Innovating your way to better cybersecurity

Issue 1 2022 Editor's Choice

The growth of the Digital Customer Experience has begun a revolution in the way organisations do business – most notably are the shifts to cloud and mobile technologies. These innovations are reportedly driving the modern business era, unfortunately they are also exposing new threats and security concerns for companies bent on transforming to digital platforms – a must if they are to remain competitive. Leading industry researchers and analysts are predicting a rapid growth trajectory for these market-disrupting technologies that will continue to increase the spotlight on gaps in cybersecurity, risk management and compliance.

Edison Mazibuko.

Industry reports prove the fragile state of cybersecurity:

• Cyberattacks occur more than 2,2 thousand times a day, with 71% of malware attempts being financially motivated.

• 80% of firms have seen an increase in cyberattacks this year.

• Approximately US$6 trillion was expected to be spent globally on cybersecurity last year.

The stats may seem incredible, but these latest trends are emerging alongside technologies including artificial intelligence and machine learning. The latest cybersecurity statistics confirm:

• Most cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error.

• Only 5% of the average company’s folders are protected.

• In 94% of cases, the malware reaches targets via email.

• Cybercrime costs organisations $2,9 million every minute.

• Due to Covid-19, cybercrime has risen by 600%.

• The average global cost of a data breach is $3,86 million.

This last figure is approximate because it can do nothing other than grow and most likely exponentially.

The cloud

The business world has moved on from should or how do I move to the cloud. Businesses debating the need to go to the cloud have quite possibly already found a spot on the ark carrying fax machines and videos. A move to the cloud is an essential element of implementing a digital transformation strategy that aims to grow a business.

KPMG confirms that the question today is more around the issue of, now that you are in the cloud, how do you ensure you have optimised your investment and risk exposure?

Emerging technologies driving cybersecurity innovation

The top five emerging technologies are well set out in this report. The following are said to be responsible for the cybersecurity industry’s production of innovative developments:

• AI and machine-learning – in the world of cybersecurity, both of these innovations are predominantly related to risk identification systems. Automation provides detection of cyber breaches and can also safeguard attack targets.

• Behavioural analytics – this has become an integral part of advanced cybersecurity solutions, constantly evolving to provide stronger protection. This technology allows all behavioural data to be stored and then processed to examine trends, patterns and habits in workflows.

• Blockchain can eliminate the authentication process as a potential attack spot because it can authenticate devices and users without the need for passwords. Moreover, each transaction is timestamped and digitally signed so it can’t be reversed or tampered with. Thanks to blockchain technology, cybersecurity promises a new dimension of conducting business transactions safely.

• Zero-trust – this model requires all users to be authenticated and authorised before accessing data and resources, even when they are inside the organisation’s enterprise network. This architecture takes nothing for granted.

• Hardware authentication is an innovative technology that generates unique and temporary cryptographic code for users to type in alongside passwords in order to gain access to stored data. This kind of approach relies on dedicated physical evidence for user authentication, combined with passwords.

So, to finish off where I started, as much as we hate cyberattacks, we must acknowledge that they never stop innovating. So how can we deal with these attacks if we are not striving to innovate? Today's digital world is comprised of cloud computing, mobile accessibility, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence and more. Reactive strategies and solutions simply will not cut it when it comes to addressing new threats as and when they arise. It is essential for cybersecurity professionals to be innovative and to implement these innovations into practice as we increasingly move into a digitally enabled future.

Keeping up with the bad guys is not the name of the game. Rather, being 10 steps ahead of them with new technologies that aim to outwit; outpace and beat them at their own game.

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