Cybercrime is estimated to cost businesses and organizations over $6 trillion in 2021. And that number shows no sign of coming down. On the contrary, the COVID-19 pandemic has only added fuel to the cybercrime fire.
So, what’s the solution to these growing threats? A greater focus on cybersecurity.
By taking advantage of the latest innovations in cybersecurity, your organization will be able to identify, analyze, and defend against costly cyberthreats. Here’s how…
Using Cybersecurity to Identify Threats
While technology has changed in drastic ways over the past two decades, hackers and cybercriminals are using the same methods to sow chaos and steal data that they have for years. So, what is a cyberthreat? And what are the most common kinds?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, a cyberthreat is defined as “any circumstance or event with the potential to adversely impact organizational operations, organizational assets, individuals, other organizations, or the Nation through an information system via unauthorized access, destruction, disclosure, modification of information, and/or denial of service.”
To put it simply, cyberthreats are methods that cybercriminals use to create problems for you and your organization. And they can do that in a variety of ways. The four most common threats include…
- Phishing. As its name implies, phishing a sort of bait-and-switch. Hackers set a digital trap using a fake e-mail, SMS message, phone call, or search engine result. Once users have clicked on the baited link, the cybercriminal gets access to the user’s computer and can steal information or create other problems.
- Malware. Malware (or malicious software) is spread through a variety of means, including links, downloads, pop-ads, etc. Once it’s infected a computer, hackers can get access to personal information and more.
- Ransomware. Ransomware is a kind of malware that denies access to the computer by the legitimate user. Hackers can then demand payment in exchange for access to the computer, holding it ransom until their demands are met.
- Data Breaches. Data breaches leave confidential information vulnerable to theft. They can happen in several different ways, including network attacks.
One of the most important aspects of cybersecurity is the identification of vulnerabilities to these (and other) cyberthreats. By analyzing an organization or business’s security measures, threat analysis empowers those organizations to better protect against threats.
So, how can cybersecurity be used to analyze those threats and protect against them?
Cybersecurity & Threat Analysis
To complete a threat analysis, you’ll need to take the following steps:
- Determine the scope of your analysis. Understanding the scope of your analysis is essential if it’s going to be effective. This is why you need a clear and comprehensive picture of the vulnerable data you need protected. In addition, you’ll want to identify what exactly needs protecting to keep your data secure, including user hardware, servers, network devices, software, services, and more.
- Collect data about cyberthreats. Once you’ve got clarity about the scope of your analysis, you’ll want to begin collecting data on the threats that could cause problems. You may examine past cyberthreats or hacking incidents. The goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of what could go wrong when it comes to your system. Where are your greatest vulnerabilities?
- Analyze vulnerabilities. Once you understand where your vulnerabilities are, you’ll want to do a deep analysis of them. Think about how your current cybersecurity measures address those potential problems. You may even want to conduct a penetration test in order to see how easily someone might be able to invade your system and wreak havoc.
- Anticipate and mitigate vulnerabilities. At this stage in the process, you should be able to take all of the data collected and create a plan for enhancing your current cybersecurity levels.
There’s no reason to doubt that cyberthreats will continue to grow over the coming decade. But if you’ve done your homework and performed an effective threat analysis, followed by implementing the necessary security measures, you’ll ensure that your organization is equipped to meet cybercriminals at the door.