Damage related to worldwide cybercrime is estimated to reach $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. While cybercrime continues to rise as digital transformation rises, during COVID-19 there was a spike in attacks, particularly in phishing scams. These attacks can be aimed at both private citizens, as well as businesses and corporations. Cybercrime affects thousands, sometimes even millions of lives by compromising sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, and so on.
Because of the sensitive nature of the information targeted by cybercrime, and rising trends in these attacks, it’s of the utmost importance for every business to have cybersecurity measures in place. Regardless of your business size or industry, cybersecurity can help protect not only your client base but yourself as a business owner. Implementing cybersecurity measures to your networks, such as remote monitoring management (RMM) or real-time monitoring and alerts can help you notice suspicious activity and intercept it before it can cause any harm.
While we may immediately think of large conglomerates, tech companies, and online retailers as the major targets of cybercrime, the real estate industry also has plenty to lose to a cyber attack. In fact, 30% of real estate organizations surveyed by KPMG have experienced some kind of cyber attack in the last two years.
Only half of the organizations surveyed reported feeling well-prepared for a cybersecurity event. Realtors, brokers, and property management companies hold large amounts of sensitive and proprietary information on behalf of banks, clients, and other corporations, which is what makes them a target.
Cybercriminals have targeted real estate files containing information such as bank account information, driver’s licenses numbers, and Social Security numbers, which are necessary for things like mortgages and leases. Online portals for property management companies may also be hacked for credit or debit card numbers and addresses, which cybercriminals can be used to commit fraud.
Digital transformation skyrocketed in manufacturing during 2021. Things like automation, cloud integration, and remote monitoring and data analytics have all increased in priority to manufacturers, thanks to COVID-19’s devastating effect on supply chains. While many manufacturers see digital transformation as the only way to stay competitive, with an overwhelming 91% of manufacturers increasing digital transformation investments, it also comes with increased cybersecurity risks.
By storing more things digitally, factories open up more access points to cybercriminals and put more proprietary and sensitive information at risk. Deloitte has identified six key cyber risk themes in the connected manufacturing landscape:
- Executive and board engagement;
- Talent and human capital;
- Intellectual property;
- Industrial control systems;
- Connected products;
- Industrial ecosystem.
These themes are critical for manufacturers to understand to address cyber threats dynamically, and protect their assets.
When it comes to cybersecurity in the automotive sector, intangible assets, such as data and information, aren’t the only thing at risk. Self-driving cars, which have become more popular over the years, are prone to hacks. In fact, in 2015, two hackers were able to take control of a Jeep Cherokee over the internet for a few moments. This paints a terrifying picture of what cyberattacks in the automotive industry could evolve into as the industry races to perfect self-driving cars, for personal and commercial use.
Self-driving cars aren’t the only point of entry for hackers in the automotive industry. Everything from the supply chain, to manufacturing, to auto finance systems can be targeted by cybercriminals. This may cause slowdowns, increase margins of error, and compromise sensitive or proprietary information.
Cyber risks to the agriculture industry also put people in danger of illness or injury. Farmworkers and consumers can both be the target of cyber attacks in agriculture. These attacks include:
Phishing campaigns: These are fraudulent emails, often trying to embed a virus or receive personal information to create a slowdown or commit fraud.
Ransomware: This is a type of virus that can be embedded on an email, link, website, or program designed to disable or slow down operations until a ransom is paid.
Exposure of confidential data: These attacks are usually carried out to cost the company reputation and money. Hackers can also use confidential data for identity theft.
Falsification of data: The falsification of data may slow down the approval process of a good, or could misrepresent the danger of a product. This may result in mass recalls, and put consumer safety at risk.
Cyber attacks can put the safety of our food, as well as the way it’s processed, at risk. Agriculture has become a target for cybercriminals only in recent years, as processes that were once manual have now been digitally integrated.
Cybersecurity solutions development
If you’re a leader in any of these industries and are worried about your company’s ability to withstand cyberthreats, know that cybersecurity options are feasible for businesses of any type, size, and budget. Implementing something as simple as two-factor authentication for all your backend accounts can reduce the number of entry points for cybercriminals.
More holistic solutions are also available, such as outsourcing your IT and security needs to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). You can also invest in more sophisticated software, including automation and scripting, for that extra peace of mind.
The most important thing to remember when trying to prevent cyber attacks is to consider your points of entry. Access is the only way that cybercriminals can achieve their end goal, whether it be releasing information, causing a slowdown, or compromising the integrity of a product. If you focus your security efforts on detecting suspicious activity around these points and reducing access by non-authorized accounts, you can reduce your risk of cyberattacks.
No one can protect themselves completely from cybersecurity attempts or breaches. But with the right partners and software, you will mitigate the frequency and damage done by any attack.