Companies are Bullish on Growth, But Fearful of Cyber Attacks

Recently, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reported to CNBC that he believes gross domestic product can sustain, at minimum, a 3 percent growth in late 2018. “We are well on our way,” Mnuchin states.

He also tells the Squawk Box, “You combine this with tax cuts, and I think we’re looking at very strong GDP growth for the rest of the year.”

Despite companies feeling bullish on growth, Chief Executive Officers understand that cyber-attacks are a top risk facing organizations. CEOs in the US, particularly, are the most vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity.

In fact, 68% of U.S. CEOs report that a cyberattack on their business is “inevitable” according to a recent KPMG article. The article goes on to mention that cybersecurity risk is at the top of the list when CEOs are asked what poses the greatest threat to the growth of an organization – at a whopping 33%.

When it comes to being prepared for cyber attack, however, some are more mature than others. Some have only basic fundamental elements in place, while other companies are preparing for the long haul to mitigate cyber risk.  92% of U.S. CEOs feel prepared to identify cyber threats while only 41% consider their organization well prepared to deal with them.

If you’re looking to safeguard your organization, here are few areas to take notice of in a rapidly changing landscape of threat:

Emails with Malicious Attachments are up 300%

Ransomware was at the top of a Proofpoint Q4 2017 Threat Report. Emails containing ransomware accounted for 57% of malicious emails. Ransomware is a malicious software that will either threaten to publish the data from their victim or block a person’s access to the data until a ransom is paid.

The Dangers of Cryptocurrency: Cybercriminals Follow the Money

When the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies increase, so does phishing attacks. This correlation cannot be ignored. Cybercriminals will pay attention to fluctuations in the market.

Social Media is Vulnerable to Cyber Threats

There is also a rise in customer support accounts or “angler phishing.” Angler phishing get its name from the anglerfish, using its bioluminescent lure to attract and then attack small prey. The bright glow that’s shining in this case is fake customer support promising to help clients and customers while secretly stealing their credentials. Phishing links in general on social media is on the rise.

Mobile Malware Surges on 2018

Symantec reports blocking an average of 24,000 malicious mobile applications daily in 2017. A good practice for cyber security hygiene is to update to the latest operating system, which, unfortunately, is not a consistent practice for many SMBs. Only 20% of Android operating system devices are running the latest version. Further discouraging is that only 2.3% are on the very latest release.

Grayware apps offer mobile users a troublesome privacy risk. In 63% of these cases, grayware apps will capture the device’s phone number. Grayware got its name as it is a “gray area” in category of software. A no-man’s land. It is between outright malware and legitimate conventional software. Common types of grayware include spyware and adware.

Even if you’re feeling a bit bullish about your company’s growth these days, don’t lose focus over the risks that can harm your organization. Keep your guard up and mitigate risk by planning ahead for cybersecurity threats.