As the pace of innovation continues to accelerate, cyber criminals are not only keeping up – they’re thriving. Hackers are hitting businesses and entrepreneurs in increasingly sophisticated attacks timed to cause the most commercial, economic and strategic damage possible.
“It’s thought that more than $33 billion was lost to cyber criminals last year alone, with the prevalence of ransomware attacks up nearly 15 per cent year on year,” says Grant Walsh, senior manager, Strategy & Consulting, at CyberCX, an end-to-end cyber-resilience provider.
“The professional, scientific and technical services sectors were the hardest hit but it’s not just the big players they’re going after. Cyber criminals cast a wide net so if you’re making any buzz, they will look at what they can get out of you.”
This means businesses in the value creation phase are often targeted.
“It’s when the next revolutionary idea is just starting to crystallise. Theft or ransom of coveted intellectual property in this phase can greatly diminish the benefits of innovation, destroy a company’s competitive edge and take advantage of their consumers.”
The nature of breaking through barriers to create something new is that you move into territory where risks are not well understood.
“Often this means that cyber-security measures are bolted on after a new product or service is in the market. You’ve been left exposed early on, meaning your security uplift becomes expensive and increasingly complex.”
Walsh says that companies that start by asking how attractive their innovation would be to cyber criminals – whose business is to extort and destroy other businesses – will have the upper hand.
“At CyberCX, we help businesses identify and test vulnerabilities and build a security policy suite that makes their big idea or product secure.”
However, a cyber-security strategy can’t be one-size-fits-all. A strong cyber-security capability is one tailored to protect against ever-evolving threats, to quickly detect a security breach, respond accordingly and recover from a cyber-security incident.
“Our cyber-security services constantly adapt to the changing threat environment, meaning we’re ready to support your business on its own journey.”
He says that while there’s no way to completely remove all cyber risk from your business, you can be prepared.
“The key is to effectively engage with and manage your risk by partnering with a cyber expert like CyberCX.”