With the average cost of a data breach costing enterprises $1.3 million and $117,000 for SMBs, it’s hard to overstate the need to improve your organization’s cybersecurity planning.

According to research cited on CSO, in just one year the average cost of a cyber attack climbed from $1.2 million in 2016 to $1.3 million in 2017.

Although IT budgets are also climbing as more organizations look at it as a necessity, major cyber security threats are still delivering crippling blows to businesses across the globe.

Here are the top cyber threats and their impact on revenue and operations:

Data Breaches

Enterprises are particularly at risk for data breaches, due to the amount of sensitive data they process. Just look at the Equifax breach where hackers stole birth dates, social security numbers and other personal data from millions of people.

According to an article on MIT Technology Review, hackers may start targeting companies that compile data about personal web browsing habits, due to the companies’ unregulated nature.

IoT Vulnerabilities

For industries like healthcare, the growing use of IoT makes them a growing target for hackers, according to an article on Forbes. As more patients and healthcare providers use connected devices to track and store sensitive medical data, the greater the chance they’ll be targeted.

These devices need the same level of cybersecurity protection that other devices and systems receive or they will become gateways to even bigger networks of personal data.

Ransomware

While ransomware isn’t a new cyber security threat, experts predict it will still be a major threat this year. As major cloud providers like Amazon, IBM and Google make major investments in their security, other smaller cloud-based companies will be the next likely target, according to an article on MIT Technology Review.

With the amount of data they hold, targeting them with a ransomware attack will still lead to a significant payday.

Insider Threats

Whether intentional or unintentional, employees can be a significant risk factor of organizations. Organizations put a lot of sensitive data in the hands of their employees and they can introduce a major threat with a few clicks.

Implementing more sophisticated anti virus software that uses the latest in behavioral and ransomware blockers can help protect the company. Pairing it with an in-depth cybersecurity education program can help ensure that employees are doing their part in identifying and avoiding threats to the business.

AI And Machine Learning

The recent advances in AI and machine learning are a double-edged sword for cyber threats to business, according to an article on MIT Technology Review. Researchers and cybersecurity experts are using AI and machine learning to better anticipate attacks and identify them faster. But hackers are using this same technology to boost the effectiveness of their attacks.

The article cited a spear phishing attack, where hackers use digital messages to trick people into downloading malware or sharing personal data. Hackers are using machine learning to create messages that sound just like humans – and can churn them out without the breaks human hackers need.

They’re also seeing this technology being used to trick the security programs that spot malicious code before it can be deployed, the article said.

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