Whether you want to acknowledge it or not, data breaches, security threats and cyber crime in general are a very real risk to your business.
According to a recent report from Rackspace, some recent estimates put the annual cost of cyber crime at $500 billion or more — a number that quadrupled from 2013 to 2015 and is expected to do so again by 2019. With a potential impact of that magnitude, it’s no wonder that many cloud users are concerned about online security.
Business appears to be just as good for cyber criminals as it is for mobile device makers. According to Symantec, some 431 million adults worldwide were victims of cyber crime in 2011, with the total cost of those crimes amounting to some $114 billion. And when Symantec figures in the value of the time victims lost to that crime, the cost goes up another $274 billion to $388 billion. If those figures hold water, it potentially makes the cost of online crime worldwide larger than the global trade in heroin, marijuana, and cocaine combined.
“There is a serious disconnect in how people view the threat of cybercrime.”
~ Norton lead cyber security advisor Adam Palmer
“Over the past 12 months, three times as many adults surveyed have suffered from online crime versus offline crime, yet less than a third of respondents think they are more likely to become a victim of cybercrime than physical world crime in the next year.”
According to the report, over two-thirds of online adults say they have been a victim of cybercrime in their lifetimes—and Symantec reports that 10 percent of adults say they have been victims of online crime on their mobile phones.
Symantec illustrated the disconnect between users’ awareness of cyber crime and what they do about it. They report that 74 percent of respondents in its survey said they were always aware of cybercrime. However, 41 percent of respondents don’t use an up-to-date security package to protect their personal information.
The rate is even worse amongst mobile users: Symantec found just 16 percent use up-to-date mobile security products. Furthermore, Symantec found that less than half its respondents reviewed their credit card statements regularly for fraudulent activity. And a whopping 61 percent either don’t use complex passwords or don’t change them regularly.
And who are the most likely victims of cyber crime? According to Symantec, it’s men aged 18 to 31 who access the Internet from their phone. Don’t be caught with your digital pants down! Here are a few of best-practice recommendations from Rackspace:
Configure Network Access:
Creating a secure cloud starts with ensuring your network only allows legitimate traffic into your environment. Cloud Load Balancers and Cloud Networks provide you with the controls needed to first view the type of traffic your website or application is receiving and then block malicious traffic as needed.
Many companies utilize developers across multiple teams to complete a project; as a result, there are many users that may require access to a cloud environment. Password policies and role-based access controls are great measures to keep your cloud safe. Rackspace offers services such as Cloud Identity to help you lock, monitor, and audit password usage across your environment.
Harden Your Servers:
Cyber attacks come in many shapes and sizes. However, Professionals can help you fortify your environment by utilizing techniques such as patching firmware and applications. They can lock down open ports, remove unnecessary plugins. They can help you enable cryptographic controls like SSL, SSH, SFTP, and VPNs.
Today’s cyber thieves are stealing much more than credit card numbers. They’re after intellectual property. Once they get it, they’re willing to sell it to the highest bidder.
Stolen data translates into a lot of lost business for U.S. corporations. Each data breach results in companies losing about 3.7% of their customers, on average, according to the Ponemon Institute.
But that’s not the only cost of a breach. Companies may have to beef up their systems and staff to find and solve the problem, which doesn’t come cheap. After the fact, the companies need to let customers know if their information has been compromised, and they have to spend even more to prevent the breach from happening again. The potential economic, legal, and reputational costs of cyber crime are growing all the time. I guess the question is, are you one of those business owners who pays a little now to keep your site safe or not?