly sought-after; not only are they equipped with technical foundations for digital security, but their knowledge is also current and up-to-date. These online curriculums include relevant coursework touching on topics such as digital forensics, cyber law, database design, and programming, to name a few. This ensures that graduates are well-rounded and more than prepared for real-world challenges. Some online cybersecurity graduates even specialize in defensive fields— these are the ideal persons for your cybersecurity solutions. Getting a proficient cybersecurity expert is an investment you need to make in the increasingly digital landscape.
Using cybersecurity software
Cyber Florida Chief Technology Officer, Tony Urbanovich, urges Americans to promote “cybersecurity hygiene.” This would include a firewall, regular updates to computer applications and software systems, and a routine cybersecurity assessment. You can even beef up cybersecurity with two-step authentication features. This only means that businesses must invest in software and other potential solutions from a company-wide down to an individual level.
As today’s market moves further into the digital space, online threats will also increase. This is why you need to strengthen cybersecurity measures continuously.
Written by: Gina Jones