31 Mar The Rise of Cyber Attacks in Cyprus
The Wake-Up Call: The Urgent Need for Cybersecurity
Cyber-attacks are on the rise in Cyprus, with both public and private sectors being targeted almost every day, a trend that unfortunately is expected to continue and grow. Thousands of attacks occur on a regular basis on various infrastructures, and these can be automated or targeted. While not all incidents are publicized, the frequency of attacks is alarming.
The increase in cyber-attacks is closely tied to the rapidly changing world we live in, which is being driven by the digital transformation, hybrid working, and cloud adoption.
Driving Factors behind the Increase
Digital transformation is a strategic decision for both the European Union and the government of Cyprus, and many organizations and government agencies have worked hard to modernize their operations with the adoption of new digital technologies. By offering services online, businesses are able to stay competitive and provide better customer experiences. This digital shift comes with an expansion of the security perimeter of organizations, as more devices and applications are connected to the network. This expansion creates more opportunities for cybercriminals to launch attacks, as each new device or application represents a potential vulnerability that can be exploited.
Further to this, the adoption of new technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, artificial intelligence, and automation can significantly improve business operations and offer better customer experiences. While the benefits are undeniable, the same applies to the additional security measures that organizations need to protect their valuable assets against cyber-attacks.
As technologies become more interconnected, it becomes more challenging to manage security risks and ensure that all devices and applications are adequately protected.
Hybrid work, which has become more prevalent during the pandemic, has significantly expanded the security perimeter of organizations, creating new challenges for IT and cybersecurity teams. With employees working from anywhere they are no longer protected by the traditional network perimeter that exists within office premises.
Employees working remotely can be more vulnerable to cyber-attacks if they are allowed to access corporate data from unsecured devices and networks.
One major concern is the use of personal devices, such as laptops or mobile phones, which may not have the same level of security as corporate devices. Employees may also use public Wi-Fi networks, which are often unsecured and can be easily hacked by cybercriminals. This increases the risk of data breaches, as sensitive information is transmitted over insecure networks.
Moreover, hybrid working has made it more difficult for IT and cybersecurity teams to monitor and control employee activity, as they may not have the same level of visibility into remote work environments. This lack of oversight can make it more challenging to detect and respond to cyber-attacks.
Finally, the adoption of cloud has also led to an expansion of the security perimeter of organizations, as it enables data and applications to be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and from any device. While the cloud provides organizations with numerous benefits, including scalability, flexibility, and cost savings, at the same time presents new security challenges that must be addressed to avoid data breaches.
One major challenge is the loss of control over data and applications as they are stored outside of the traditional network perimeter. This can make it difficult to ensure adequate protection. Additionally, organizations often use third-party vendors for cloud-based services, which can introduce new security risks as they rely on the security protocols of the vendor.
The High Cost of Cyber-Attacks: More Than Just Financial Loss
Cyber-attacks are no longer just a technology problem; they can have real-world consequences for organizations, including damage to reputation, disruption of business continuity, and financial loss. A single cyber-attack can erode customer trust and even result in a loss of business. The financial costs can also be substantial, as recovery efforts, legal fees, and regulatory fines can accumulate rapidly, leaving organizations struggling to remain financially stable.
Reputation is everything, especially when it comes to business. A single data breach or cyber-attack can damage an organization’s reputation and erode customer trust. Customers expect their personal information to be kept secure, and a cyber-attack can leave them feeling vulnerable and exposed. As a result, customers may choose to take their business elsewhere, resulting in a significant loss of revenue.
But it’s not just reputation damage that organizations need to worry about when it comes to cyber-attacks. These attacks can also disrupt business continuity, causing significant operational challenges. Imagine a ransomware attack preventing employees from accessing critical systems and data. This could lead to business downtime, lost productivity, and a significant loss of revenue. Recovery efforts can also be costly, leading to increased expenses that can strain an organization’s budget.
Learn More about the Cyber Threat Landscape in Cyprus
Stelios Charalambous, Manager, Advisory Services
Andreas Constantinides, Manager, Professional Services