Cybersecurity and How Companies are Protecting Themselves

Today’s increasing amount of information being digitized and the number of devices being connected to the cloud poses a growing cybersecurity threat. Information theft and privacy breaches, also known as cybercrimes or cyberterrorism, are becoming more common and harder to avoid.

If in the past, cybersecurity threats predominantly targeted larger enterprises, today, cyberterrorism impacts startups, SMB’s, individuals, and even governments at an equal (and alarming) rate. 

How Great Is the Cybersecurity Threat?

In 2016, more data was breached and more people were targeted than ever before.

500 million Yahoo users were impacted by one of the biggest data breaches in history, and the DemocraticCyber Security's Threat to Enterprises National Committee experienced a detrimental email hacking scandal that potentially impacted the U.S. election.

Ransomware, the act in which hackers revoke access to data and demand a ransom from the victim in order to release the encrypted key, is on the rise with a 25% growth prediction for 2017.

SMB’s, enterprises, and even governments have succumbed to ransomware demands in the past year and victim reported costs for 2016 are expected to exceed $1 billion according to the FBI – a drastic increase from the $24 million paid throughout 2015.  

While ransomware targets have primarily been enterprises, governments, and other large entities, 2017 may be the year where individuals become the target of these attacks.  A recent survey indicated that more than half of the potential victims would be willing to pay cyberattackers to return family photos if they were compromised, and over 50% would pay to get their financial data back if it was blocked.

While businesses tend to be more open to paying their ransomware captors due to dependency on data, they are also the ones who are increasing their data backing methods. This leaves individuals, many of whom are unaware of the threat of ransomware, easy targets for cyberattackers.

IoTs Effect on Cybersecurity 

It is estimated that by 2020, there will be more than 24 billion internet-connected devices around the world (that’s basically 4 connected devices per person on earth). With companies pushing to connect their devices to one another, securing these devices will be an increasing concern.

“Cyberterrorism could also become more attractive as the real and virtual worlds become more closely coupled, with automobiles, appliances, and other devices attached to the Internet” – Dorothy Denning, Information Security Researcher

According to Gartner, worldwide IoT security spending will rise up to $434 million this year from $348 million in 2016. But, will that be enough to thwart cyberattacks?

Using Innovation to Stop Cybersecurity Attacks

Cyber Security's Threat to EnterprisesWith cybersecurity attacks expected to increase, so to will the global demand for cybersecurity experts. Whether cybersecurity focused startups or SMBs, enterprises are increasingly looking to collaborate. Big companies are turning to the startup industry for the forward-thinking solutions to their cybersecurity needs, and as a result, the demand to run proof-of-concepts with startups has increased dramatically.

By running proof-of-concepts, these companies in need of solutions are able to test multiple alternatives quickly and efficiently. Once the best solution has been found, the startups’ technology will either be integrated or brought in-house to hopefully thwart off potential cyberattackers.

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