Is Digital Transformation to Blame for Increased Cyber Attacks?

16 August 2022 | 15 Shares

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The impact of digital transformation is staggering. According to a study by the Ponemon Institute, 82% of organizations have experienced at least one data breach as a result of their digital transformation.

One of the inevitable drawbacks to the rapid state of digital transformation that most success-oriented organizations are dealing with right now, is the inexorable side effects of being exposed to a greater cyber risk landscape than ever before. The COVID-19 pandemic not only heightened the health threats to society, but also supplied malicious threat actors with the perfect mix of circumstances for which they could shape newer and deadlier cyber threats.

Cyber risk

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Cyber criminals are using any and all means at their disposal to launch unprecedented attacks into sectors such as retail and financial services, including insurance, attacking both the institution behind the infrastructure as well as the individuals using it.  At the same time, organizations are tackling expansive digital transformation schemes post-pandemic, and the broad (and growing) threat surface indicates that IT teams need to stay two or three steps ahead. And just like the intruders, cyber protectors need to mitigate risk levels by harnessing all available resources.

To get a handle on risk, organizations need to have a better grasp of where the vulnerabilities exist within their infrastructure, be it networks, systems, or devices – both within and outside the company. Tightening the noose on exposed attack surfaces is the first and most obvious step, but new entry points are being uncovered all the time. When a user unwittingly clicks on a phishing link in an email, they can immediately expose all connected systems to an intrusion – even before any human is aware.

Harnessing artificial intelligence (AI), digitally focused companies can now capitalize on all available methods to round out their self-defense. But just as thy can provide insulation against cybercrime, a digitized system is also very reliant on third-party tools and service providers, to provide that depth of functionality and options that a business might need today.

Digital transformation presents unique challenges for cybersecurity teams. In Ponemon’s study, 63% of organizations said they were finding it difficult to secure cloud environments adequately, with over half (58%) stating they did not have a third-party cyber risk management program of any kind.

The benefit of cyber risk intelligence

Cyber risk intelligence involves the collection of standardized third-party information for analysis, to improve the organization’s third-party risk posture. Unfortunately, far too many organizations struggle to collaborate with their third-party vendors and ecosystem partners. In the end, both sides end up chasing security assessment targets instead, falsely believing that completing assessment goals is good enough to offset security threats.

Even when the assessment data is gathered, the analysis is not as comprehensive as it should be. Because if data parameters are not articulated well, there is very little actionable insight that can be gleaned from it. Data analysis, particularly powered by machine learning, relies on standardized data collected over time to gain meaningful insight.

Applied machine learning has the revolutionary potential to analyze third-party assessment data to gain a fuller understanding of external risk factors, and powerful machine learning can extrapolate that data over similar third-party systems and applications. This provides a holistic view over the entire technology infrastructure, instantly at the security practitioner’s fingertips.

Cyber risk

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Organizations cannot rely on hunches or static assessment data. Cyber risk intelligence enables data-informed decisions and actionable return on their cybersecurity investment. CyberGRX, the world’s first and largest collaborative risk exchange, is a two-sided platform, uniting customers and their vendors to collaboratively address identified vulnerabilities.

Using the power of data, AI, and standardized assessment data, CyberGRX gives cybersecurity practitioners comprehensive visibility of their third-party cyber risk management (TPCRM) programs.

By using deep analytical tools, security professionals can now manage inherent and residual risk, common and customized frameworks, and threat profiles with a control gap analysis by pairing them against real-world cyberattacks.

Cyber risk intelligence starts with an effective TPCRM program. Download the TPCRM for Dummies eBook to learn how to start securing company assets, first-party or third, and implement an effective TPCRM strategy immediately.