The digital age is here, and it’s become an indispensable part of our lives. It’s penetrated nearly every sphere such as business operations, commerce, entertainment, banking, etc. These advances have put more power in the hands of consumers and businesses, but the increasing reliance on computers, connectivity, and cloud computing has made us more vulnerable to cyberattacks.
Data is the lifeblood of the digital economy and all the services that we are now dependent upon. According to the University of Maryland, a cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds and affects 1 in 3 Americans.
The cost of such an attack can be quite steep for individuals but even more disastrous for companies. Some costs can include trade secrets, intellectual property, customer trust, regulatory scrutiny, and a disruption in operations.
Just like the rise of automobiles spawned the car insurance industry, the increased digitization of operations and activities necessitates investing in an effective cybersecurity program and structure. Cybersecurity needs have become increasingly varied and complex as threats proliferate and grow in sophistication.
Types of Cybersecurity Attacks
Every few months or so, there are some high-profile hackings in the news. Just over the last few years, 90 million customers’ credit card details from TJX (TJX), the Stuxnet virus which affected Iran’s nuclear facilities, the theft of employee and customer records at RSA Security, data of over 100 million customers being stolen from Target (TGT), Yahoo compromising the data of 500 million users, and eBay (EBAY) which lost the data of nearly 150 million users.
Based on these incidents and the constant reports of new threats, it’s clear that one of the biggest near-term risks to companies is a cybersecurity attack.
These incidents have also taught us that cyberattacks can take different forms and cause different types of damage. To protect against digital attacks, it’s necessary to understand areas of vulnerability and the potential impact of an attack. Some of the means of cyberattacks are social engineering, phishing, ransomware, unpatched software, and persistent threats.
Cyberthreats are typically classified into three categories:
- Attack on Integrity – Tampering or Altering data by unauthorized people. Many cyber attacks start this way to gain access to systems.
- Attack on Confidentiality – Theft of private or confidential information.
- Attack of Availability – Prevents systems and data from being accessed or used.
Components of Cybersecurity
Companies’ tech stacks have different points of vulnerability due to different access points. Each cybersecurity solution should include the following assessments:
- Risk Management and Assessment: This step involves identifying and prioritizing internal and external vulnerabilities. Then, choosing to prioritize which gaps should be addressed by balancing time, cost, and risks.
- Unified Threat Management: This is often the dashboard by which companies assess and monitor systems and threats. It’s a comprehensive look at a cybersecurity system including the various tools that are found in a typical package including antivirus, antispam, firewalls, intrusion detection, etc.
- Security Incidence: Security Incidence is the company’s protocol for dealing with threats in real-time. This is to minimize the impact of damage and help operations return to normal as quickly as possible.
- Identity and Access Management: Cloud, mobile, and IoT allow employees and customers to work and engage from any location. This increases the importance of assigning a digital ID to every user to ensure that data or systems are not accessed without proper credentials.
Cybersecurity Industry Size and Prospects
Given the importance and depth of the cybersecurity field, it’s not surprising that overall spending has increased from $3.5 billion in 2004 to $185 billion in 2020. According to Grandview Research, spending is expected to increase at a 12% to 15% CAGR over the next decade.
In a survey from Ernst & Young, 86% of companies said that upgrading cybersecurity is a priority for them in 2021. Cybersecurity and national defense are also becoming synonymous, as cyberwarfare and spyware are increasingly taking place in cyberspace. In 2020, the Defense Department spent $24 billion on cybersecurity, and this is expected to reach $50 billion by 2030.
Over the next decade, technologies like cloud computing, 5G, and the Internet…