As a newly globalized world moves into cyberspace to earn its slice of digital profits, cybersecurity threats are rising to meet them. The first half of 2017 saw a massive rise in the sophistication of cybersecurity meltdowns. An enigmatic hacking group released a range of NSA tools that were quickly snapped up for use in two ransomware attacks. A sophisticated strain of ransomware called WannaCry hobbled thousands of targets, including the National Health Service, and brand titans Merck and Rosnoft fell victim to a new wave of malware. Cybersecurity is no longer the side job of your basement IT department, but a critical foundation for corporate strategy for five reasons.
1. Attacks Are at an All-Time High
Cyberattacks are growing in number, as are the types of threats. Your business is no longer prey to cybercriminals alone, but also hackers, rivals, and hacktivist groups.
2. The Financial Cost Is Astronomical
Cybersecurity threats cause billions of dollars in lost profits every year, but they can also lose you longstanding clients. When Chrysler was hacked it had to recall over a million vehicles, and TalkTalk’s stock value sunk by 20 percent when it was hacked.
3. Confidentiality, Integrity, and Corporate Identity
Too many companies are still thinking of cybersecurity threats as dollar-based risks, but today, data is money. Identities have financial value and theft of data can mean theft of banking information. Privacy, too, affects your bottom line when breaches annihilate your carefully orchestrated online marketing campaign.
The trustworthiness of your brand hinges on online conversations that you can’t control. A single significant breach in security can destroy your corporate identity and brand strength in a matter of digital minutes. If clients are trusting you to maintain their confidentiality, usability, and security, your risk calculations need to account for the negative marketing value of attacks that go to press. In the past, IT was a mere shadow of organizational strategy, but today, it’s a function of your corporate ethics and reputation.
4. Cloud Reliance Is Growing
The cloud ecosystem is quickly reaching maturity, which creates an entirely new level of security breach. Cloud-born organizations may be light in assets, but their security should be viewed as part of their wealth. Cloud security has become such a valuable asset that financial institutions are forming mergers on the basis of security.
5. The Year of Operating Technology Environments Has Arrived
Until recently, operating technology environments were designed to enhance connection, not security. Forbes predicts that, by 2020, 80 billion objects from medical devices to cars and cities will be connected. The more integrated the world becomes, the more dangerous cybersecurity threats can be, yet 70 percent of devices don’t use encryption. Cyberattacks can now affect everything from smart cars and medical implants, so lives depend on solid security strategies.
Reliance on the digital ecosystem will only increase as the years soar by, and threats will continue to grow in sophistication. Today’s security measures must predict before they react so that catastrophic breaches are prevented.