The Alarming Need for Increased Cybersecurity in a Digital Era
Topic: The Alarming Need for Increased Cybersecurity in a Digital Era
Companies have recently experienced an unprecedented surge in cyberattacks, signaling a concern that lackluster cybersecurity practices must be remedied. Over the July 4th weekend of 2021, a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline wreaked havoc. Ransomware assaults have experienced an exponential increase, concerning cybersecurity experts who are warning that this should be a wake-up call for increased cybersecurity measures.
At the forefront of these attacks have been utility companies. For example, data presented by Check Point Research showed that utility companies are being targeted approximately 260 times per week. Barbara Rembiesa, CEO of the IT Association, has asserted that the use of old infrastructure that has not been properly patched and updated has made it incredibly vulnerable to attacks.
However, it is not just companies who need to be more aware, but also the individual with a mobile device. For example, being on an unsecured Wi-Fi system can leave a loophole easily accessed by hackers. In fact, within 9 months, the monthly number of ransomware attacks that have occurred in the United States have approximately tripled in number.
One type of ransomware, Ryuk, has garnered national attention and is believed to be complicit in the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline. This ruthless ransomware has racked up more than 2,000 victims so far in the year 2021, with 15% of its efforts focused on targeting and exploiting American organizations and companies.
It has only been since January that Ryuk has taken on nearly 45 utilities and critical infrastructure companies, 5 of which are located in the United States of America. Furthermore, cyberattacks have skyrocketed approximately 34% in recent weeks when compared to the beginning of 2021, with an average of 1 in 88 utilities organizations becoming the victim of an attempted ransomware attack.
However, there are certain things that can be done to help mitigate and prevent attacks, such as the one on the Colonial Pipeline. More measures must be taken by individuals and companies alike to bolster security efforts and include the following steps:
• A strong investment in IT Asset Management
• Crafting an incident response plan and practicing it
• Clear communication, enhanced detection monitoring, and separate IT systems
• Searching for and applying diligent solutions to vulnerable systems
• Updating old infrastructure and other outdated technologies
In conclusion, as some companies cling to outdated systems, devices, and infrastructure, they have been made increasingly vulnerable to a rise in cybersecurity attacks that have impacted the world, including the United States. However, updating old infrastructure and doing away with outdated technology, investing in strong IT Asset Management, creating incident response plans and practicing them, as well as providing separate IT systems, enhancing detection monitoring, and bolstering vulnerable systems, can help deter malicious cyberactivity from occurring.
Topic Discussed: The Alarming Need for Increased Cybersecurity in a Digital Era
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