This blog was written by an independent guest blogger.
Cybersecurity is more important today than ever before, with virtual threats surging to historic highs. Organizations in every industry need to take steps to protect themselves from cybercrime. A few sectors, in particular, should be especially concerned about safety. These industries are at the highest risk of being targeted by cyberattacks, with damages that can cost billions of dollars.
Online shopping was steadily becoming more popular throughout the 2000s and 2010s, but the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked an incredible boom in the 2020s. This is great news for businesses since e-commerce can pull in revenue from a larger audience than brick-and-mortar stores.
However, these companies must have top-notch cybersecurity. When online shopping rose in popularity in 2020, cybercrimes also skyrocketed, amounting to $1 trillion in damages. E-commerce businesses can protect their customers from these threats using online checkout security, multifactor authentication, secure data storage and other practices that put client information first.
A shocking 74% of financial institutions reported experiencing a surge in cyber threats connected to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. It should come as no surprise that financial institutions are at the top of cybercriminals’ lists. The trend will only continue as more customers turn to online banking.
Organizations in the finance industry have to take extra steps to protect themselves and their customers from digital threats. For example, mobile banking apps should have an option for biometric authentication, which is more difficult to hack than a conventional alphanumeric password. Internally, cybersecurity must be impenetrable, which requires a culture of security among employees and leaders.
Hackers noticed when the COVID-19 pandemic channeled massive amounts of attention and money into the health care industry. Providers, institutions, and businesses of all types have become targets for cybercrime. Patients’ sensitive data can be especially valuable around the dark web and cybercrime networks since it allows for impersonation and identity theft.
Health care organizations must be extremely careful and focused to protect their patients and customers. Studies have found that misdelivery alone is responsible for 36% of breaches in the medical industry. Telemedicine only increases the danger of individual mistakes and inconsistencies. Every password, device, file and user must be extremely well-fortified. AI cybersecurity software is on the rise for this exact purpose, helping autonomously detect threats and vulnerabilities.
The manufacturing industry may not be a traditional target for cybercrime, but the supply chain crisis has changed that. Cybercriminals know that manufacturers are working against the clock already, making it much easier for certain attacks, like ransomware, to gain leverage. As a result, manufacturers’ security gaps have put the entire supply chain at risk.
More manufacturers are using automation, IoT and other connected technologies to stay ahead of the curve during the supply chain crisis. Protecting these devices is crucial. Additionally, manufacturing facilities’ networks must have strong firewalls and login protections to keep out intruders. Any computers employees use to access business information need to be secured and backed up regularly, as well.
Government institutions and the private sector businesses they work with have always been prime targets for cybercrime. Their cybersecurity methods will need to evolve in the years ahead, though. In fact, government organizations and their private sector partners will need to lead the way at the cutting edge of safety practices to stay ahead of the rising tide of cybercrime.
Specific types of attacks are increasing faster than others, which governmental bodies must be aware of. For example, they need to start requiring anti-phishing training to teach federal employees how to recognize and deal with suspicious emails and domains. INTERPOL found that phishing attacks have increased more than any other type of cyberattack in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are especially dangerous for governments since they handle sensitive and even classified information regularly.
Cybersecurity in the next digital era
Cybersecurity is a continuous process that must be constantly monitored and improved to stay ahead of criminals. Innovation has exploded in recent years in response to evolving threats. For example, artificial intelligence is becoming a popular tool for outsmarting cybercriminals and preventing attacks altogether. Friendly hacking is also becoming commonplace as organizations seek to test their defenses safely.
Education and training are crucial for digital safety. This is especially important with the rising popularity of remote work, where employees are solely responsible for the security of their devices and connections. A security-first mindset allows organizations in every industry to protect themselves and their customers from the advancing threats of the digital landscape.