It is disheartening, overwhelmingly annoying, and completely appalling that despite all the cries and hues about the activities of cybercriminals in 2017, these bunch of guys instead of relenting, are becoming more aggressive, offensive, and are even sharpening their skills to wreak more havoc on governments, businesses, and individuals.
As at January 29, 2018, a whopping total of 7,073,069 cyber attacks, ransomware, data breaches, financial information, and others have been recorded. It is very obvious that if it is like this in the first month of the year when businesses are just kick starting activities, the scenario will be worse unless drastic actions are taken to stop cybercriminals in their tracks.
The activities of cybercriminals have invariably brought untold hardship to people. While governments have lost huge sums of revenue that could be useful in making available more infrastructures, it has led to serious consequences for some businesses, and some individuals have broken down completely.
A report from Denver Post stated that 60 percent of small companies that suffer a cyber attack are out of business within six months. We can only imagine what this means to the labor market.
The year 2018 paints a very grim picture of more horrendous attacks and threats by cybercriminals and the following four reasons point out why they may still have their way.
- Unhealthy rivalry in the business world
Competition is meant to sharpen and bring out the best in any venture we are embarking on but it becomes a deadly affair when we take it to the extreme. A lot of brands always do everything within their means to ensure others fold up. The truth is that every brand wants to make a very good ROI but it shouldn’t be at all costs.
There should be a certain level of cooperation among brands especially in the fight against cyber attacks but unfortunately, that is not the case on the ground. Sharing best practices amongst rivals should be encouraged.
There is the absolute need to create a united front where everyone including competitors will join forces and resources to thwart and ward off the growing, sophisticated networks of cybercriminals.
In the absence of such collaborations, hackers would continue to wreak havoc undetected and steal highly sensitive and massive amounts of information.
- Ill-equipped Data Protection Officers (DPOs)
It is an obvious fact that a lot of brands don’t have DPOs and even some that have do not equip them effectively. On the contrary, the bunch of guys we are dealing with in this cybercrime stuff is world class.
They are always going about upping their art, getting more tech-savvy by the day. They have access to the best tools in the market and can comfortably afford them.
They are usually a patient and painstaking bunch. They often dedicate enough time to gather vast amounts of information to exploit weaknesses in the company’s security which in turn puts you in jeopardy.
Brands do not have all the time in the world and usually fail to allow enough time for their DPOs to do a judicious job of protecting data.
- Governments’ regulations
Laws and regulations from governments do not work in tandem and this is a soft spot which cybercriminals regularly exploit.
While the U.S. Anti-Privacy Law can give hackers the leeway to acquire your data from the ISP, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) from the EU which will come into effect by May 2018, has the unfortunate aspect of probably making hackers to capitalize on the penalty angle to fleece companies of sums less than the 20 million euros or 4 percent of global revenues, for their sensitive data.
The fact that governments have not been able to forge a common front and agenda to tackle this global menace is a big plus on the part of cybercriminals.
- Laxity on the part of employees
In some of these companies, there are a handful of employees who do not take the issue of cybersecurity as serious as it should be. They create loopholes that cybercriminals can capitalize upon to launch their attacks.
There are cases of employees with administrator rights who disabled security solutions on their PCs and let the infection spread from their PCs onto the entire corporate network.
Staff make mistakes that tend to put their sensitive data at risk either because they are careless or lack the requisite training and understanding of the issue at stake.
It is, therefore, safe to assume that with the shortcomings on the part of the government, companies, and individuals the highly sophisticated and better-prepared cybercriminals will create “hell” in the year 2018. The only thing that can save us is putting our acts together.