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Businesses need to go back to school for cybersecurity lessons

The past two years have seen an ever-expanding array of cyberattacks, with incidents including cloud misconfigurations.

Britain fully exited lockdown last month, but many workers appear in no hurry to return to the office. — © AFP
Britain fully exited lockdown last month, but many workers appear in no hurry to return to the office. — © AFP

As Cybersecurity Awareness Month is in full-flow (running the course of October 2021), this acts as a timely reminder for businesses to get ‘cyber-strong’. By awareness, this refers to how much end-users know about the cyber security threats their networks face, the risks they introduce and mitigating security best practices to guide their behavior.

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is now in its 18th year. It was initially launched by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance to ensure organizations and consumers are ready to take on the cybersecurity landscape.

The past two years have seen an ever-expanding array of cyberattacks, with incidents stretching from cloud misconfigurations exposing massive amounts of sensitive data online to ransomware attacks severely impacting critical infrastructure.

To help boost business robustness during this time for both reflection and action, Robert Prigge, CEO of Jumio tells Digital Journal that the rate and number of cyber-incidents should give us a salutary lesson in boosting defences.

Prigge begins by looking at the spate of attacks striking across multiple sectors of the global economy, noting: “The amount of large-scale cybersecurity breaches we’ve witnessed in the last year highlights just how creative cybercriminals will get to steal sensitive data and sell it on the dark web.”

These attacks have a high level of success for criminals too, as Prigge notes: “The number of reported identity theft cases more than doubled from 2019 to 2020, while the number of reported data breaches escalated 38% from the first to second half of 2021. With traditional online verification tools such as knowledge-based authentication and passwords, organizations will continue to place consumers’ personal information at risk of being compromised.”

In terms of the importance of the October event, Prigge remarks: 2Cybersecurity Awareness Month encourages security leaders and executive decision-makers to modernize their security practices in order to adapt to the increased sophistication of fraudsters.”

This is especially important in the modern context, as Prigge observes: “In today’s cybersecurity climate, organizations must move away from outdated, obsolete authentication methods and implement more advanced identity verification solutions.”

These more advanced solutions include areas “like face-based biometric authentication, that confirm online users are truly who they claim to be. This month is also important for educating consumers on how to safeguard their digital identity and manage personal data consent rights online. These best practices are crucial to keep data away from the hands of malicious actors.”

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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