news Published on March 18, 2021

The Inevitably of Cyberattacks: Who is Most Susceptible and How to Improve Cybersecurity

With the recent cyber hacks that have occurred over the duration of the year-long pandemic, inadequate cybersecurity remains a major threat for companies as a majority of work activity is online due to stay-at-home orders. Some of the most recent hackings that have happened to corporations such as  Microsoft, Facebook and SolarWinds can raise insecurity among companies across the globe, seeing that even the most well-known companies with the resources and financial means to invest in cybersecurity are able to be breached.

The Industries that are the Most Vulnerable

It may seem to be that the larger corporations are better targets for hacking access to large databases and financial assets. Although, the sectors that are most at-risk of hackings and cyber breaches are SMEs, manufacturers, health care institutions, energy companies, government agencies, higher education institutions, and financial services. This is due to the type of activity that occurs with these types of businesses, seeing that there is a large flow of sensitive data, personal information and funds being distributed among clients and services. Luckily, there are many initiatives that can be taken to improve the security of most data systems and cloud storages, as well as strategies to increase alertness and detection of suspicious activity toward your company.

Figure 1: Cybersecurity Statistics from Varonis 

Promote Cybersecurity Through Training and Strategic Planning

It is beneficial for any type of company to provide additional training to employees to promote awareness about different tactics that are used to gain access to classified documents and data systems. Suspicious activity that employees should be made aware of could include phishing tactics with suspicious email attachments or fake websites with harmful malware. Additionally, employees should be made aware of how to detect whether certain websites are protected by looking for a padlock icon and an “s” in the “HTTPS” in the address bar. When any form of a security breach happens, whether it is through a suspicious email or message, everything should be documented, reported, and made aware to other employees to increase awareness. Moreover, a response strategy should be made, implemented, and practised among employees to ensure the company is well equipped for any potential event of a security breach.

Figure 2: Cybersecurity Statistics from Varonis 

Analyze your Current Cybersecurity Systems and Tactics 

There are many aspects of daily work tasks that are done online or on the computer where the thought of security breaches may be overlooked. Every company should analyze whether their systems are truly secure, and how to further protect their data and systems. Some of the most important aspects to keep in mind are the security of their data storage with the use of strong and complex uses of passwords, awareness and documentation of where data is being shared and organized, the identification of all types of devices and systems that are connected with the company’s IT infrastructure, and the segmentation of networks so that access to one system does not allow access to everything. Additionally, every company should ensure to have backups of all forms of information in case of a breach that results in lost data.

Consider Investments into Firewalls, VPNs, and Secure Cloud Storage  

Figure 3: VPN Infographic by AT&T

There are many types of software and cloud storage that can benefit the security and management of critical data. Firstly, firewall software has many benefits aside from protecting your computer from viruses, malware and spyware. Firewall protection can monitor all forms of network traffic, and customizations can be made to filter specific types of protection. Secondly, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) are an inexpensive form of software that can provide privacy, anonymity, and security for users by creating an IP address that can appear to be foreign to other websites. Additional to adding an extra layer of protection against cyber hacking, VPNs can add convenience by means of bypassing geo-locks, minimizing bandwidth throttling and preventing other websites from gathering your information. Lastly, secure cloud storage is essential for securely protecting sensitive data of the company, employees, and clients. Ensure that the chosen cloud service provider for your company is accredited, well-known, trusted, and reliable in terms of having a dependable back-up system for lost data. 

As the globe continues to become increasingly digitalized, it is inevitable that businesses, government organizations and educational institutions will need to continue to adapt to modern technology. Advances in technology will only continue, as will forms of hacking and cyber breaches. Promoting awareness among employees, creating strategic/scenario planning, and implementing new tactics to defend against cyber breaches can potentially save a company from inconveniences and financial losses due to the theft of data, identities and funds. 

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4,

Recommended Blogs/News Sites about Cybersecurity: 

Krebson Security

ZD Net

Schneier on Security