Adopting a cyber-secure mindset

Issue 5 2022 Security Services & Risk Management, Information Security

Simeon Tassev.

Cybercrime is nothing new, but recently there has been a spate of reported vulnerabilities that have brought the topic back into the spotlight. This includes a security flaw in Apple devices, generally thought to be secure, which hackers have actively exploited to gain full control over iPhone, iPad and Mac devices.

Malware attacks are now more of a threat than ever, and neither individuals nor businesses can afford to be complacent about cybersecurity. Adopting a cybersecure mindset is key to mitigating the risk of falling victim to the growing cybercrime pandemic.

Evidence in the numbers

There can be no doubt that cybercrime is a challenge that affects every single person using a connected device, and ransomware is among the biggest threats we face. The 2022 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report demonstrates the magnitude of the challenge: in 2021 there were 623 million ransomware attacks globally, which represents a 105% increase over 2020. In addition, the report highlights a sharp increase in encrypted threats, with 10 million attacks globally, as well as 97 million incidents of cryptojacking.

Not just a corporate problem

The repercussions of a successful ransomware attack can be devastating for a business, causing downtime, loss of productivity, reputational damage, compliance breaches and more. However, it is important to understand that cybersecurity is not just a corporate problem, because it can personally affect individuals whose identity and money can be stolen, whose data can be compromised, whose devices could be completely wiped, and whose lives can be badly affected by a malware breach.

The reality is that cybersecurity is everyone’s problem, and we need to be more aware of the threats and how they can affect us personally, as well as those around us. We need to develop a cybersecure mindset by taking responsibility for how we connect and how we behave while connected, to protect not only ourselves but others around us as well.

No such thing as ‘set and forget’

Security is not something that anyone can afford to take for granted. Even Apple devices, which many have complacently thought to be secure enough not to require external security solutions, are increasingly targets for attack. Cybersecurity is also not a technology that can simply be put into place and forgotten about. It needs to be constantly refreshed and updated to ensure it provides adequate protection against a constantly evolving threat landscape.

Above all, understand the risks

Being prepared for the worst-case scenario is key, but often it pays to go back to the basics. Make sure that you have backup and data protection, antivirus and anti-malware, and all of the appropriate technology in place, including mobile device protection, but do not rely only on these solutions. A multi-layered solution can help to build a solid security foundation, but human behaviour can override even the strongest of security frameworks. Understand the risks and the consequences when it comes to cyberthreats and ensure that being cybersecure is always top of mind.

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