Cybersecurity and cybercrime are two issues often underestimated, both by individuals and companies.
A recent study by Accenture calculated that the costs related to cybercrimes that companies will face during the next 5 years will exceed $ 5.2 trillion.
According to the study, the main cause is the technological developments in the field of security: modern Internet-based business models are developing faster than the technology required for cybersecurity.
The sector most affected by cybercrime threats will be high-tech, with more than 753 billion dollars of possible emerging costs over the next 5 years. The biological sciences follow with 742 billion and the automobile industry with 505 billion.
Source: screenshot from Accenture Research – https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/cybersecurity/_acnmedia/Thought-Leadership-Assets/PDF/Accenture-Securing-the-Digital-Economy-Reinventing-the-Internet -for-Trust.pdf
The study interviewed more than 1700 CEOs and general managers from around the world, to ask them about their Internet-related challenges and detail the imperatives for the CEO’s changing role with respect to technology, business architecture and governance.
The 79% of respondents believe that the development of the digital economy will be affected, unless rapid advances occur in Internet security.
The 75% mentioned that threats to IT security will require a joint response, since none of the organizations have the ability to solve problems on their own.
The 59% of respondents think Internet security is unstable and does not have a clear picture of what are the possible actions to be implemented to confront the threats.
How to protect your company from cyber-attacks?
As we see in these reports, most CEOs not only express their fear of cybercrime and cyber-attacks, but perceive them as a serious threat to the success of business in the digital age.
Currently, hackers and cyber criminals have deep knowledge of each type of network, operating system and software gaps that can apply to zero-day vulnerabilities, although they also adapt to new situations. As a result, cyber-attacks increase every year, becoming increasingly complex.
What are the three best ways to protect yourself from a cyber-attack?
Consult a professional hacker. One of the best ways to protect your company from cybercrime is to consult a (former) professional hacker. These people will be able to test your system, to try to discover weaknesses and loopholes. These hackers with the correct ethics carry out penetration tests that reveal the main problems in a very short time. Then, the IT administrator can solve these weaknesses and, in the best case, avoid an attack.
Keep your systems updated. This may seem obvious, but as we have seen in recent years, hackers enter the known loopholes of operating systems. For example, many web browsers have technical vulnerabilities that must be solved with an update, but many smaller companies fail to update their systems on time. In addition, it is also necessary to have the most updated antivirus solution and a firewall, in order to protect your system.
Keep your employees updated. When we talk about cybercrime, the main weakness is the person who sits in front of the computer. Although there may be cases where a hacker has developed an extraordinary malware code with the ability to transfer itself from one device or file folder to another or deleted file recovery, it is no longer so easy to access the server and network systems of the big companies. It is necessary that employees are trained permanently with respect to data management. There must be a clear guideline regarding which data an employee can access and which is not, and strict guidelines regarding email must be implemented.
If an email is received that has any of the following characteristics, it is highly likely that it is a suspicious email.
- It comes from an unknown sender.
- It contains many errors.
- It is written in another language.
- It contains nonsense information in the subject.
- Includes applications and programs.
- Contains a payment reminder of an unknown invoice.
- It includes only an attachment, without message.
- It is an urgent request for money transfer.
Finally, employees should also be suspicious when they discover that funds have been debited from a private or company account. Therefore, it is advisable to check bank accounts frequently in order to detect suspicious activities.