Bolstering cyber defenses to deal with evolving threats
Cyber criminals continue to get more sophisticated in their attacks. We have alluded to this before, but the cost of data breaches rises each year. This is especially true for the healthcare industry, where a breach can incur a cost of over $6 million and counting. Schools and government agencies have likewise found themselves targeted more frequently. Remote working has certainly contributed to this trend, as organizations have to increase spend while taking into account the dispersed network of employees who could serve as a potential attack surface through human error.
As a result, across the board, organizations are spending more on data security: a Deloitte report estimates companies spent around $350 more per employee in 2020 compared to 2019. Local governments are also taking steps. The chief information officer for the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina, has stated that the administration has added $150,000 a year for cybersecurity spending. This investment hike is now receiving federal endorsement, with President Biden recently suggesting that it’s a “patriotic obligation for you to invest as much as you can” in technology to combat cyber criminals.
Another dimension may reside behind this suggestion. Indeed, as Russia’s war against Ukraine continues, agencies have been monitoring the situation on the digital front. Biden’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technology, Anne Neuberger, reported an increase in “preparatory activity” among Russian hackers, such as scanning websites in search of vulnerabilities. The administration proposed that Russia could launch retaliatory cyberattacks against US targets in return for the sanctions that have been imposed. “It’s part of Russia’s playbook,” Biden stated.
A number of US universities have heeded the warnings and started beefing up their defenses. Wake County Technical Community College recently hired additional data security staff, increased insurance, increased its budget for Informational Services by 8%, and hired a Chief Information Security Officer. UNC-Chapel Hill has strengthened its phishing detection, malware identification tools, and education and training programs for information security, in part due to these geopolitical issues that put networks at greater risk.
Along with these steps, it’s also important to utilize multi-factor authentication, data backup and recovery tools, and of course data encryption to prevent the bad actors from accomplishing their schemes. To that end, NetLib Security’s Encryptionizer offers transparent data encryption to protect your most valuable asset. With virtually no hit to performance, Encryptionizer provides out-of-the-box protection for any desktop or server database on Windows, as well as legacy systems, applications and connected devices.
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