Cyber-attacks have become a lucrative money-making business for criminals, inviting smarter, more sophisticated hackers to launch advanced and complex attacks on organizations. Modern times demand that almost all of companies’ information, be it financial, process-related, customer or intellectual property, stored digitally on their network and be accessible from various locations. This makes the security of this data, vulnerable. In certain cases, all this information is stored on a cloud which is outside organization’s firewall thereby adding higher risk to crucial data.
With advancements in cyber-attacks, the associated costs, which include direct losses and cost of recuperating from an attack, have also grown exponentially. To gauge the scale of losses let us look at some of the recent attacks and their impact on the organizations.
- Titan Rain: The attack on U.S military networks including those of NASA and Lockheed Martin, led to the theft of classified data and weapons research data. While it’s hard to quantify the effect, but the impact of this theft on national security is huge.
- TJ Maxx: TJ Maxx, a retailing company was a victim of a cyber-attack in 2006. The cyber criminals breached the network and stole 45 million credit and debit card information. The total damages were to the tune of 250 million dollars.
- Heartland Payment System: In 2008, this company’s payment network was injected with a spyware and millions of credit and debit card details were stolen. This attack cost the company about 140 million dollars in damages.
- Bangladesh Bank Hacks: In February 2016, a bank officer’s computer was used to siphon off 81 million dollars of Bank’s money. The interesting thing here was that it was a single computer inside the bank’s network that was hacked to siphon off the money.
- Ashley Madison: In 2015, Ashley Madison, a dating website, was hacked and data of millions of users from many countries was stolen. The company faced a 560 million USD class action lawsuit from its users. But the real cost in terms of lost credibility and humiliation of its users (and two unconfirmed suicides linked to this hack) cannot be measured in dollars.
- Talk Talk Hack: In 2015, the British telecommunications company Talk Talk lost more than 100,000 customers and 60 million British Pounds (About 90 million USD at that time) as a result of this hack. This ransomware attack is still fresh and businesses are still recouping and assessing its impact. It was one of the largest global cyber-attacks, affecting more than 150 countries simultaneously. The total cost of this attack is estimated to reach 4 billion USD.
A few years ago, Wall Street reported that the total cost of cyber crimes in the US alone was over 100 billion USD. In 2015, A British insurance company Lloyd’s estimated that the cost of cyber attacks to business was nearly 400 billion USD. The cyber crimes are increasing at such a staggering pace that Juniper Research estimates that by 2019, cyber crimes would cost businesses more than 2 Trillion USD.
It is observed that even big companies with huge IT and security budgets are not safe from cyber attacks. Cyber security is not just a matter of installing firewalls and antivirus anymore. Every every endpoint in the organization, be it an open network port or a computer and a USB drive on a laptop that can be used to access data needs to be secured and protected. Full access to the data must be limited to the authorized users only. The data can be transferred (via email, or FTP or any other mode of transfer) only if the user is authorized to transfer and that too by using a particular mode.
The software designed to provide this level of data protection (the data loss prevention software) above and beyond firewalls and antivirus is required whether businesses are large or small. Data Loss Prevention solutions not only protect the critical data from an external breach, but also from internal misuse and accidental loss. Investment in advanced cyber security solutions such as those offered by Seqrite can go a long way in creating a secured working environment for your enterprise.
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