According to the 2014 Internet Security Threat Report we have witnessed:
- 91% increase in targeted attacks campaigns in 2013
- 62% increase in the number of breaches in 2013
- Over 552 million identities were exposed via breaches in 2013
- 23 zero-day vulnerabilities discovered
- 38% of mobile users have experienced mobile cybercrime in past 12 months
- Spam volume dropped to 66% of all email traffic
- 1 in 392 emails contain a phishing attack
- 1 in 8 legitimate websites have a critical vulnerability
Complicating this further are recent trends of “BYOD” – Bring Your Own Device to work, increasingly sophisticated cyber criminals, organized world-wide attacks, cloud privacy and security breaches, and the internet of things: connected devices that are popping up everywhere (from light switches and thermostats, to appliances and “smart home” controllers).
Unfortunately, there is no stopping this evolving landscape. But there are ways that you can protect both your identity, intellectual property, data, and business.
First, you must start with a cyber-security audit. This will expose current vulnerabilities and practices that need addressing. Armed with the security audit’s report, you can retrofit your computers, cell phones, network, etc., and make sure that it is as protected as possible.
Second, you must educate both yourself and your employees. The number one vulnerability to cyber threats are uninformed users: What is the point of a great alarm system if you leave the doors and windows open? Cyber security is a shared responsibility between you, your employees, and your technology partners.
And finally, you must remain vigilant. This is not a do-it-once-and-forget-it exercise. Every day new threats emerge. Technology changes, and so does your exposure to malicious attacks, identity theft, and data breaches. Therefore, after you have made sure that your doors and windows are locked, after you made sure that your alarm is on, you need to test it. Developing an annual plan to review your cyber security and business continuity plan is essential to your peace of mind, safety, and on-going operations.