Cyber risks: Where do they come from?

A cyber risk could be anything from not backing up your data to a hacker accessing confidential US military information from a bedroom in London. Whatever the risk may be, it's important to be able to track where it came from and the extent of its potential impact.

Cyber-attacks have evolved from the suspect attachment to an e-mail sent by a stranger, which immediately unleashes some evident malware. Hackers prefer a more subtle approach now where they gain access to a network and watch what's happening, while staying undetected for as long as possible.

Attacks have also become more sophisticated, one example being the Waterhole where the hacker posts malware on a site often visited by employees of a given company, and then waits.

As a result, it is becoming more difficult to detect the source of some types of cyber-attack. Moreover, speed is of the essence when responding to this type of incident. An efficient identification process therefore needs to be embedded in your company's cyber resilience plan.    

Beware the enemy within: disgruntled employees. Banks have tightened up their IT security considerably since a number of high profile data leaks made the headlines some years ago. Companies have more power to prevent the internal threat through employee screening and preventive technologies. It's also prudent to carefully monitor the system access of departing employees.

More ominous still are state-sponsored attacks. Governments have deep pockets and access to highly-talented people. If a country decides to gain a competitive advantage through industrial cyber espionage, it will be hard to stop it. Moreover, experts believe that such intrusions are far from rare.

Identifying the origin and nature of these risks is the first step in developing an up-to-date risk management strategy. The aim is ultimately to be able to respond rapidly to new attacks and prevent a reoccurrence of those that have happened before.

A data breach doesn't mean game over. After a cyber-attack we get you back in business.

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