Why Is Cybersecurity Important?
Today, as the scope, sophistication, and strategy of cyberthreats continually evolve, legacy security tools like firewalls and antivirus are insufficient to prevent hackers from gaining unauthorized access.
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations adopted bring your own device (BYOD) policies for employees, partners, and other stakeholders. However, a large number of these organizations lacked malware protection or relied on legacy endpoint and network security solutions to protect BYOD. In failing to account for remote work in their cybersecurity risk management programs, many gambled with their sensitive information, and likely saw costs rise as a result.
Even now, as many organizations settle into hybrid work models, numerous factors—enabling secure remote access and connectivity, adopting technologies to maintain productivity and ensure security, enforcing remote security policies, and handling security issues such as shadow IT on home networks, to name a few—have become everyday headaches for security admins alongside the ongoing shortage of cybersecurity talent.
To this end, organizations can look to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which develops cybersecurity standards, guidelines, best practices, and other resources to meet the needs of US industry, federal agencies, and the broader public.
Without an effective cybersecurity program, organizations can fall prey to cyberattacks that overtax budgets and harm the bottom line due to:
- Loss of intellectual property and sensitive information
- Downtime stemming from system failure or ransomware attacks
- Data compromise resulting in legal trouble and/or lost business
What Is a Cyberattack?
Most cyberattacks involve one or more cybercriminals attempting to gain unauthorized access to an organization's data or systems. They might be looking to disable computers, disrupt services, monitor activity in a system, steal data, or use a breached computer to launch attacks against other systems.
In the next section, we’ll take a look at some of the most common threats facing today’s organizations.