Understanding the Latest Cybersecurity Trends

NOTE: The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence.
With the ever-rising cases of cybersecurity attacks, it’s evident that bad actors are everywhere, and their skills are getting betterby the day. Mitigating cybersecurity risks requires that organizations strengthen their IT infrastructure by investing in the best technologies, hiring the best IT talents, and ensuring compliance. Below are some of the latest trends in the cybersecurity world.

Increased Vulnerabilities

Over the past 12 months, digital transformation initiatives from – artificial intelligence, data analytics, machine learning to cloud computing have grown significantly, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to McKinsey, the pandemic has expedited the adoption of digital technologies by several years, and some of them have transformed the business landscape completely.

However, these new technologies bring forth opportunities and challenges. Some of the greatest challenges are security risks as organizations shift their legacy systems to the cloud. For instance, remote working exposes millions of company data to hackers as unsuspecting employees use unsecured networks to login into the company servers. Data theft through ransomware is also rising due to the ease of accessing unsecured data via loopholes within the organizations’ IT infrastructure.

Read: Cyber security awareness for silver surfers: How to stay safe online

To deal with these potential issues, forward-looking organizations are already devising ways to deal with security loopholes at all levels within their organization. A 2020 Deloitte survey found that 47% of individuals fell victim to phishing scams while working from home during the pandemic. To boost their cybersecurity measures, companies are now taking the following steps:

  • Leveraging antivirus protection –providing employees with a license to malware protection/ antivirus software is a simple yet significant step that can eliminate many low-level attacks.
  • Recommending extra cyber-security measures such as the use of VPN – Several organizations that have implemented the work-from-home policies are advising their employees to use a virtual private network to ensure an additional layer of protection against cyberattacks.
  • Frequently reviewing cybersecurity measures – regular evaluations of the IT infrastructure and updating the cyberattack scenarios can help identify weak spots for better crisis management.

Zero Trust Architecture

The Zero Trust Architecture is one of the most preferred security models that offer the highest level of network protection. The architecture trusts no one by default and requires verification from everyone before accessing any resource on a particular network.

Over the years, several organizations have adopted the Zero Trust model. The latter has been shown to offer better data protection than traditional security architecture — which granted access by default to a section or all employees.

Moving into the post-pandemic economy, more companies will implement the Zero trust security model to help counter the threats created by insider exploits or ransomware by locking down network access right from the entry point. Zero Trust is considered the new normal for cybersecurity, and implementing it requires a significant change in the entire organization. With this model, user access is often conditioned based on several factors, such as credentials, identity, location, authenticators, and device. This means that implementing zero trusts requires a well-thought-out strategy that favors everyone while at the same time meeting the highest security protocols.

Read: Demystifying Zero-Trust and its role in Cybersecurity

Greater Emphasis on Risk Management

Before designing a cybersecurity risk management program that will protect the corporate IT infrastructure and data, you first need to understand the types and impact of potential cyber threats.

Launching a cybersecurity awareness campaign where you highlight all the possible threats, including the implications they can have on your business, will help identify the most critical security loopholes.

Moving forward, the risk of increased vulnerabilities will push CIOs, CISOs, and CTOs to source flexible cybersecurity risk mitigation measures that can make intelligent, risk-based recommendations. The end goal is to maximize the efficiency of the smart tools and software to detect and mitigate critical incidents and anomalies that might affect the integrity of IT systems and sensitive data.

Even with these tools in place, risk management measures without an actionable exit strategy simply don’t cut it. Instead of only focusing on preventing cybersecurity threats from happening, it is recommended to have an aftermath strategy in case the unexpected happens. Developing a cybersecurity risk implementation strategy with a step-by-step plan on how to recover from incidents is key to overcoming cybersecurity risks.

Besides working on the technical side of risk management, you also want to ensure tight controls on the administrative side. For instance, ensure that all the admin rights, including the ability to transfer administrative privileges, are only granted to those with the designated security clearance.

Conclusion

Building a secure IT infrastructure begins with having a plan in mind and taking the time and effort to implement the best risk prevention, diagnosis, and mitigation measures. At the end of the day, digital invaders will continue to sharpen their skills to develop new tactics of penetrating even the most secure networks. The goal is always to stay vigilant about the emerging trends and have the means and resources to keep up with such trends and avoid being an easy target.

 


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