This article is part of Panther’s new Future of Cyber Attacks Series which features interviews with cyber security experts, thought leaders, and practitioners with a goal of better understanding what organizations can do to prepare themselves for the future of cyber attacks.
The following is an interview we recently had with Paul J. Mansur, CEO of NXT GEN Technologies.
How have cyber-attacks evolved over the past 12months?
Cyber attacks have become more sophisticated and hackers are adapting to the smallest loopholes (i.e. unpatched printers) to penetrate the network. Cyber attacks are also evolving as hackers are not just staging their attacks on big branded organizations (I.E. big market retailers) but they are focusing on smaller organizations that are more prone to being easier targets (not having proper staff, technology, etc.). Furthermore, cyber security insurance has been more difficult to obtain due to the nature of these attacks being more frequent, costly and clients not taking the proper precautions.
What lessons can be learned from the biggest cyber-attacks in recent history?
NXT GEN preaches the concept of Layers Reduce Risk. What this means is that multiple layers of security make it more complicated for a cyber-criminal to penetrate your network or extract your data. The more layers and depth that a cyber-criminal has to penetrate to get into your network, the less likely they will succeed in actually holding your network, data or customer information hostage. While there is nothing that is 100% secure, the most vulnerable part of your network are your employees. It is ESSENTIAL to train your employees on what to lookout for in emails as this is the easiest barrier of entry for any cyber-attack to happen in your network. Remember, Phishing attacks currently constitute 93% of all ransomware attacks.
What will cyber-attacks look like in the future?
Cyber criminals are getting smarter, more sophisticated and they are finding the smallest barrier of entry to penetrate networks. Cyber attacks will become more costly, and they will be subject to more scrutiny after a cyber-attack has occurred in a network. This will most likely involve some regulations that all organizations need to follow, in order to confirm that they are taking all proper precautions to prevent their organization from outside threats and exposure of sensitive client data.
What are three pieces of advice for organizations looking to get ahead of the cyber-attacks of the future?
1. Layer Reduce Risk. Having multiple layers of technology will make it harder for your organization to be vulnerable to an attack.
2. Training your employees is an essential layer that should not be forgotten given 93% of Ransomware attacks start through emails and opening files/responding to emails that are malicious.
3. Cyber security insurance is critical to have in place for all organizations, no matter how big or small your business is. Smaller organizations are being targeted, so you are not excluded from cyber criminals!