Evolving Cybersecurity landscape with Digital Transformation
How are security interests changing to keep up with the global economy's expansion as a result of digital transformation? One method that digital transformation is becoming more prevalent is through the use of artificial intelligence (AI), which creates highly predictive systems and gives them access to a foundation of data that is always expanding and improving their prediction powers. Despite how fantastic these technologies can be, threat actors use AI to encrypt data and launch DDoS attacks in order to obtain personal information and carry out ransomware attacks.
What is Digital Transformation?
Digital Transformation is the integration of digital aspects to all areas of the business to maximize the output by changing how you operate the business. Digital Transformation directly influence the growth of the business by automating tasks and adding more value to consumers. Therefore, it is vital for all businesses from small-scale to large enterprises. Many organizations are switching from traditional means to digital methods of data storage like cloud storage and the use of digital transactions. This has led to the opening of vulnerabilities and data leaks in the system as the organizations that undergo digital transitions use a wide range of cutting-edge technological tools and services. Prior to these modifications, the conventional IT architecture was a gated, centrally managed environment with enterprise-owned endpoint devices, on-premises data centers, and enterprise-owned endpoint devices.
How is the cybersecurity landscape evolving with digital transformation?
Cybersecurity has become one of the top priorities for any organization that wishes to conduct its business digitally. It is the practice of being protected from the criminal or unauthorized use of digital and electronic data. As more companies move their business to a digital platform, their data will be more susceptible to cyber criminals. Also, digital transformation has caused businesses as well as consumers to fear exposure of their data to third parties. As the process of digital transformation increases rapidly, at the same time the tools and approaches being used by cybercriminals is also being more sophisticated.
Earlier, we saw botnets—masses of infected computers that could be remotely commandeered to carry out a bot herder-for-hire. The Internet of Things (IoT) botnets followed, which were considerably easier to hack due to the usage of default settings and credentials as well as a general lack of security considerations in their design and development. For example, IoT devices rarely, if ever, have built-in brute force safeguards; an attacker can use brute force theoretically indefinitely and as frequently as wanted without the IoT device noticing. Another example of how IoT is a security problem is in creating and managing a network of IP cameras for a surveillance application, applying a firmware update bricked a camera. The manufacturer issued an advisory to not apply firmware updates which is not an optimal security solution.
As a result of applying AI, approaches to malware, hivenets and swarming malware are currently on the rise. The hivenet will no longer need a bot herder to give commands; instead, members will communicate with one another directly, creating and referring to massive libraries of knowledge on the traits and vulnerabilities of the networks they find. They will do DDoS and data harvesting at a constantly growing rate, spreading as they go even building their own code to do it. When opportunities for exploitation appear, they will swarm to the target – potentially automatically. The enterprise's endpoints, which are frequently the weak points of cybersecurity programs, should be the main focus of cybersecurity efforts today. According to a recent study, hackers frequently use endpoints like PCs, cellphones, tablets, and an increasing number of Internet-connected gadgets to infiltrate corporate networks.
To understand the current cybersecurity landscape, let us discuss recent trends in cybersecurity:
- Ransomware- Ransomware is malware that encrypts a victim's files and makes them inaccessible. The victim is required to pay the attacker usually in bitcoins to get their files. Users are given instructions on how to pay to get the decryption key. The costs can range from a few hundred dollars to more than thousands.
- Use of stolen credentials- According to the recent 2022 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR), stolen usernames and passwords are the second most common threat, behind ransomware, facing small organizations. The use of stolen credentials and access to systems presents opportunities for the theft of valuable information, access to other digital systems or networks, or an avenue for ransomware.
- Business email compromise- Business email compromise refers to cybercriminals impersonating a stakeholder such as a supplier or staff member to gain unauthorized access to an organization. This can happen via phishing emails or pretexting, which is the human equivalent of phishing where a malicious actor attempts to impersonate a customer, business partner, or bank employee, for example, to gain access to login information. It can result in the loss of customer or company funds.
- Data privacy breaches- A data breach is an incident that results in confidential, private, protected, or sensitive information being exposed to someone who is not authorized to access it. It can be the cause of an accidental event or intentional action to steal sensitive information from an individual or organization. For example, an employee could accidentally expose sensitive data or they could purposely steal information and share it with or sell it to a third party. Alternatively, a hacker might be able to steal information from a corporate database that contains sensitive information.
- Supply chains- As networks and supply chains bind us ever closer together, such methods will continue to be in action by which malicious activities can compromise organizations, particularly via third parties such as suppliers or contractors. While this type of cyber-attack may target organizations that have basic cyber hygiene practices in place, it presents cyber criminals with a route to impact several organizations at scale.
Over the last few years, reliance on remote work and online transactions drove a rapid increase in digital transformation, pushing security teams to expand protective measures and expose vulnerabilities with a quick turnaround. Digital transformation has caused a lot of previously unrecognized security exploits to emerge. Focusing solely on fundamental cybersecurity is insufficient in the age of digital transformation to protect your organisation's critical data stacks. You need a standardized and strategic approach that can comprehend the complexity of the cyber threat landscape, provide alternative solutions, and prioritize best practices for data protection. In other words, the cybersecurity plan you implement needs to be founded on a methodical approach that is well-planned and adaptable enough to be combined with other security measures like cybersecurity automation, network security, and access control.
Business markets are reliant on IT solutions and technology, which in turn are reliant on business objectives. Today, protecting data and sensitive information is more than simply a best practice. It is a commercial must. Any cyber-attack will result in data loss, which will be bad for business. Hence, cyber security has to be built into vendor activities, operation processes, and customer relationships.
Additionally, organizations must maintain a strong asset management procedure, be resilient to cyber-attacks, and generate commercial value by being ahead of the curve in terms of managing cyber threats. Organizations are no longer confined to their four walls, therefore a comprehensive strategy for cyber security that protects both on-premises and cloud-based IT assets is essential.
Without a doubt, digital transformation is transforming the way businesses operate and the standards for cyber security. Cybersecurity teams must use both proactive and reactive measures to preserve business continuity and gain a competitive advantage. Protection of businesses and IT assets from malicious threats should include ongoing integration and automation of cybersecurity measures to address the fast-evolving threat landscape.