Cybersecurity – Protecting Your R&D The Internet has opened the door to new possibilities, but has also brought cybercriminals to the digital doorstep of businesses. Cybercriminals hide in the dark alleys of the Internet waiting for the right time to strike. Every time cybersecurity experts introduce a new security technology/tool/protocol, cybercriminals come up with ways to circumvent it. No wonder cybercrime is on the rise. It is estimated that cybercrime will cost the world a whopping $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Impact of Cyberattacks Cybersecurity concerns keep business owners up all night. A cyberattack can have devastating and long-lasting consequences for your entire organization. Cyberattacks are the leading cause of data loss. If a cybercriminal successfully deploys malware, it can shut down business operations for hours, even days, resulting in productivity loss. Cybercriminals often orchestrate cyberattacks to obtain sensitive business operations so they can make money selling it in the black market. Businesses that fail to protect custom data lose customer trust.Data protection and privacy laws require businesses to protect customer data. If customer data is compromised, and it is found that the business failed to deploy adequate data security measures, it can face a hefty penalty and regulatory sanctions. If you think hackers target only big businesses, you are wrong. A study revealed that about 46 percent of all cyberattacks affect SMBs. The cost of a data breach to a small business can range from $120,000-$1.24 million. Almost 60 percent of small companies go out of businesses within six months of falling victim to a cyberattack. 5 Common Types of Cyberattacks Every Business Owner Should Be Aware Denial of service and distributed denial of service attacks: A DoS attack is a malicious attempt to overwhelm a machine or network’s resources to make it inaccessible to the intended users. After a DoS attack, the hacker floods the target with tons of traffic to crash the system. When a DoS attack is carried out using a large number of host computers it is called a DDoS attack. SQL injection: A Structured Query Language or SQL injection attack occurs when a cybercriminal injects malicious code into a server that uses SQL, forcing it to reveal the information it normally wouldn’t. A hacker can carry out a SQL injection attack simply by submitting malicious code into a website search box. Phishing and spear phishing attacks: Phishing attacks are carried out through malicious attachments or links delivered via text messages or emails. The goal of phishing attacks is to steal personal information such as social security numbers and debit card/credit card PINs of unsuspecting victims. A phishing email can be used to target millions of users. Spear phishing attacks are similar to phishing attacks. The only difference between a phishing attack and a spear phishing attack is that the latter is orchestrated to target a select few individuals with personalized messages. Man-in-the-middle attack: MitM attacks occur when a hacker successfully intercepts communication between two parties to steal their personal information. Some common types of MitM attacks include session hijacking, Replay, and IP spoofing. Drive-by-download attacks: Drive-by- download attacks are carried out to spread malware far and wide. To carry out drive-by-attacks, hackers plant malicious codes throughout sites. When an unsuspecting user visits a hacked site, they unknowingly install the malicious code on their system The Importance of Cybersecurity Strategy No matter the size of your business if you have a digital presence, you need a cybersecurity strategy. A robust cybersecurity strategy evolves with emerging threats, safeguards critical business information, inspires stakeholder trust and confidence, and gives your business a competitive advantage. It can help prevent costly business disruptions and protect your business from the legal consequences of data privacy breaches. How Much Should You Spend On Cybersecurity? Companies spend around 5.6 percent-20 percent of their total IT budget on cybersecurity. A Gartner report suggests that small businesses should spend $1.47 per thousand dollars of revenue on IT security. When setting your cybersecurity budget, consider the maturity of your security structure. I’’s also important to think about ROI. For example, spending $200,000 per year is a good investment when you expect that a cybersecurity attack can cost you $1 million. It would, however, be overkill if you expect to save only $50,000. Investing in cybersecurity can be a great way to enhance efficiency. With a new cybersecurity tool, for example, you might be able to reduce headcount. When doing a cost-benefit analysis, determine how much the new cybersecurity tool you are considering can save you and how much revenue it could bring in. Here are some things to do when creating your cybersecurity budget: Understand the threat landscape: Think about the different types of cyberattacks and then assess the cybersecurity measures you currently follow. Are they adequate to prevent cyberattacks? Is your business more vulnerable to certain types of cyberattacks than others? Research the new ways hackers use to deliver malware and carry out cyberattacks. Identify the chinks in your cybersecurity armor. Decide what additional measures are needed, possibly including the installation of a software tool or setting up a new security protocol to beef up your cybersecurity. Define business risks: Common business risks include financial loss, reputational damage and fines or legal repercussions. Quantify these risks and think about how they can affect your business’s ability to continue to operate. Identify your crown jewels: Identify business critical data, systems and intellectual properties that are integral to business survival. How secure are they today? What additional measures are required to secure them? Synoptix Software offers a range of operational reporting solutions. Our tools boast advanced security features designed to ensure complete data protection. To schedule a free product demo, call 866.214.6008.