Growing Cyber Security Risks Keep CEOs Up at Night

Growing Cyber Security Risks

A recent FBI report revealed that cyber incidents have almost quadrupled throughout the pandemic. Cyber predators are especially targeting unsecured devices and misusing fake domains to access information and computers.

COVID-19 has forced firms to evolve their business models overnight. With the demand for digital infrastructure skyrocketing, industries are witnessing a large-scale adoption of work from home.

Unsecured devices, unauthorized software, stressed, and distracted workers have continually expanded the attack surface and exposed businesses to multiple cyber risks. A recent FBI report confirmed that cybercrime has almost quadrupled throughout the lockdown.

Cyber predators are preying on the pandemic fears as they create thousands of fake, unauthorized internet domains, bogus companies offering loans, fraudulent coronavirus-related charities, masks, and other equipment.

CEOs are accused and held accountable for cyberattacks

As the world gravitates towards establishing hyper-connectivity, it is predicted that in the next three years, the precise financial impact due to the attacks on cyber-physical systems alone will cost enterprises a whopping $50 billion.

This particular number could be significantly much higher if other indirect costs were added to the equation, such as litigation, insurance, compensation, regulatory fines, and reputational loss.

Read More: Can Encryption Boost Data Security

On the demand side, consumers indicate a much lower tolerance for breaches, with 40% of them directly shifting the blame on CEOs personally for allowing cybersecurity lapses. Also, an ever-changing regulatory framework has become even more stringent and demanding. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2024, 75% of CEOs will be held personally accountable for the cyber risks and attacks that lead to injury and other physical damage.

Plenty of evidence shows that cyber risks are of increasingly more significant concern to CEOs with each passing year. Here are the five top cyber threats that worry CEOs the most:

Ransomware attacks: It is estimated that ransomware attacks may have cost U.S. businesses over $7.5 billion in 2019. Recent reports show that ransomware attacks expanded 72% this year due to the pandemic-induced chaos. In a survey earlier this year, CEOs indicated ransomware remained their top worry ahead of fire and floods.

Phishing attacks: According to cyber experts, 90% of all cyberattacks are initiated with a phishing email. The world has witnessed a staggering 6000% increase in phishing attacks post the world got pandemic-hit. Google claims to have blocked over 18 million coronavirus scam emails every day.

Cloud security concerns: Post COVID-19, many firms are increasingly relying on cloud infrastructure to seamlessly navigate remote working challenges to enable business continuity. Hence, they are faced with new daunting security challenges throughout their adoption phase. Researches have revealed that the public and enterprise cloud security risks grew by almost 600% in recent times.

Social media scams: Cyber scammers leverage social media to avail information about individuals and businesses to impersonate legitimate family members, friends, charities, public institutions, and government.

Twitter accounts of the most famous CEOs globally got hacked to con followers into a cryptocurrency scam. This is a clear indication of the escalating social media cyber risks across the globe and industries.

Read More: Tackling the Ransomware Attacks and the Measures to Prevent Them

CEO Fraud: Business email compromise (BEC) or CEO fraud is a variant of the phishing attack, costing businesses billions of dollars in the initial half of 2020. Leveraging this technique, cyber criminals smoothly spoof company email accounts to impersonate executives. The FBI issued a warning highlighting a stark increase in BEC frauds. Since March of this year, an estimation of almost 7,000 CEOs frauds has been recorded.

Cybersecurity is a CEO challenge, and this can in no way be ignored or less prioritized. CEOs must build a robust security structure by onboarding the right talent, even if this takes time. It’s a lot to manage but if enterprises invest in resources that can foster the right security mindset and culture, building a cyber-resilient organization is not a far-away dream.