Why are major cyber attacks launched in the first place?
Major cyber attacks are typically engineered to achieve specific outcomes in favor of the perpetrators. These outcomes can range from disruption of systems and services, to financial gain, to loss of life.
Who propagates major cyber attacks?
Major cyber attacks are typically conducted by a team of people, rather than a single, solitary individual. These teams of people may take the form of hacktivists, nation-state backed hackers, or other known nefarious groups.
What are experts’ predictions around major cyber attacks?
- Experts predict that artificial intelligence will facilitate the development of increasingly sophisticated major cyber attacks.
- Based on 2019 trends, it’s expected that major ransomware attacks will increase.
- Given the documented loopholes in 5G security, 5G systems could serve as an entry point for those who wish to launch major cyber attacks.
- Other experts predict an uptick in cyber warfare tactics.
Could the coronavirus pandemic precipitate major cyber attacks?
Yes. More than ten years ago, cyber security leaders began to forecast a “Cyber Pearl Harbor.” That forecast was largely shelved until recently. With new opportunities for attack, due to the coronavirus work-from-home mandates, experts warn of an impending ‘cyber pandemic.’
One global CEO stated that “…the new reality created by the coronavirus pandemic will cause threats in the cybersecurity field to rise, and that countries need to protect themselves against the coming ‘cyber pandemic’. “We know it will happen, and we need to secure [against] it,” he continued.
In 2003, the infamous Slammer/Sapphire computer worm spread so fast and furiously that in the span of 10 minutes, it had infected 10.8 million technological devices. In the near future, it’s possible that we’ll see the spread of even more vicious cyber attacks.
According to the World Economic Forum, “…a cyber pandemic is probably as inevitable as a future disease pandemic. The time to start thinking about the response is – as always – yesterday”. Although it’s impossible to develop complete immunity to cyber attacks, preventative measures can make any cyber attack much more manageable.
How can organizational leaders prevent major cyber attacks?
Best practices to avoid major cyber attacks include:
- Securing your everything. Acknowledge that every component of your business’s operations could present prime real-estate from which a hacker could launch an attack. Check security levels pertaining to your network’s infrastructures and processes and compliance of connected mobile, endpoint, and IoT devices.
- Consolidation and visibility. If your organization relies on more than a small handful of point solutions, you may not be getting the threat visibility that you need. A consolidated cyber security solution offers the highest level of visibility. It’ll offer you the security effectiveness needed to prevent the most sophisticated of cyber attacks.
- Invest in software that can prevent email phishing. In addition, be sure to educate your employees about exercising caution around unknown senders, suspicious looking attachments, special offers, lookalike domains, and authenticating sources.
- Ensure that your cloud is secure. Organizations often aim to make digital transitions as quickly as possible, but as a result, security can lag behind. Ensure that your cloud security has kept pace. Implement zero trust access permissions, cloud data encryption, mitigate API related risks and backup your data in multiple locations.
To learn more about how to avoid the impact of major cyber attacks, especially in the context of a ‘cyber pandemic’, see this recorded webinar.