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What is Cyber Risk? Demystifying the Threats to Your Business

What is Cyber Risk Demystifying the Threats to Your Business

What is cyber risk, and how does it impact your organization? In the first half alone, bad actors conducted somewhere around 493.33 million ransomware attempts across the globe. What’s more, the cost of these attacks is on the rise. Over the past four years, the average cost of a data breach rose from $8.64 million in 2020 to $9.48 million in 2023. That’s why now more than ever companies need to evaluate the cyber security threats they may be facing today.

These cyber threats aren’t just increasing in damage–they’re evolving to be increasingly complicated. Moving into 2024, organizations have to be on alert for a whole new wave of cyber risk, including attacks like deepfakes, cyber extortion, targeting cloud data storage, compromised supply chains, and zero-day exploits. 

What’s to be done? Your organization needs to employ robust security strategies, train your team, and incorporate ongoing monitoring and incident response plans to stay protected. In today's fast-paced digital world, businesses face an ever-increasing array of cyber threats. But where do you start to protect your organization and reduce your risk? 

What Is Cyber Risk? Making Sense of the Cybersecurity Maze

There’s so much jargon out there when it comes to emerging cybersecurity threats and even the most common cyber risks that it can be hard to make sense of it all. From botnets to adware, advanced persistent threats, formjacking, and more, where do you even begin when you want to fortify your cybersecurity?

At Christo IT, we believe that cybersecurity should be accessible to all of our professional partners. And it all starts with knowing about the current trends and how they impact your cyber risk. So what is cyber risk? It’s the likelihood that bad actors will take advantage of how dependent your business is on your cyber resources. Financial firms, medical professionals, and legal firms are all at particularly high risk because of the nature of their work and the type of data they handle.

Cyber Risk Trends for 2024

Some of the biggest cyber risks and security trends coming in 2024 and beyond include:

  • Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI), which will ignite more sophisticated attacks powered by AI, including deepfake social engineering and automated malware. However, it’s not just the bad actors that have access to AI. Security-minded organizations may use AI to detect, evade, and neutralize attacks for almost instantaneous incident response in some cases.

  • Attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which often contain built-in vulnerabilities and weak security protocols that open the door for cybercriminals to work their way into your network and your data.

  • Cyber resilience is becoming as important as cyber security. The difference? While cyber security is aimed at keeping attacks from happening, cyber resilience approaches the threat conversation from a place of knowing that attacks happen even to the most secure organizations. Cyber resilience then, is about ensuring operational continuity after a cyber incident so you can recover quickly, keeping data loss and downtime to a minimum.

Understanding Your Cyber Security Risks

As you strengthen your cybersecurity strategies, it’s important to identify and prioritize the specific cybersecurity risks your business faces. 

It used to be that only large and multinational corporations were frequent targets for attack. But today, 73 percent of small businesses in the US experienced some kind of cyber attack or cyber incident in 2022. The data bad actors were most after? Employee and customer data.

This is especially true of industries and organizations that handle sensitive data that is particularly appealing and profitable for cybercriminals. Sensitive data can mean things like:

  • Credit card information
  • Patient health information
  • Financial records
  • Personally identifiable information
  • Anything governed by HIPAA, PCI, or GDPR

Additionally, organizations that work with third-party vendors may be at increased risk because they are also at the mercy of their partners’ security. A cyber risk assessment is one way to understand your organization’s unique and hidden vulnerabilities; it gives you a path forward.

Protecting Your Interests from Major Cyber Risk Issues

What is Cyber Risk Demystifying the Threats to Your Business - Addressing Cyber Risk

Recovering after a cyber incident can end up being an expensive endeavor. Cyber insurance coverage is designed to insulate you from some of this burden, with financial support to rebuild and take care of your business’s expenses. It protects for things like:

  • Data breaches, cyber attacks, and extortion, for your organization as well as the fallout from similar attacks with any of your vendors or partners
  • Attacks within your network and around the world that impact or halt your business operations
  • State-sponsored attacks or cyber-related terrorist-type attacks

So what is included in cyber insurance? It varies from policy to policy but typically covers things like:

  • Legal counsel and defense in a lawsuit or regulatory investigation
  • Recovery of stolen or ransomed data
  • Notifying your clients and customers
  • Lost revenue from business operations
  • Fees and penalties
  • Investigations to determine the origin of a breach or cyber incident

Understanding the role cyber insurance can play in protecting your business from financial liabilities is essential. So often, the question regarding cyber attacks is no longer a matter of “if,” but “when,” and cyber insurance provides a level of surety that you will be able to continue, with all the necessary recovery efforts to stay above water.

Take an In-Depth Look at Your Own Cyber Risk with Christo IT

At Christo IT, we know your time is valuable—and that we all rely on technology more now than ever before. Your IT infrastructure empowers you to take on all kinds of new initiatives and connect with your customers, clients, and patients in all sorts of ways. 

But it also opens the doors to enterprising cyber criminals who are expanding the scope of their attacks and finding new ways to exploit our collective reliance on technology. 

So when things go wrong, it can cause even more devastating outcomes. 

As a professional who deals with sensitive data and confidential client and patient information, your IT infrastructure can be your biggest strength as well as your biggest vulnerability. And what’s more, you have to face compliance regulations and a long list of to-dos all while trying to maximize billable hours. 

It’s always been important to us to reduce your risk of a cyber attack and keep your sensitive data protected through strong cybersecurity.

Join us in January 2024 for a free webinar where we dive deep into the changing face of cybersecurity and what it means for skilled professionals. In this webinar, “Reduce Your Risk: Practical Steps to Fortify, Protect, and Insure Against Cyber Threats,” we’ll be sharing essential information on how to keep your data out of the hands of bad actors. 

We’ll be going into even more detail about things like:

  • What’s really happening with today’s most common (and most confusing) cyber threats
  • What is cyber risk, as well as what steps to take complete a cyber risk assessment and uncover vulnerabilities you didn’t know were there
  • What you need to do to elevate your cybersecurity strategy with practical insights
  • What you can to do protect your organization from cyber attack-related financial liability 

We’d love to have you be part of the discussion on Thursday, January 11 at 1 PM ET to get a clearer picture of today’s cybersecurity landscape and learn how you can elevate your security. Learn more, then register for the webinar here. We can’t wait to see you there!