Inflation in the era of critical cybersecurity needs

Inflation hits the news everyday lately and we’ve all seen prices increasing around us. What you may not have heard as much about is how inflation is increasing the cost of cybersecurity. For one thing, hackers’ expenses are going up too and, like many others, they’re looking for ways to recoup some of that money. Now is not the time to fall behind on cybersecurity. We’ll cover exactly why that is, but it’s not all bad news. Like any threat, there are things you can do to reduce your risk and mitigate potential impacts.

Higher costs will come in all forms

  • Higher salaries for cybersecurity professionals: The number of cybersecurity jobs increased 350% between 2013 and 2021. That means there’s more competition for cybersecurity talent than ever before, which drives up the cost of the work. 
  • Higher attack frequency: The frequency of cyber attacks will increase and target more companies, spreading their costs across even more bottom lines. It won’t be just the biggest companies with the deepest pockets and hackers will increase the frequency of attacks on individual companies. In fact, the average number of attacks per company increased from 22 in 2020 to 29 in 2021. This could also contribute to higher salaries for cybersecurity professionals as their roles become even more critical to business success and survivability.
  • Higher profile attacks: Hackers want your money and they want to spread fear. They want your business to suffer or you to be too afraid not to cooperate and give them what they demand. As the visibility of cybersecurity work has increased, more business leaders understand how important it is to hire the right cybersecurity teams and respond quickly. 

Reduce your risks

Resist the urge to delay security measures

Hackers are counting on more companies skimping on their cybersecurity activities in favor of taking calculated risks and saving money or maintaining profits. Don’t make your organization the new low-hanging fruit they’re hoping for. It is absolutely worth your time and money to continue the good work you’ve been doing to keep your data safe and to protect your market position. If you know you’re not doing enough or aren’t sure, this is the time to be proactive and find out. Attacks will be focused on companies hackers think they can most easily defeat.

  • Require all your workstations to be updated regularly
  • Know where your equipment is and how every piece is being protected
  • Educate your teams so they understand how their actions impact the whole organization and why their cybersecurity actions are so important

Learn from others’ mistakes

When a new vulnerability is found, the hacker world rushes to exploit it before it is remedied. Pay attention to the attacks that happen and take action on the things that need to be implemented or strengthened to ensure your business isn’t making the same mistakes.

Assume they’d go that far

Don’t underestimate what a cybercriminal would do to successfully attack their target. There’s no accounting for organizations that do good work or have an executive team who are known for giving back in truly meaningful ways. Anyone could become a target.

Ensure you and your team understand the cybersecurity landscape

Just because your cybersecurity measures are more aggressive than a competitor’s doesn’t mean they’re enough. Hackers are looking for companies who don’t know the risks they’re running. The old saying “this is how we’ve always done it” is just that – old. Nowadays, cybercriminals are among the most advanced tech minds in the world and they’re coming from everywhere. Compare your cybersecurity measures against that.

Reduce the customer information you collect and store

Hackers depend on their targets having the money and data they’re looking for. It’s not just the ransom they want. They can also benefit from exploiting your customers’ information, so the less of that you have on your servers, the better. Take a critical look at what you’re collecting now and reconsider which items you don’t actually need.

Review how data is used in your organization

Whether it’s customer data or not, it’s critical to know who has access to it, how it travels throughout your organization, and how exactly it could leave the confines of your network and devices. Then figure out what can be done to keep it all safer and follow-through – run regular tests, back up data frequently, etc.

More good news is that you’re not alone in wanting to keep your business and customers safe. Just as hackers have advanced in their technological sophistication, so have cybersecurity professionals. If you are ever unsure about your cybersecurity plans and measures, get help. Email david@platteriver.com to find out how your business infrastructure could be better protected.

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