Cybersecurity has grown to become an essential topic in schools, workplaces, and boardrooms due to increased attacks. Each day, news of data breaches and cyberattacks make headlines, and there are even dedicated blogs that report daily on new activities in the cybersecurity space. Every organization and even government entities have to take care of its cybersecurity space to avoid the consequences that might affect them. For instance, in September, a significant attack hit computer systems for Universal Health Services in one of US history’s seemingly most massive medical attacks. This incident, among other reasons, makes cybersecurity increasingly becoming more critical. Here are five main reasons why cybersecurity is more important than ever.
Serious Effects to Businesses, Government Services, and Even Individuals
Cyberattacks can affect businesses and individuals in a big way. Attacks have affected many large, medium, and small-sized businesses, indicating that no individual organization is safe.
The effects of cyberattacks can range from loss of company secrets, customer data, and even massive spending to restore services and get back on their feet. Because of an attack, people can even lose jobs as the company cuts down on spending. Last year, Atlanta’s mayor revealed the city suffered a cyberattack in 2018, and an unidentified hacker(s) demanded $51,000 in ransom, which the city refused to pay. However, it ended up costing the city $7.2 million.
Hackers Are getting Smarter, and Attacks Are Increasingly Becoming Sophisticated
Even as the tech industry continues to innovate and prevent malicious actors from bypassing security protocols, the bad guys also relentlessly develop new and sophisticated tactics.
As such, every company must be aware of the latest cybersecurity defense developments to mitigate known risks and improve their security. A recent report from Microsoft entitled Digital Defense Report analyzed trends in the cybersecurity space from 2019 and came to one conclusion; attacks are increasingly becoming sophisticated.
Blurred Line Between Online and Offline Lives
The proliferation of social media apps has meant that people share more personal data online for different reasons. The disparity between your online and offline lives is increasingly blurry, and more information is being shared publicly than in entire human history. With so much about your personal life online, securing such data is very important, making cybersecurity a must-have essential. Any data available online must be protected at all times. And with about 4 billion people online, half of the world’s population is at risk. Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, suffered a significant data breach in 2018, which exposed 50 million users.
The proliferation of the Internet of Things (IoT) Devices
Smart and connected devices are becoming part of our daily lives. Talk about the Google Home speaker, Amazon’s Alexa devices, Philips Hue bulbs, and many other IoT devices.
These smart devices collect massive data about you, and since they are connected to the internet, they can be hacked. For example, if you use a smart door lock and suffer a data breach, the perpetrator can lock you out of your own house. Such incidents make cybersecurity essential.
Stricter Legislation on Privacy and Data Security
With more services moving online and more people sharing their data online, regulators are continuing to tighten legislation to ensure that companies take good care of their customers’ data. New legislations ensure companies comply with the industry practices in storing consumer data to mitigate potential risks in case of an attack. End-to-end encryption is a requirement, and platforms storing user data, like passwords, must store them in hashed form. As a business owner, you should ensure that your business complies with all the rules and regulations to avoid potential fines. Facebook is always a good example when it comes to this. In 2019, the FTC fined the company record-breaking $1 billion for handling customer data inappropriately in the famous Cambridge Analytica scandal. Companies and public organizations need to adhere to all protocols put in place by regulators, including Cybersecurity for Offshore Facilities, and Europe’s famous, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), among others.
Cybersecurity threats have risen sharply this year, and this trend only continues to grow as time moves by. With so much data shared online, cybersecurity is becoming more critical. The consequences of laxity in security have severe consequences on individuals, organizations, and even government entities. It’s therefore essential than ever to pay attention to cybersecurity.