A syndicate of cybercriminals can steal thousands, perhaps millions, of customer transaction records containing, for example, credit card information from a single business, like Equifax, or batches of them, like the millions of small to mid-size businesses (SMBs) operating in the U.S. Digital technologies enable these cyber crooks to operate at any scale – from the quantity offered by a large enterprise to the quality available from a cluster of small firms.
Why are these digital assets in demand among cyber burglars? Analysts estimate this data can fetch $10 - $20 per file, as identity thieves buy the information to make bogus purchases or establish phony accounts. And if a stolen bundle of records comes, for example, from a healthcare practice, an organization that stores personal data such as driver’s license or social security numbers for insurance purposes, the price per file could be higher because identity bandits conceivably can use this information for years.
The scenarios above become more and more lucrative with time, as the digital ecosystem expands and more digital commerce between organizations of every size and shape compile more proprietary data in cyberspace. The logical progression is clear: As cyber-operations expand, cyber-risk multiplies, cyber-threats intensify and managing cybersecurity becomes imperative not only to growing a business, but to surviving as one – no matter the scope or scale of a company. In today’s environment, cybersecure leadership – from shaping strategy to ensuring performance -- has become a crucial business issue. Here are the mega-trends driving this dynamic:
- Globalizing Cyberspace
- Cloud – Studies reveal more than two-thirds of IT decision-makers plan to increase investments in cloud computing in some form – public, private and hybrid configurations. Today, these digital domains increasingly transcend physical boundaries, exposing flows of data not only to more businesses but potentially to any cyber-savvy party in any corner of the world.
- Mobility – The proliferation of “smart devices” and the deluge of personal and professional data enable digital activity by any person from any place at any time. The quantity of cell phones already outnumbers the planet’s human population, and researchers predict nearly two billion workers worldwide will work remotely by the end of this decade.
- Diversifying Technology
- Automation – The advance of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the insinuation of the Internet of Things (IoT) blend digital operations into everyday life.
- Virtualization – The rise of “smart assistants” for personal and professional support and the extension of reality – i.e., Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) platforms – blend digital identity with individual presence.
- Escalating Risk
- Increasing threats from broadening access elevate the value of digital assets, such as customer, financial and product/service information.
- Accelerating the pace of business to digital speeds magnifies the material impact of any digital disruptions in terms of lagging productivity and loss of profitability.
- Propagation of regulation in overarching, increasingly digital industries, such as healthcare and financial services, touches businesses of all kinds with the costs and rigors of compliance.
In combination, these three mega-trends make managing cybersecurity without expert support a continuing challenge for any business operating at any scope on any scale. Learn how Managed Cybersecurity Services can help your business not only cope, but thrive, here