Cyber winter is coming. With cold winds blowing in and heavy snow on the horizon, it is more important than ever for companies to have the basic precautions in place.
The (cyber) winter is coming: Wrap up warm!
In 2018, more than a billion people were affected by cyber attacks,1 with personal information from up to 500 million stolen during the Marriott breach alone.2 The global average cost for a data breach last year was $3.86 million, up by 6.4% on 2017.3 The recent U.S. government shutdown has imperiled public sector cybersecurity defenses, raising the longer-term possibility of a ‘brain drain’ to the corporate world, and the potential for institutional failure and security breakdown.4
This mounting cybersecurity threat, with barriers to entry for hackers becoming ever lower, confirms the forecast: cyber winter is coming. With cold winds blowing in and heavy clouds on the horizon, it is more important than ever to have the basic precautions in place. As a company headquartered in Chicago, recently in the grip of a polar vortex, we can offer some helpful tips on weathering the storm:
Wear a hat: This might sound basic, but so are the causes of most data breaches. If you don’t at least cover up – with an accurate understanding of your threat surface, updated controls and technology basics such as a firewall – then much of the body heat will be lost. It will be too late to take other precautions.
Watch the weather forecast: That way, you will know where conditions will be worst, and can put in place extra heating and windbreaks. In the cyber winter, actionable threat intelligence can help an organization protect itself. Liberty has a predictive, preemptive and powerful barometer of cyber threats. We use machine learning algorithms to derive Threat βeta™, which compares a company’s cybersecurity threat likelihood, technology vulnerabilities, and third-party exposure with those of other firms worldwide.
Keep extremities covered and use common sense: Avoid hypothermia by taking commonsense precautions – keep moving, wear dry boots and gloves, and stay out of the wind. Good habits can also help with cybersecurity, with most breaches originating from human behaviors and decisions. Awareness of email phishing tactics is a vital area for employee training. A 360o view will help identify unexpected threats, which might include vendors, suppliers, and operational technology (OT) networks.
These precautions – which form the basis of effective business threat intelligence – can go a long way towards keeping the worst chills of a cyber winter at bay.