Why is cyber resilience important for businesses?

Jul 8, 2024 | News

Cyber resilience is essential for businesses. Just as alarm systems, and CCTV are vital for home security, protecting from physical threats, cyber resilience safeguards a business from digital threats.

Without proper cyber security measures, businesses are vulnerable to cybercriminals who can infiltrate systems, steal sensitive data, or lock owners out, demanding ransom for access.

Cyber attacks are on the increase – there were estimated to be 2.39 million in 2022 (UK Government Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2023), with 73% suffering a ransomware incident (Cyfor Security 2023).

Implementing a cyber resilience strategy supports business continuity, minimises financial losses, and protects the organisation’s reputation. A solid cyber resilience plan ensures only authorised users can access systems and monitors their activities effectively.

Key reasons why cyber security is indispensable for businesses include:

  • Data Protection: Safeguarding sensitive information from unauthorized access or theft.
  • Reputation Defence: Preventing damage to the business’s reputation from security breaches.
  • Business Continuity: Avoiding disruptions to operations due to cyber incidents.
  • Employee Protection: Ensuring the safety of employee information and access.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Adhering to data protection and privacy laws.
  • Identity Theft Prevention: Protecting individuals associated with the business from identity theft.
  • Financial Security: Guarding against financial theft and fraud.

What are the cyber security risks that business owners need to be aware of as we head into the second half of the year?

One of the most significant threats to businesses today is ransomware, alongside a range of other cyber attacks. As businesses integrate sophisticated AI and applications, they expand their digital footprint—adding access points – cyber criminals to exploit. These adversaries use advanced techniques and technologies that surpass human vigilance and outdated security systems, allowing them to penetrate business defences swiftly and efficiently.

In 2024, businesses can expect ongoing threats, including ransomware, malware, phishing, insider threats, social engineering, attacks on IoT (Internet of Things) devices, password breaches, supply chain vulnerabilities, and AI-driven attacks. Businesses relying on Managed Service Providers (MSPs) or Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) face the added risk of these providers being targeted, which can impact their clients’ security and operations.

This evolving threat landscape underscores the need for businesses to adopt robust, forward-thinking cyber defence strategies that can adapt to sophisticated modern cyber threats.

With the increasing sophistication of AI, will we see more businesses fall victim to AI-powered attacks, from intelligent malware to generative AI phishing attacks?

AI significantly enhances cybercriminals’ capabilities, enabling them to launch attacks with unprecedented speed and efficacy. What previously took hours or days to tailor messages can now be done in minutes using AI. Leveraging large language models (LLMs), fraudsters can quickly gather information from social media, craft convincing messages, and target victims on a massive scale, turning cyber attacks into an assembly line operation.

In 2023, ransomware attacks surged by 37%. The rise of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) reflects a disturbing trend towards organized, profitable cybercrime. In response, businesses must adopt comprehensive, multi-layered cyber defence strategies based on Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) principles and integrate both AI and human intelligence to counteract these sophisticated threats.

And with more people working from home, what risks does this pose to data security?

Remote workers often connect to corporate resources using unsecured public Wi-Fi or inadequately secured home networks. Cybercriminals can exploit these vulnerable connections to intercept data or target remote devices with cyber attacks. The shift from a secured corporate perimeter to remote settings reduces visibility and control over user security. Risks are heightened when employees connect from locations with minimal protection, such as public Wi-Fi networks, or environments prone to distractions and over-the-shoulder snooping, increasing the potential for data breaches.

Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) is a cybersecurity strategy that eliminates implicit trust for any user or device attempting to access the network. Adopting a ‘trust none, verify all’ approach allows for network segmentation, enhancing security.

Patching vulnerabilities is crucial for strengthening cybersecurity defences. This involves identifying vulnerabilities, correlating them with necessary patches, and facilitating automated deployment across all devices, regardless of location. This approach prioritizes patches based on the potential business impact of each vulnerability and ensures swift, effective responses to critical vulnerabilities.

What steps can businesses take to mitigate these risks and build their cyber resilience?

To enhance cyber resilience, businesses should adopt a multifaceted approach to fortify their defences against cyber threats. This begins with basics like employing strong, complex passwords and adding multi-factor authentication for extra security. Controlling access to sensitive data and systems ensures only authorized personnel can reach critical information.

Securing backups protects against data loss in a cyber attack. Regular penetration testing and vulnerability scanning help identify and address potential weaknesses. Following up with vulnerability patching keeps systems up to date and less susceptible to attacks.

Implementing next-generation firewalls provides a sophisticated barrier against threats, while deploying a 24/7 fully managed monitoring solution, such as Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) or Managed Detection and Response (MDR), ensures continuous surveillance and response capabilities.

Reviewing and updating the incident response plan and procedures ensures a prepared and efficient reaction to any security breaches. Regularly reviewing playbooks keeps response strategies relevant and effective. Ongoing cybersecurity training for all employees builds a culture of security awareness and preparedness.

Finally, adopting Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) principles, where no user or device is trusted by default and verification is required from everyone trying to access network resources, further strengthens a business’s cyber resilience. These steps help businesses create robust defences against the evolving landscape of cyber threats.

[  Other news stories you may be interested in  ]

Introducing Miles Allcock

Introducing Miles Allcock

From scuba diving to service strategy. We're getting to know the newest member of the Vaioni team, Senior Customer Success Manager Miles Allcock. Miles will be working closely with our customers, so we wanted to take the opportunity to get to know him a little better...

read more