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5 Top Enterprise Cybersecurity Threats Facing Organizations in 2021

Posted on December 16th, 2020

Leading enterprise-level concerns do not look the same today as they did years ago. As enterprise organizations adopt new technologies for their business, they also expand their digital attack surface and introduce additional network vulnerabilities that can be exploited by attackers. For this reason, cybersecurity has quickly become a key consideration for enterprises looking to cover all of their bases.

To avoid the reputational damage and financial loss that comes as a result of a data breach, enterprise security teams must be able to effectively manage the threats on their networks. Moving forward, businesses must prioritize cybersecurity as an integrated part of their enterprise risk management program if they want to continue protecting their most sensitive digital assets.

What is enterprise security?

One of the most important components of a comprehensive enterprise risk management (ERM) program is enterprise cybersecurity. Enterprise security is comprised of the systems, processes, and controls put in place to protect critical data and IT systems. As organizations increasingly rely on cloud-based infrastructures, and data privacy and compliance regulations continue to increase worldwide, enterprises must take the necessary steps to protect their most important assets.

5 common cyber threats facing enterprise organizations

The top threats facing enterprises have changed over recent years as businesses adopt new technologies and rapidly expand their digital attack surface. With the cost of a data breach on the rise, cybersecurity has become a leading concern for enterprises across all industries.

Take a look at 5 of the top enterprise cybersecurity threats to look out for:

1. Social engineering

While the majority of cyber threats are focused on exploiting vulnerabilities, social engineering attacks rely on human emotion and manipulation to gain unauthorized network access. Typically, these types of attacks are carried out by providing information that overwhelms the user, appealing to emotions, such as fear, and then offering directions that can help prevent an unwanted outcome. This can be more difficult to prepare for as traditional training often does not address psychologically-driven attacks. Common types of social engineering threats include phishing, baiting, pretexting, quid pro quo, and more.

2. DDoS attacks

As enterprises embrace emerging technology and new internet of things devices (IoT), having an understanding of the resulting threats is a crucial component of proactive cybersecurity monitoring. The adoption of these devices can open organizations up to Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, which disrupt normal traffic flow on a site by overwhelming it, making it unable to properly operate. DDoS attacks are largely driven by botnets that submit requests to target a particular server until capacity has been reached. These attacks typically result in organizations having to negotiate ransom payments in order to regain control of their sites.

3. Insider threats

Insider threats can be easily overlooked by enterprises since many tend to focus on keeping outsiders out, rather than monitoring those who have already been given access within. These threats are carried out by trusted individuals who are abusing their network access privileges, either by mistake or to sell information to outside cybercriminals. Many organizations have begun to combat insider threats by establishing zero-trust security, which continuously verifies users’ identities and only allows access to the resources needed to carry out the requirements of their position.

4. Third- and fourth-party vendors

As more organizations take advantage of third- and fourth-party vendors to optimize operations and enhance productivity, the average cost of a third-party data breach is also rising, approaching nearly $4 million according to Ponemon’s Cost of a Data Breach report. It’s critical these organizations understand that their vendors not only gain access to their critical assets but that their organization will be held liable if an attack occurs as a result of a vendor’s actions. While third-party vendors can provide considerable value to an organization, staying on top of their cybersecurity posture can be a challenge. In order to ensure your entire supply chain is secure, your organization should establish a comprehensive third-party risk management program that can provide complete visibility into the cyber health of all vendors.

5. Advanced persistent threats

An advanced persistent threat is an attack through which a hacker gains unauthorized access to sensitive company information. These threats pose a significant risk to enterprise security, as cyber adversaries have ongoing, undetected access that can be difficult for security teams to identify. These attacks focus on evading detection over long periods of time to find and exfiltrate a business's most important data. One way that enterprises can combat this is to continuously monitor the cyber health of both your organization and your various vendors. This will enable your security team to identify and respond to threats more quickly and effectively.

How SecurityScorecard helps enable enterprise cybersecurity

With SecurityScorecard’s platform, enterprises are able to instantly evaluate and continuously monitor their cyber risk, as well as that of their third- and fourth-party vendors. Further, your company can identify and respond to cyber threats with data-driven security ratings, which dynamically evaluate risk so that your security team can gain complete, real-time visibility of your greatest vulnerabilities.

With a holistic view of your organization’s entire IT ecosystem, you can build a comprehensive enterprise risk management program and feel confident that the proper security controls are being implemented. As many enterprises continue to undergo rapid digital transformation, an effective risk management plan will be key to securing business operations and reputation in the long-term.

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