The Risks and Costs of Cyber Attacks

The cost of loss due to cyber-attacks has reached millions of dollars and is continuously plaguing various businesses and platforms. A recent study entitled Cost of Cyber Crime Study in 2017 showed that organizations need to improve investments in security technologies, security intelligence systems accounting for 67 percent and advanced identity and access governance accounting for 63 percent has been found to be the most widely deployed security and safety service across a wide array of enterprises.

Major findings of the study reveal that compliance technology is essential yet business should not bet on it with everything and fully depend on it as spending on governance, risk and compliance technologies cannot in any way provide increased society.

Other investments aside from the aforementioned reveal a lack of balance. Perimeter controls have the highest percentage of spending among all the nine security technologies examined. Nevertheless, the cost savings in these technologies came only fifth with a value gap of negative four. Thus, it is important to assess the levels and intensity of spending in relation to efficiency and necessity, thus offering a chance to re-evaluate and re-allocate resources to technologies with higher-value security.

Governance, risk and compliance technologies and automated policy management proved to be the lowest in effectiveness with only 9 percent and 7 percent of cyber-crime cost reduction. Thus, compliance technology is essential but it is not an end-all-be-all solution and assessing spending can give the business a lot of opportunities to re-channel funds towards breakthrough innovations.

The study also stated that there is a necessity for an organization to grasp the essence of innovation opportunity since it has been proven multiple times that,

Studies prove that in terms of returns of investment, innovation yields the most results or returns yet ironically, investment in innovation has been recorded to be very low. “Extensive use of cyber analytics” along with “user behavior analytics” (UBA) at 32 percent and “automation, orchestration and machine learning” at 28 percent are the technologies that can be seen in the lowest ranks for enterprise-wide deployment.

Balancing the investments by implementing a shift from less effective technologies to remarkable breakthrough innovations will indeed result into a better organization with a stronger and more resilient security program in place to ward off cyber-attacks and maybe even avoid them completely.

The essence of a remarkably strong, comprehensive and efficient security program is to identify and strengthen assets with a higher value; the so-called “cream of the crop” and “crowned jewels” of the business, these are the assets that are the most essential and relevant to business operations. They also undergo the most stringent and comprehensive regulatory penalties and is the source of various trade secrets and specifics pertaining to the differentiation of the market.

It also detailed three steps that various organizations can follow in order to further improve the effects of cybersecurity features and protocols being employed.

1 %

The first step is to build cyber-security on a very strong and reliable foundation and to invest in higher security intelligence along with a whole new level of access management paired with the orthodox necessity to think forward ahead of hackers.

1 %

Furthermore, extreme and comprehensive pressure testing must be undertaken in order to ensure the highest level of safety and security.

Last but not the least, there is a need to invest in breakthrough innovation and take steps to balance spending and expenditure on new technologies such as artificial intelligence and analytics and consequently improve the efficiency and scale value of the program.

Moreover, it remarked that organizations have to realize as soon as possible that spending alone will not guarantee equal value in terms of efficiency. As the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure, thus it is essential to address the problem and insufficiencies of the security software in place in order to avoid possibly dangerous and potentially devastating cyber-attacks. This is a necessity for businesses to thrive in this digital age and effectively compete with other pioneering businesses.

An intelligent and comprehensive strategy should be in place in order to know which assets need to be protected and properly address consequences once a cyber-attack indeed happens. Protection is always the first barrier, but steps must be undertaken in order to assure that once the attack happens, the business can create a wall of protection from the inside out. Indeed, investing in security can make a huge difference in the maintenance and development of the business.

It is clear that companies can avoid loss due to cyber-attacks if they take appropriate measures to address them and the issues that it brings.

Protect your Data Using an Encrypted USB

Encryption is a very useful method to protect data stored on portable devices such as external hard drives and USB flash drives. These devices are very essential in storing memory and data, especially for individuals. With encryption, only the person or the owner who is in possession of the accurate encryption key can decode it. Thus, when the situation arises resulting in the loss of these devices when the user is able to encrypt data with a USB key, it cannot be accessed or used by unauthorized users.

There are many types of USB flash drive.

USB 1.1 is the earliest version which has the purpose of supporting devices at a lower speed such as mouse and keyboard. Depending on the devices, it can operate in two modes, the low-speed mode, and the full speed mode. The low-speed mode allows data transfer at 1.5 Mbps while the high-speed mode allows data transfer at 12 Mbps.

USB 2.0, on the other hand, is the newer version. It supports devices faster but the device has to be designed for USB 2.0 such as flash drives and hard disks. With the USB 2.0 data is transferred faster at 480 Mbps.

USB 3.0 is ever faster and newer, operating are super speed featuring data transfer modes that can reach up to 5 Gbps. Most devices today are eligible and ready with a system which supports USB 3.0

Using a USB Flash Drive has many advantages such as its convenience since it is extremely small and therefore can fit in the user’s pocket or purse, very convenient for transporting, it does not contain any moving parts thus it is very durable and long lasting, USB flash drives’ storage is ever increasing with its price also decreasing, it is widely supported by many computer systems and it uses considerably less power compared to external hard drives.

According to Symantec’s How Drive Encryption Works, there are various strategies when encrypting data and assuring that it’s privacy is maintained. With drive encryption, disks can be protected in cases of qualified theft or incidental loss as it encrypts the whole disk along with the system files, swap files, and hibernation files. If the encrypted disk has been lost or stolen and inserted into another computer, the encryption remains intact to assure that only the authorized owner or user can access the contents.

Nevertheless, drive encryption cannot protect the data when the user has logged in into a system during startup and has consequently left the computer unattended. During these cases, the encrypted system has been unlocked, thus unauthorized users now have the ability and capacity to access the system. File encryption is most useful in these situations as it provides an additional layer of security in cases when the drive encryption has been breached.

The steps in encrypting a USB can be done in just a few simple steps. First, the USB flash drive must be inserted, open My Computer of Windows Explorer, right click on the flash drive and select Turn on BitLocker from the menu. After the BitLocker has prepared the flash drive, the wizard will then prompt the user to choose how you want to unlock the device, passwords will allow the drive to be unlocked in any location and to be shared with certain people. The wizard will then prompt the user to store a recovery key in case the user forgets the password, the recovery key must not be saved on the flash drive you are encrypting. The user will then click on the save the recovery key to a file and in the save BitLocker recovery key as dialog, the user must then browse to a suitable location then click Save. Click next. Then click Start Encrypting. The user must not remove the USB flash drive until the encryption process is complete.

In the year 2013, the encryption algorithm has shown much development with features such as Advanced Encryption 256. AES 256 is used in order to meet the Federal Information Standard 140 which requires level 2. Encryption is continuously developing and improving throughout the years, coming out every year with new features and breakthrough innovations.

An encrypted flash drive is very essential in order to assure the protection of a USB flash drive especially if it is used to store very important and private data. Users should take steps to encrypt data with a USB key to avoid unauthorized use of information from flash drives.…