2017 is already proving to be a year with increased cyber risks. Does your business have the protection it needs? In a study done by Tripwire, almost 96 percent of IT professionals expect more attacks, costly risks, and increased vulnerability in 2017. In other words, we’re playing a higher stakes game.
These days, everything is connected. From nest home systems to autonomous vehicles – technology is rapidly expanding to make our lives easier. Wise words have said, with great power comes great responsibility. With this increased connectivity, we’re opening ourselves up to increased risk of a cyber-attack. What we used to see in sci-fi movies is now a harsh reality we are facing. A term commonly used for this connectivity is the Internet of Things or IoT for short. Encompassing everything from your smart refrigerator to your smartphone – it includes all devices that send and transmit information through the Internet, in other words – everything. Gartner analysts predict that by 2020 over 25% of all identified cyber-attacks will involve the IoT, that same year there will be over 26 billion connected devices.
Each year, cyber security trends are forecasted to draw attention to potential risks to you and your organization. This year, Network World highlights the cyber risks associated with the IoT. One point, in particular, is very impactful for businesses: ensure that your third parties scrutinize their security policies to the same degree that your organization does. The level of security that you have only works as well as the security of your business partners. Often it can be third party partners that leave your clients at risk. In the same article by Network World, it draws attention to Wendy’s Fast Food Point-of-Sale attack which compromised over 1,000 franchised locations through a remote connection that the PoS provider used to maintain and update the systems. The result has been multiple class action lawsuits due to the credit card, and banking information stolen during this attack.
IoT is only one of the trends we’d like to highlight the other being, ransomware. Ransomware has made a lot of headlines both in the news and in IT departments. If you are not familiar with ransomware, here’s a breakdown. Malicious Software, malware, is executed on the computer – usually from an email with an attachment. This email is relatively innocuous, and it could resemble a client’s email address or even one from your organization. The ransomware is then executed on your computer and encrypts all of your files. To get your files back, you must send funds, usually in the form of electronic currency such as BitCoin, to the attacker and they will decrypt your files.
In fact, Trend Micro predicts an increase of ransomware by more than 25 percent in 2017. With the recent “WannaCry” ransomware attack, that’s an understandable assumption to make. “WannaCry” infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries in a single weekend, is one of the largest ransomware attacks in 2017. To give you an idea of the scope – the UK’s National Health System was brought down by it – admitting only life-threatening patients while the IT department frantically tried to resolve the issue. Other companies impacted by this include FedEx and Nissan.
Losing access to your files, even for a short amount of time, can have devastating effects on your business. Losing the integrity of your network could impact your business for months. Having a cyber security strategy is critical to ensuring your business’ future. If you’re unsure about where your exposures lie, give us a call today to receive your free Cyber Risk ToolKit.
Protecting your business doesn’t have to be complicated, contact our team today. We Care. We Help.