Society’s continued and increased reliance on online applications and cloud-based systems is creating a situation where cybercrime is becoming a more lucrative ‘business’ than ever before. In 2020, 86% of all data breaches were financially motivated and by the end of 2021, cybercrime will be costing the world over $6 trillion annually.
These figures indicate the sheer volume of cybercrime happening, and it’s not just massive corporations. In fact, cybercriminals primarily target small and medium-sized companies, exploiting the fact SMBs don’t have the same level of defenses that a larger organisation does.
The ability to scale up malicious attacks is largely due to cybercriminals relying on automated tools to achieve their goals. Automation has become a key tool in both cybercrime and cybersecurity.
When we think of automation, we tend to imagine machines that are programmed to do a specific task without human intervention, such as those used in car manufacturing or distribution.
Yet technological advancements have taken automation a step further and we now have artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools, which are basically ways data is used to make predictions about an event, then activate pre-programmed actions.
The cybersecurity industry uses automation tools to collect data and rapidly process it to protect networks from cyberattacks.
However, this type of automated decision-making can be used by anyone for legitimate or illegal purposes.
In fact, large scale automation has made cyberattacks more viable in the long run, allowing passwords to be cracked more readily, and identifying better targets to attack in the future.
6 common types of automation malicious actors might use that can affect your business include:
Automated threats have become a highly sophisticated form of attacking organisations, requiring equally sophisticated tools as defence.
Automation tools increase the chance malicious actors will locate and exploit vulnerabilities, so it is important organisations look to their own security defenses to prevent this.
A sound and effective security strategy is critical and can be beyond the scope of in-house IT teams, tasked with managing day-to-day technology issues. Security overview and strategy can be best managed by security teams who are specialists at looking for system vulnerabilities and designing robust security solutions.
Managed security service providers have the expertise and up-to-date knowledge to recommend implementation of a range of cybersecurity solutions and automated techniques.
These might be implementing intrusion detection and prevention systems, which actively monitor and analyse traffic entering the network, and employ automated actions to stop malicious activities.
Security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) is a technology that automatically collects data about and responds to security threats. Microsoft Azure Sentinel is one such system, which executes security workflows at the right time, without human intervention, and it performs these actions in the cloud.
The future is automated, and with the increasing likelihood of being targeted by malicious automated attacks, it’s vital to ensure your business is well defended.
Automated security systems and robust security strategies form the backbone of defense. If you’re interested in expert technical knowledge and solutions, talk to the team at Essential Tech to find out more.
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