Cybersecurity, at its core, is about protecting what’s valuable to you as an organization.

For some, that might mean protecting valuable customer data—credit card information, Social Security numbers, or patient health care records. For technology companies, it’s also about protecting intellectual property. This includes source code, designs, products, or future product strategies. Collectively, that intellectual property defines the value of a tech company, and that value is usually sitting on a server as an easy target to be hacked.

For many organizations, it’s no longer a question of whether a network will be compromised but when a network will be compromised. Almost 50% of all companies experienced at least one security incident during a 12-month period, according to a 2017 survey by the Ponemon Institute. If that isn’t an impressive enough figure, then consider this: The average data breach costs a company $3.9 million.

That’s a frightening perspective with a huge cost attached to it—and things aren’t going to get better anytime soon.

Accountability

High-profile enterprise hacking leads to the painful loss of precious data, customer confidence, and hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees, notification costs, and technology remediation. It’s no wonder C-level executives are now paying more attention to their organizations’ vulnerabilities when it comes to cybersecurity.

Other individuals also demand results:

Investors and boards of directors are increasingly holding senior management accountable for cybersecurity.

Customers and partners demand adequate cybersecurity controls are in place before conducting business.

US states, regulators, and regulatory bodies are legally mandating cybersecurity compliance.

Influencing Factors

Emerging Technology

The rapid proliferation of new technology, including a wide array of mobile devices and cloud-based solutions, means that hackers now have many more entry points to attack.

Universal Vulnerability

Additional vigilance is required for larger companies because of their access to valuable information and pervasive technologies, which makes them a natural target. This doesn’t let the small guy off the hook, though. If there are rumblings that a start-up has the next killer app in development, for example, they’re vulnerable to attack.

International Threats

Economic espionage, or cyberespionage, isn’t limited to borders. It isn’t uncommon for overseas companies to target entities releasing products with high potential for profit and revenue. While the act itself isn’t necessarily something new, there are now organized and contracted teams leading the attack.

Social Engineering Attacks

Even with stronger security defenses, organizations are still at a disadvantage in the fight against hackers. Why? Because cyberattacks are increasingly aimed at individuals rather than systems—and the human factor is much harder to manage. People, however, are also the first line of defense with proper training.

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