Technology companies are rapidly growing their cybersecurity budgets to ward off hackers.
Security is crucial for many reasons, not least of which is that cybersecurity attacks can result in loss of intellectual property or sensitive financial information, damage a company's brand and cripple its operations. On top of this, cybersecurity breaches can lead to lawsuits from shareholders and clients.
Cybersecurity standards implemented by technology companies have been under intense scrutiny, with many expected to face massive security breaches in the near future. Experts estimate that more than 50 percent of board members across five high-profile tech companies have discussed cybersecurity measures within the last year.
The reason tech companies are vulnerable is that they foster 'open environments' to stimulate creativity and collaboration. However, this culture can increase their cybersecurity vulnerabilities, making tech firms a target. Given that tech firms serve or partner with several businesses, including other tech firms and small businesses, an attack on any entity in the value-chain cluster can snowball to disastrous proportions.
There have been countless instances of cybersecurity attacks targeting high-tech firms specifically. Here are some reasons why:
The Very Nature of Tech Companies Makes Cybersecurity for Tech Firms A Priority
Most tech companies adopt the latest and relatively new technologies that are often vulnerable to cyberattacks. The biggest example of this is cloud computing. The tech business world has been moving to the cloud for several reasons, namely, because it offers greater flexibility and scalability than traditional servers. However, as more tech companies move their data into these ecosystems, hackers have a bigger target at hand. Tech companies must take all necessary precautions to protect themselves and their clients' data from potential attacks by employing security measures such as encryption and DDoS protection.
Digitally Interconnected Value Chain
The enterprise tech landscape is an intricate web where businesses of various sectors are digitally connected. A relatively small attack can pave the way for a larger one. For example, some attackers breached a small refrigeration provider in 2013, which was a third-party subcontractor for the retail giant, Target. The attackers were soon able to breach Target and stole 40 million credit and debit cards. The firm had to pay $18.5 million to settle legal claims from customers. The recent unearthing of the Log4j vulnerability in Java-based applications has been an eye-opener in terms of the sheer scale and reach a potential cyberattack can cause.
Underestimated Risk, Especially by the Small and Medium Tech firms
Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) often underestimate cybersecurity risks as they think they somehow wouldn't be a target. And nothing could be further from the truth. It doesn't matter what the firm's size is; the data is crucial and can be misused in the hands of an attacker. For instance, a devastating cyberattack in 2019 on Wood Ranch Medical, a small medical practice in California, involved a ransomware attack where the threat actors encrypted all patient records and appointment schedules. The firm had to shut down due to this in the hope of commercially internalizing its predicament. Because small businesses have few backup plans, they frequently succumb to cybercrime.
Evolving Work Cultures
The pandemic has radically changed the anatomy of the global business ecosystem as most companies adopted remote working cultures. However, remote work increases the attack surface of a company. According to Forbes, cyberattacks on remote workers were up to five times what they were prior to the pandemic.
Lack of a Dedicated Cybersecurity Team
According to a 2019 CNBC report, only 14% of small businesses are equipped to face cyberattacks. SMBs have a lot to achieve with a limited budget and time. They perceive having a dedicated cybersecurity team as an additional expense. Cyber attackers leverage the absence of a dedicated team to protect SMB's networks and systems.
What Can Tech Firms Do?
As per the CNBC report, each cyberattack costs the business community an average loss of $200,000. Attacks mostly happen to tech companies since they rely on cyber tools more than others. It seems the growth and evolution of cybersecurity threats run parallel with the advancement of technologies. The damage transcends the boundaries of sectors and industries.
Businesses have to train and educate their employees on cybersecurity– acquainting them on password protection, safe use of tech tools, malware, and the like–at all organizational levels. Allocating more budget and resources to strengthen cybersecurity and incident management will also help enhance cybersecurity for tech firms. Some firms will hire efficient and experienced cybersecurity firms to provide expert-level cybersecurity services.
While the global business ecosystem marvels at its growth in technology, it should also consider security for peace of mind. A breach can occur in various ways and from anywhere; therefore, businesses must be well educated, prepared, and proactive on their cybersecurity posture right now.
Reach out to a cybersecurity expert today to improve your cybersecurity posture in the most customized, strategic way.