Companies that don't protect themselves against potential data security breaches run the risk of more than just a hit to their bottom line. High-profile breaches have become commonplace in today's connected society, often highlighted by a drip-feed of media-generated "cyber" headlines.
Cybercrime is now big business. It is estimated that cybercrime cost the global economy around $450 billion in 2016, with established malware such as Trojans, spyware and keyloggers being joined by evolving brands of cyber threats like ransomware. This year, the costs associated with malicious online activity could be in the trillions. And if 2018 follows the same path, there is every chance that it will be a good year for those who see companies as an excellent source of both illicit revenue and customer data.
A Secure Investment
Ransomware is a perfect example of how sophisticated cybercriminals have become. At the start of 2016, the malware accounted for 18 percent of cyber threats. By the end of that year, it was responsible for 66 percent of all detected incidents, as a report from cybersecurity provider Malwarebytes said.
What makes ransomware so appealing to those with malicious intent is the relative simplicity of the malware. Once installed in a computer or mobile device (often via what looks like a legitimate file), the malware commonly executes a denial-of-access attack that prevents an individual from using a device until a ransom is delivered to unlock it.
"Global security spending will be almost $100 billion in 2018."
Global security spending is expected to total $96.3 billion in 2018, according to a recent report by Gartner. Much of that will be linked to a general consensus that data security threats come from external sources, although there are a growing number of breaches that come from inside organizations themselves.
Of course, not every person is looking to steal data from their employers, but internal threats or even human error should never be discounted.
Exploiting Our Digital World
The increased use of cryptocurrencies is another cause for concern. In recent months, the value of digital currency such as Bitcoin has soared, thanks mainly to the decentralized nature of the currency itself. Companies who invest or trade in digital currency then become a target for hackers who are attracted by the requirement to use a cryptographic key for access. For the moment, the cryptocurrency is still in a nascent stage, with an expectation that it will become a significant part of global portfolios and require companies to take the relevant precautions.
Taking the above into account, companies should always adopt a proactive rather than reactive attitude to data security threats. Ultimately, the need to protect sensitive information is not only a priority but also allows IT leaders to make sure that a company's data security systems are robust enough to withstand an attack.
With that in mind, YES Partners can find security-minded executives who are focused on keeping data safe and secure. Our executive search consultants are well-versed in all aspects of IT security, using their experience to match the job requirements with the ideal candidate.
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