Chris Swagler | August 23rd, 2022

Frequently cited cases of previous cyber intrusion are worth revisiting because they show how damaging attacks on sizable and strategically important systems, including banking, healthcare, global positioning (GPS), or air traffic control, can be. Cyber espionage attacks that target intellectual property carry significant financial and reputational costs for both commercial and public sector companies and have increased due to the digitization of resources.

Digitalization and the escalating cyber threats interact in ways that have invisible effects as well. Deepfakes and “disinformation-for-hire” are likely to increase skepticism among people, businesses, and the government. Deepfakes can be used, for instance, to influence political or electoral outcomes. A recent incident occurred when cybercriminals impersonated a company director to approve the transfer of US$35 million to fraudulent accounts.

Additionally, there’s a thriving industry for services intended to harm competitors or sway public opinion. With banking, healthcare, and government functions becoming more remote, fraud will become easier and more frequent. Due to an increase in online buying, UK internet banking fraud increased by 43% in value and 117% in volume in 2021 compared to 2020 levels. With inexperienced and more vulnerable populations going online, digital safety faces new challenges. All stakeholders’ operational costs will rise significantly, even in the best-case scenario of aggressive digital threat defense. When compared to enterprise companies, which may spend closer to 1-2% on security, small- or medium-sized companies spend 4% or more of their operational budget on security, which is particularly challenging.

Governments will continue to respond against criminals if cyber threats are not mitigated, which can result in open cyberwarfare, more societal disruption, and a decline in trusting governments’ ability to act as digital stewards. Those who are just now or soon will be going online are among the most vulnerable. About 40% of the world’s population is not yet online. These people experience inequalities in digital security, which will get worse when internet 3.0 and the metaverse take off.

Vulnerable populations are frequently more at risk for digital harm in digitally advanced societies. A recent study discovered that low-income residents of San Francisco, the hub of Silicon Valley’s tech culture, are more likely than wealthier residents to become victims of cybercrime. In other circumstances, mandatory digital identification markers can bring new risks for citizens, especially given the growing possibility that deepfakes can undermine biometric authentication.

Given this threat landscape, it’s necessary to evaluate and manage vulnerability to vendors and supply chain partners, as earlier intrusions, including SolarWinds, have shown. Companies that don’t invest in protections for their digital infrastructure risk being financially devastated by disruptive cyberattacks, especially if governments start outlawing ransom payments or penalizing poor cybersecurity practices. Additionally, as environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues gain more prominence, companies that don’t exhibit strong corporate governance in cybersecurity, including implementing strong systems and process oversight protocols, and demonstrating accountability and transparency in the event of a breach, risk having their reputations tarnished in the eyes of ESG-focused investors.

95% of cybersecurity problems can be attributed to human error, and insider threats, either accidental or intentional, account for 43% of all breaches in global companies. Unavoidably, some companies will segregate their digital systems more thoroughly to better manage insider risks. Due to cybersecurity concerns, companies can start or continue to lock up important data. Workforce efficiency can be impacted if data and information are difficult to access.

When it comes to global cyber threats, it’s important for companies to always remain vigilant of the current threat landscape and regularly update their network security infrastructure. At SpearTip, our remediation experts focus on restoring companies’ operations, reclaiming their networks by isolating cyber threats, and recovering business-critical assets needed to operate. Our certified engineers work continuously at our 24/7/365 Security Operations Center in an investigative cycle monitoring networks for potential cyber threats and are ready to respond to incidents at a moment’s notice. The ShadowSpear Platform, our cutting-edge managed detection and response tool, uses comprehensive insights through unparalleled data normalization and visualizations to detect sophisticated unknown and advanced cyber threats.

If your company is experiencing a breach, call our Security Operations Centers at 833.997.7327 to speak directly with an engineer.