The frequency and magnitude of today's cybercriminal activity far exceed the patterns seen in any previous generation. From the world of private enterprise to public organizations and every area in between, decision-makers face Internet adversaries with more technical capacity and extensive resources with each passing year. Moving forward, cybersecurity must be a central component of your outlook if it isn't already. The stakes are simply too high to let network vulnerabilities pose ongoing and unmitigated risk to your organization and its stakeholders.
Attacks rump rap
While IT's early days weren't exactly smooth sailing for enterprise and government adopters, infrastructure protection was simply not a top priority for leaders at the time. Between isolated network architectures and the fact that not much vital information was stored on these assets in the first place, organizations did not have to defend their systems with nearly as much effort and scrutiny as they do today. Not only have networks become more directly linked to the Internet in a globalized economy, but criminals have recognized the Web as a powerful tool with which to launch devastating attacks.
A recent article from Accountants Daily pointed to an Ernst and Young report revealing the most likely sources of cyberattacks: political activist groups, criminal syndicates, state and non-state sponsored organizations were cited as the most common culprits. This year's report was the first in 17 years to highlight external attackers as a more pertinent threat than insider parties, suggesting that criminal groups have finally achieved levels of technical competence on par with the organizations protecting data within their network walls.
In addition to the momentous problem that external groups pose for today's institutions, Ernst and Young's report showed that decision-makers across the globe are unprepared for these challenges. Real-time insights were missing from more than a third (34 percent) of respondents' cyber security strategies, and 55 percent claimed that they suffered a shortage of skilled resources in this area. Perhaps most alarming was the fact that only 17 percent of respondents had achieved their full criteria for security operations requirements in-house. The source explained that although many decision-makers direct blame elsewhere, you must refocus efforts on internal defenses and preparedness to fully combat the risks highlighted in this report.
"While organizations need to do a better job of anticipating attacks because of the serious and sometimes catastrophic breaches of critical corporate and personal information, we have to think more broadly about organizational resilience," said EY's Oceania Information Security leader Mike Trovato, as quoted by the source. "Today it is too easy to blame business or government neglect, the media, computer users, or IT systems developers, and operators for the epidemic of cybercrime."
The future may appear uncertain in light of these daunting facts and figures, but you have a wide range of powerful resources at your fingertips to mitigate these problems and build a resilient infrastructure. Look to an expert third-party service provider to help you map out a plan and execute a proactive security strategy moving forward.