With the digital infrastructure growing by leaps and bounds, our personal and professional lives are interconnected digitally. While the benefits of this burgeoning infrastructure are known to all, there are certain flipsides associated with it as well – a front that fewer people are attentive to.
Let’s begin with a simple eye-opener. We are all excited about the end of 2020, and the possibilities 2021 has in store with our renewed business plans, marketing strategies, and product launches in the pipeline. So, can we call ourselves ready for 2021? Well, think again.
Gone in 11 seconds: The world’s third-largest economy that doesn’t exist
In 2021, there will be a cyberattack every 11 seconds, according to industry estimates. Should you give this information a pass and think your business won’t be one of those 2.8 million cyberattack victims? You can. Still, it won’t change the fact that such cyberattacks’ volume and intensity have only increased with every passing day. To give you a perspective, the corresponding figures for 2019 and 2016 were 19 seconds and 40 seconds, respectively. Even if your business manages to navigate safely in 2021, how long do you think you can hold your digital fortress by not strengthening it at all? Still, want to give it a pass? Think about it again.
There is also a certain cost associated with every cyberattack that takes place. By 2021, it is expected to be $6 trillion per year. If measured in terms of country, it would be the world’s third-largest economy, right behind the U.S. and China. But who incurs this cost? Businesses like us. And it happens on an annual basis.
Look towards the confluence of cybersecurity and data science
Cybersecurity or information security is something that saves your business from external and internal threats. Some of them include low-profile attacks such as social engineering, email phishing, and so forth as well as high-profile ones including malware injection, SQL injection, man-in-the-middle attack, etc. Your in-house IT resources must be well-equipped with the skills required to mitigate any such cybersecurity incident that your business might end up facing.
It makes sense. But, where does data science fit into the picture? Any digital activity online is data. It could be your employee logging in from a new system or a customer retrieving sensitive information. You scan the server and find an active port that shouldn’t be. You run the Nmap with -sV or -sC flags and enumerate the service running behind the port. In essence, you have discovered an attack vector that can be leveraged by a cyber attacker and hence, fix it. But can you do it, given the sheer volume of data being churned by your business? It is precisely where data scientists come into the picture.
Data scientists can analyze relevant datasets and build models that can detect anomalous events. Thankfully, such models can also be developed for cybersecurity events. It is why data-science-based approaches are finding more takers in the cybersecurity industry. It enables cybersecurity professionals to build models that unlock valuable insights from their voluminous security data. The approach ultimately leads to data-driven intelligent decision-making, thereby paving the way for smart cybersecurity systems within your organization.
In the run-up to 2021, it is only logical to upskill your IT and security professionals with industry-leading standards and conduct their succession planning. It will not only save your brand image from getting marred eventually but also prevent associated costs as business losses and fines.
Ultimately, you’ll not only save your business from being a part of our hypothetical third-largest economy in 2021 but even later when such attacks intensify further.
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Mike Saver is a marketer, journalist, blogger, tech enthusiast and comic book writer. With a background in the education industry, his role focuses on delivering innovative learning solutions to developers and technology specialists - helping companies keep up with dynamic changes in data science, AI, DevOps, security and more. He's currently a member of the product marketing team at Skillsoft. Outside of the office, Mike's marketing work has continued as an editor and social media content coordinator of CelticsLife and nePatriotsLife.com. He has managed their sites' content and promotion, including managing corporate sponsorships, social media contests, ESPN television appearances, local radio appearances and more. Mike also writes a comic book series and manages its social media channels, newsletter and event strategy.