Updated: Feb 7
While it is true that the fourth industrial revolution has given rise to significant advancements in the tech space, the downside is that it has also created technologically defined cyber landscapes that are highly vulnerable to all kinds of attacks. In tandem with Hegel's theory of dialectics, cyber-attacks such as malware, spyware, identity theft, phishing, spams, spoofs, trojans, and viruses, all serve as the antithesis of the fourth industrial revolution. All of these, if not constantly checkmated can erode its benefits.
Listed below are 5 ways to effectively manage cyber-attacks in the digital age.
1. Cyber-Security Comes First
The heavily publicized debacles between the US/Russia and US/China as well as challenges reported in South Africa and other countries regarding cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure, all give credence to the importance of prioritizing cyber-security as opposed to relegating it to the background as an after-thought. You cannot fight something until you acknowledge its existence.
2. Data Protection is crucial
The ubiquitous penchant for interconnectivity enhanced by the Internet of things has led to a significant rise in demand for privacy in the technological ecosystem. Therefore, data-protection strategies such as data availability, data management, backups, and encryptions are imperative in mitigating data-leakage risks and cloud data risks.
3. Constantly monitor Malicious Activity/Transformation Rate
The rapid growth of digital footprints is one of the major reasons IT specialists constantly battle to prevent network intrusion that can lead to data leakages or theft. According to research conducted by the students at Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, USA, hackers, on average, attack every 39 seconds. Therefore, the cyber-security defender should ideally be ready to protect the network just as quickly to curb the possibility of an intrusion with the help of tools such as Antivirus software (Norton, McAfee,) firewall tools (red seal, Firemon), penetrative testing tools(Wireshark, Netsparker) encryption tools(Tor, Keypass) network intrusion detection tools(Zeek, Kismet) and web vulnerability scanning tools(Nikto, SQLMap).
Additionally, it is advised to keep abreast of the turnover rate of IT Specialists in an organization to gauge the timeframe and level of transformation required at a given period.
4. Employee inclusion is mandatory
Employee sensitization via communication, empowerment, education, and upskilling is essential in the digital transformation strategies in an organization to checkmate issues such as cyber-attacks. Employees’ skill level and understanding of processes should be frequently assessed. Knowledge-sharing and collaboration across departments should also be encouraged.
5. Artificial Intelligence is Here to Stay
It is common knowledge that Artificial Intelligence is here to stay. However, the more important question to be answered is, how much of a threat or advantage is AI to cyber security? It can be perceived as highly beneficial on the one hand, in the sense that it enhances cyber-security technologies that companies use in tackling cyber-attacks, and boosts productivity and efficiency. While on the other hand, it could pose a huge threat if utilized by cyber criminals in circumventing cyber-security endeavors.
The good news is that the benefits of AI and machine learning far outweigh the threats. Data is at the core of cyber-security and there is no better way to curb the menace of cyber-attacks than using computers that analyze data in nanoseconds
Hackers have identified key human-computer interfaces that have vulnerabilities that even their custodians do not fully understand. They are equally leveraging Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning tools to launch all forms of cyber-attacks, with sectors including Public Administration, Health & Pharmaceuticals, Finance and Insurance, Education, and Retail as the most targeted. Therefore, Cyber security experts in these sectors are encouraged to be proactive in their mandate to curb cyber-attacks by incorporating the aforementioned steps.
For more information on how to adopt AI in Cyber security processes, contact us and one of our experts will be happy to contact you.