The World Economic Forum, Global Risk Report revealed that cyber-attacks come third to national disasters and extreme weather. Data theft and fraud come forth and this has never happened before giving an indication of how insecure the cyberspace is currently. The intensity, prevalence and disruptive nature of cyber- attacks are disrupting societies and economies in the world. WannaCry and NotPety being the leading examples of how cyber-attacks cuts across countries creating a deadly global risk situation.
The sophistication in cyber-attacks is growing and currently, the trend is using cyber-attacks to bring down systems responsible for the functioning of societies. Critical infrastructure in very strategic industries is the main target of cybercrime. Over the past 3 years, business attacks have doubled and incidents that the world considered extraordinary on cyber-space are now becoming a common occurrence. A huge increase in the use of cloud services is making has made an increase in attacks on IoT devices.
In addition to financial losses associated with cyber-attacks, major disruptions on infrastructure result from this attacks. Taking an example of WannaCry, government ministries, hospitals, car manufacturers, railways, energy industries, banks, and telecommunication providers all suffered from the Ransomware attack. The rising dependency on cyberspace is one of the drivers shaping the Hackers trend in cyber-attacks. Until cybercrime is contained from a global front, hackers will continue to make a lucrative income from industries.
The combination of successful isolated cases of cyber-attacks implies that the risks are rising and with the globes increasing interconnectedness, increases the vulnerability to irreversible system shocks and after-shocks.
Recommended Actions to be implemented
Collaboration and Intelligence sharing
This should be the most important global response to cyberspace attacks as they affect the entire interconnected world. Sharing intelligence empowers the organization to improve their detection and containment abilities, putting them in a position where they are much better prepared to handle system attacks. Intelligence agencies, business corporations and cyber researchers are called upon to collaborate and make it possible to attain the best possible impact in the globe.
Creating Awareness of Cybersecurity
All organization have to work towards educating and creating awareness of the organizations’ vulnerabilities to cyber-attacks. Inadequate risk awareness can create massive destructions in an organization if an innocent employee clicks on a phishing email without knowing the implications. Everyone should be made aware of safe cyber practices and protect themselves from data breaches and fraud. Cyber attacks are no longer an IT issue but an entire company problem creating major headaches in boardrooms.
Cyber-attacks are putting regulatory frameworks under much pressure as laws and regulations have to be set up so as to adapt to the new and growing economic threats. Regulatory frameworks should be prepared to deal with cybercrimes and stop complacency.
High dependency on technology has created more exposure to cybercrime. A lot of industries are undergoing what is believed to be the fourth industrial revolution and they are shifting their IT technologies and cyberspace connecting them in a worldwide web. Currently, these cyber threats are outpacing the government and companies abilities to overcome them. Timely and coordinated exploits should be carried out by global governments and societies at large to comeback cybercrime.
With the cyber-attacks crimes, we should find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe and fight this.