When someone says “cybersecurity” what do you think of? Do you picture a hacker hiding in a dark room surrounded by monitors and typing ferociously on a keyboard? Stealing millions of dollars from big organizations then taking a vacation on a tropical beach?
That’s how they look in the media, but is that accurate in the real world?
Cybersecurity is more than hackers, but cyberattacks are the number one risk keeping executives up at night. Even with the volatility of supply chain, labor force issues, and imminent economic risks such as recession and inflation, cyberattacks are still the things executives are most concerned about.
What if I told you that hackers, on the offending side of a cyber incident, see themselves as smart businesspeople?
They are not hiding in a dark room typing on a keyboard; they are going to work in an office building and running a business. And they’re not only focused on stealing information and money from big organizations. They attack anyone who is vulnerable, especially smaller organizations that do not have sufficient cybersecurity measures established. After they attack, these businesses focus on providing spectacular customer service while walking you through the recovery process. They will often hire customer service reps with the sole mission of making sure you’re satisfied with their support and how quickly you were able to recover your business or information. Ransomware operators, for example, are known to employ customer support personnel to guide you through the process of paying them. These businesses operate on attacking your organization then offering their services to help you recover.
We’re led to believe hackers are bad people looking to steal everything from you to make an easy living. But, in their minds, they are just smart businesspeople who are revolutionizing the industry. They have the same goals as any owner – to run a successful business that is efficient, profitable, and better than its competitors. Just like your competitor who purchased a newer, better truck to deliver goods faster than you, or the accounting firm across town that invested in advertising with the goal of pulling in some of your clients.
Does that change your view of cybersecurity?
Hackers are in the business of making money. For them, it is all about the profit; they steal information and money from organizations, then help them retrieve it for a cost. In the grand scheme, these hacking businesses are the same as organizations selling cars or baking cookies. As the business owners, hackers are looking to turn a profit, doing so by breaching the information systems of organizations around the world. Organizations such as yours.
Your business could be their first target. The media only shows hackers going after large, multi-million-dollar organizations but the truth is, those companies have iron-clad cybersecurity. They are not easy to hack and take extreme skill to get into their systems without being caught. Smaller companies are more commonly targeted due to their lower level of protection. The easiest targets, and first to be attacked, are companies that have a poor cyber posture, no budget for cybersecurity, outdated and misconfigured tools, or an overworked IT team.