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December 09, 2016

2017 Cybersecurity Concerns and Consequences

When Donald Trump takes his seat at the head of America’s government this January, cybercrime will still be the growing threat to corporate data that it has been for years—whether that information stays here in the states or moves offshore. After all, he’s just one man, and multiple people and resources must be brought to bear on efforts to thwart cybercriminals.

That’s too bad for Mr. Trump because a new Forrester report, titled “2017 Predictions: Dynamics That Will Shape the Future in the Age of the Customer,” states that the new president will face a major cybercrisis within his first 100 days in office.

Forrester’s predictions don’t spell relief for the IT professionals tasked with protecting sensitive business data either. In fact, Forrester claims that cyberthreats will become even more of a headache in 2017, with targeted espionage, ransomware, denial of service and privacy breaches escalating.

Business losses are mounting from these digital crimes—from both volume and sophistication. Case in point, the average cost of a ransomware attack (in which hackers hold data hostage for ransom) for a small- to medium-sized business is $99,000 per Kapersky Labs.  Besides monetary losses, hacked companies suffer damages from loss of reputation, productivity, and spend to improve security.

As far as customers are concerned, prices for goods and services go up as businesses pass on costs. This is occurring even with companies that have not been hacked, as they put in new technologies and processes to offset potential breaches. Forrester claims that the basic fabric of trust is at stake as CEOs struggle to defend their organizations against risk. Customers realize by now that companies are vulnerable to security and privacy attacks and have become wary of sharing personal information with businesses.

For those organizations hit by cybercrime, consumer loss of confidence can cause large drops in sales. After the cyberattack on Target, which compromised 110 million customer accounts, the retailer reported a 46 percent drop in profit in the following quarter, and Sony suffered more than a $171 million loss because of a security breach with the PlayStation Network.

To regain customer trust, companies must do their best to ensure that their sites and accounts are safe from attack.

Regardless of size or industry, organizations intent on securing sensitive data must implement data protection programs that mitigate business risk, while simultaneously controlling costs, increasing compliance and improving overall service levels. One key step is to make sure that all of your endpoints are updated with the most recent anti-malware software. You must also monitor your network for advanced threat campaigns that could be targeting your business.

The work involved is no small burden and requires high-level IT knowledge and experience. For expert assistance, consider contracting with a managed service provider like Apex Technology Services. Our dedicated team of cybersecurity professionals will monitor your network with the latest technologies and apply important updates as soon as they become available.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

In addition, our new Cybersecurity Compliance Certification for law firms will help keep your legal practice from becoming the next Panama Papers victim. This baseline cybersecurity audit for the legal industry should be considered seriously by all law firms.

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