What are the six major cyber risks of 2019 that businesses will need to guard against in the perpetual war against cyber criminals.
The cyberthreat landscape is constantly changing with hackers using ever more sophisticated means to gain unauthorised access to computer systems.This coupled with some of the more established tools utilised by hackers produces a cocktail of cyber attacks vectors that provide the ultimate test to cyber risk management of a busines.
Cyber risks come in many shapes and forms and it is likely that we will see the following featuring throughout the world in the coming days and months.
Supply Chain Vulnerbilities
This is proving to be a very real vulnerability with businesses heavily reliant on their suppliers and contractors for services whether this be for the provision of technology services that are fundamental to the effective functioning of the business.
If one of the suppliers systems are compromised this is likely to result if a significant businesses interruption loss where income will be lost and reputation damaged.
We are are all reliant on our smart phones and laptops and end to end encryption of these is therefore of paramount importance. Confidential information and personal data is in abundance on these devices and a hacker will no doubt target such devices that do not have the appropriate security in place.
With the emergence of 5G this it will become increasingly harder to protect mobile applications.
These are well established methods that hackers use to overcome human vulnerabilities.
This is carried out by e-mail compromise where uses click on a link that leads to malware being spread resulting in crippling the computer system or falsely changing a clients bank details to one set up by a hacker which leads to a loss of funds.
There have been a number of high profile ransomware attacks namely WannaCry and Non-Petya that impacted many countries around the world. Business affected by these include WPP, Maerck and the National Health Serice in the U.K.
A ransomware attack can be very cleverly disguised with many means available to gain access to a computer network. Over the past twelve months ransomware attacks have declined but they still remain a very real threat with different strains of malware emerging. This will only increase and make detection harder awareness of new methods and defense of these will therefore be vitally important to mitigate this on-going threat.
The Morrison’s Effect
As a result of a Morrison’s employee stealing salary details and distributing these to a number of newspapers Morrisons were sued for damages by a number of the affected individuals.
As a result of this it was found after appeal that Morrison’s were vicariously liable for the employees’ actions. The court also stated that the affected individuals could claim for financial loss and emotional distress. It is therefore conceivable that this could open the flood gates for class actions against other such businesses in similar circumstances.
Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now developing at an alarming pace as businesses recognized the benefits that machine learning can bring such as increased efficiency in manufacturing and data analysis. this however brings increased cyber risks. It is possible for inter-connectivity to take place which leads to communication with other devices called the Internet of Things (IOT) the result of which can lead to a compromise of systems , loss of data or even physical damage.
Cyber attacks backed by AI would be far greater than a conventional human lead cyber attack causing more damage for longer periods. This is a new emerging cyber threat but it could be one of the most dangerous and damaging as cyber security has not kept pace with the ensuing risks.
Cyber attacks will undoubtably become more sophisticated with the cyber risk landscape becoming more unpredictable and difficult to assess the threat vectors that develop.
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