In recent years, everyone has seen how technology has made a difference in businesses. They’ve helped employers streamline and improve operations, even during a crisis. Here are some interesting facts, trivia, and numbers about the relationship between businesses and digital technology:
- There are about 4.66 billion internet users in the world—that’s about 60 percent of the globe’s population.
- Every day, hundreds if not thousands of companies collect user data and information from people.
- Last year, at the height of the pandemic, more than 30 billion records were exposed and compromised due to data breaches.
The internet and digital technology gave the world so much, especially when our movement is limited due to the pandemic that no one saw coming. But at the same time, these modern technologies and tools have exposed internet users and their information to so much risk. More businesses are at risk than others.
We live in a time when everything is digital and online. Here are the types of businesses and industries that are most at risk for different types of cybercrime like data breaches, theft of financial data, hacking, cyber extortion, email fraud, ransomware attacks, and others, and why these industries need information technology (IT) support.
Small and medium-sized businesses
There is always a misconception that sophisticated cybercriminals are always after the bigger fish like the world’s biggest corporations and those in the 2 percent. But contrary to popular belief, these criminals are more likely to target smaller and more medium-sized businesses because the assumption is that the biggest companies in the world have more resources to protect themselves, and smaller businesses don’t. The numbers say that 43 percent of cyber attackers target smaller businesses.
Thankfully, statistics say that smaller businesses are gearing up to increase their budget on managed security services, so that’s always a worthwhile endeavor, especially if they have plenty of wealthy and well-known clients who need an extra layer of protection.
Here are some reasons why cybercriminals target healthcare institutions and organizations:
- It sounds incredibly insidious, but it’s something that happens: There is so much financial benefit to selling private patient information on the black market.
- The staff members of healthcare institutions are not the most equipped to handle digital security issues, and cybercriminals know this and maximize this reality.
- There have been technological progress in the medical and healthcare industry in the past few years, even before the pandemic changed our entire world. However, for all these incredible advances, many health systems still suffer from financial constraints. This means they may not always have the means to bolster their digital security.
- Since healthcare organizations often have plenty of connected and medical devices, cybercriminals have multiple entry points to make their attacks.
- Attackers have so much broad access to all types of patient information and data.
These are just some reasons the healthcare industry is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. They can combat these threats by increasing their overall healthcare cybersecurity awareness and making their staff learn more about risk management, especially where the medical devices are concerned.
Financial organizations and institutions have targets on their backs for apparent reasons. Financial technology (fintech) has grown exponentially in the past decade, and regulations haven’t necessarily kept up. There’s so much data to farm and very few regulations that govern how the said data is protected and secured. Fintech industries are particularly vulnerable in the time of COVID-19 since so many people have to trust online banking when they’re shopping online or having food delivered.
Here are some types of cyber risks that financial organizations might have to face regularly:
- Malicious software, also known as malware, is a program that was deliberately developed to cause harm to data, devices, or individual users. When used against fintech companies, they might have the power to gather critical or sensitive information.
- Data breaches are some of the most common forms of attack because fintech companies have access to millions, if not billions, of sensitive information like password credentials and card details. These platforms are naturally and inherently prone to attacks and an incredibly attractive and tempting target to not even the most sophisticated hackers. Even the smallest of breaches can result in the theft of sensitive client information.
The other types of institutions that are most vulnerable to cybercrime are government agencies, higher education facilities, energy companies, and even non-profit organizations that boast of a wealthy list of donors and patrons. Businesses of all stripes and sizes would do well to increase and bolster their cyber security if they want to protect their interests and those of their clients and stakeholders.