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Freeman Cebu Business

The world of data and cybersecurity threats  

INTEGRITY BEAT - Henry J. Schumacher - The Freeman

Cybercriminals will be as busy in 2023 as ever. Are you ready?

With the rise of technology and the popularity of social media, people’s digital lives are becoming as important as their real ones. They share everything online with friends, family, and businesses like yours, from their name and location to their birthday and their dog’s birthday! I am only partly kidding here.

Data is power - big companies know this – and so do hackers and enemy states.

Data can be sold for a profit to help other businesses reach out to more potential customers. Data can also be stolen and used to hold a business to ransom, which happens more frequently than you think. For all the benefits of a data-driven world, it sure brings a lot of risks.

Data could be your ticket to building trust - If you can prove to your customers that you’ve got their data stored safely and that you’re only going to use it for good, they’ll respect you! Through privacy and security, you can build goodwill that separates you from the competition and puts you ahead in your niche!

I have selected six top security threats that we are likely to see in 2023:

1. Malware - Malware is malicious software that is injected into networks and systems with the intention of causing disruption to computers, servers, workstations and networks. Malware can extract confidential information, deny service and gain access to systems.

2. Ransomware - Ransomware is a type of malware. It blocks access to a system or threatens to publish proprietary information. Ransomware perpetrators demand that their victims pay them cash ransoms to unlock systems or return information.

Ransomware attacks are costly. They can damage company reputations. Often ransomware can enter a corporate network through a channel that is open with a vendor or a supplier that has weaker security on its network. Companies must audit the security measures that their suppliers and vendors use to ensure that the end-to-end supply chain is secure.

3. Phishing - We all have received suspicious email, or worse, an email that appears to be legitimate and from a trusted party but isn’t. This email trickery is known as phishing.

Phishing is a major threat to companies because it is easy for unsuspecting employees to open bogus emails and unleash viruses. Employee training on how to recognize phony emails, report them and never open them can really help. IT should team with HR to ensure that sound email habits are taught.

4. IoT - In 2020, 61% of companies were using IoT, and this percentage continues to increase. With the expansion of IoT, security risks also grow. IoT vendors are notorious for implementing little to no security on their devices. IT can combat this threat by vetting IoT vendors upfront in the request for proposal process for security and by resetting IoT security defaults on devices, so they conform to corporate standards.

5. Internal employees - Disgruntled employees can sabotage networks or take off with intellectual property and proprietary information; and employees who practice poor security habits can inadvertently share passwords and leave equipment unprotected. Companies must use social engineering audits to check how well employee security policies and procedures are working.

In 2023, social engineering audits must be used so IT can check the robustness of its workforce security policies and practices.

6. Data poisoning - Artificial intelligence is going to open new possibilities for companies in every industry. Unfortunately, the bad actors know this too.

Cases of data poisoning in AI systems have started to appear. In a data poisoning, a malicious actor finds a way to inject corrupted data into an AI system that will skew the results of an AI inquiry, potentially returning an AI result to company decision makers that is false.

One way to protect against it is to continuously monitor your AI results. If you suddenly see a system trending significantly away from what it has revealed in the past, it’s time to look at the integrity of the data.

There are obviously many layers of security that IT must monitor. IT can tighten up security by creating a checklist for every security breach point in a workflow.

I hope that this cybersecurity threats selection that we unfortunately will face in 2023 are helpful, and that the actions that need to be taken, will help. Should you need assistance, I will get you in touch with experts; contact me at [email protected]

CYBER SECURITY ACT

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