Security breaches are on the rise. Attacks are becoming more common, more complex, and impacting organizations all over the world. But in a time of so much innovation, it can feel strange to be under fire so often. How are businesses, with strong foundations and high-quality protections, still vulnerable to so many workplace threats? The answer is a simple one. Technology plays the role of the protector and the attacker. And that’s especially true of digital security, where cyber attacks have affected nearly 90% of US organizations this year alone. Digital security is a crucial pillar in the overall protection of your business. It protects your data, information, and revenue from more hidden threats. In this post, we’ll dive into the world of digital security and how you can improve it for the years to come.
What is digital security?
Digital security splits into two parts: cybersecurity and infrastructure security. Cybersecurity protects you against any breach of your company’s data, including hackers, phishing, insider attacks, and ransomware. Infrastructure security safeguards your business from service disruptions and external threats. It covers security measures like virtual private networks (VPN), firewalls, and secure WiFi.
Painting a picture of the digital security landscape today
Cracks in your digital security are costly. In 2022, the average cost of a data breach has risen to an all-time high of $4.35 million, an increase of 2.6% from 2021. For small to medium sized businesses, parting with this amount of cash can be devastating. In fact, the average cost of a data breach sits at around $108,000 for small businesses today. Let’s take a deeper look at why that is and explore the digital security landscape now.
Threats and attacks are on the rise
Cyber crime today is increasing and becoming more sophisticated than ever. The more advanced technology becomes, the more attackers can use it at their disposal. Here are a few statistics that show how digital threats and attacks are on the rise.
- Cyber attacks have affected more than 89% of US organizations over a 1-year period. Ransomware attacks have impacted 78% of US organizations.
- Organizations adopting remote work have had to pay an average of $1 million more in data breaches than organizations with hybrid or 100% in-office requirements.
- Phishing is the most common cyber attack on organizations today. It has affected 83% of UK businesses and 75% of US businesses in the last year alone.
- Half of cyber attacks target small businesses. Again, phishing is the most common and impacts 38% of small businesses.
Different industries are more vulnerable than others
It’s clear to see the severe impact cybersecurity can have on all organizations. Cyber attacks are often targeted at smaller businesses due to a lack of sturdier protection. But it isn’t just size–attackers often target certain industries more so than others.According to Upguard, in 2022, healthcare is the most targeted industry for data breaches. While this has been the ongoing trend for the last 12 years, the cost of a data breach has been steadily increasing. For healthcare now, the cost of a data breach sits at a whopping $10.10 million. The next two industries behind healthcare are the finance sector, followed by technology. This includes start-ups and bigger technology organizations.
Regulation and compliance laws are changing
As cyber attacks continue to rise, the regulations and laws that protect organizations must also adapt and change. While recent updates in compliance laws mean legislation must now protect people’s privacy and company data, it doesn’t stop there. Gartner reports that this type of regulation is only going to increase–especially as the amount of data and personal information also rises.By the end of 2023, modern data privacy laws will cover 75% of the world’s personal information. For SMBs, that means big process changes and stricter audits to abide by these tighter regulations.
How to improve your digital security for 2023 and beyond
Improving your digital security is necessary for the future of your business. Technology continues to shape the world and the way we do things. Being proactive and prepared will help your business reduce costs caused by cyber attacks. Here are 4 ways to improve your digital security for 2023 and beyond.
Conduct regular audits and risk assessments
Just like the physical security of your organization, it’s important to conduct regular assessments of your digital security too. That means internal audits and cybersecurity risk assessments. But how do you do it, and how often? Assessing your vulnerability can take time and practice, but there are plenty of resources to help you. Use this calculation by Upguard to start: cyber risk = threat x vulnerability x information value.
Dedicate a budget to your IT security
According to Gartner, organizations that adopt a cybersecurity network architecture by 2024 can reduce the cost of security incidents by 90%. Saving cost means investment in cost-saving tools. And for businesses today–especially SMBs– it’s crucial to increase IT security budgets to address digital threats. But it can be tricky to spread a limited money pot across all areas, especially for SMBs. Security and IT teams often find themselves losing a budget battle to other departments for investment.In 2023, it’ll be even more crucial to dedicate an IT security budget to build a stronger cyber defense strategy. You should consider keeping this budget separate. This allows you to spot areas where you’re more vulnerable to attacks. It also helps you track where you spend to ensure all elements of security have investment.
Document your IT security policy and procedures
Your IT security policy should protect your organization against any breach of your critical company data. Your employees should always follow it, including the important processes to protect data stored across devices, networks, and the cloud. This includes safety measures like two-factor authentication, encryption, and backups. It’s important that your IT security policy doesn’t just cover cybersecurity. It must also include infrastructure policies, too. Your infrastructure security safeguards your business against service disruptions and external threats. That includes areas like web application firewalls (WAF), virtual private networks (VPNs), application programming interface security (API), intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and wireless security. When done right, your workplace security policy and procedures will arm your employees with the know-how. It’ll help them deal with security situations accordingly, without putting your organization or others at risk. Ensure your policy is regularly updated and shared with the organization.
Utilize technology for ultimate digital security protection
What’s the right policy, budget, or audits without the right tools to help combat any cyber threats? To improve your digital security in 2023, it’s important to invest in the right technology. Over 60% of all corporate data around the world is now stored in the cloud. So it makes sense to keep your cloud security tight. This might be through security apps like Okta or Authenticator, which helps keep your accounts secure. It might also be a unique WiFi password provider like Aruba Central or Cisco ISE–something that’s important if you’re operating a hybrid work model. A workplace platform also keeps your digital security sound across all locations. It records the names and information of everyone who enters your spaces, and stores their data securely. It also integrates well with other security features you might have, like access control. –Protecting your organization against digital threats can be challenging. The current digital security landscape has seen attacks become more common and sophisticated. For SMBs in particular, attacks happen more often because smaller businesses tend to have lower levels of digital security. But it’s not all doom and gloom! Ensuring your organization's digital security is possible–and not that hard! Awareness is the first, crucial step in your digital security journey. Next, follow the above steps to highlight your vulnerabilities and improve your current digital defense. Finally, invest in what your business needs and ensure you have the right tools, technology, and processes that can adapt and grow with you.