When’s the best time to invest In cybersecurity? Before you need It.

When’s the best time to invest In cybersecurity? Before you need It.

Cybercrime was ranked as the top risk to businesses in 2024 by the Allianz Risk Barometer survey. As cybercriminals get smarter and more creative with the help of AI, the threats to businesses are becoming more difficult to avoid. Yet the default approach by many businesses is to be reactive, implementing protective measures after the damage has already been done. By all measures, this is too late. By prioritizing prevention over reaction, companies can build a robust cybersecurity structure that minimizes the chances of an attack and maximizes preparedness if one occurs.


Understanding the threat

Cybercrime is on the rise, with statistics painting a grim picture of its prevalence and impact. By 2025, cyber incidents are projected to cost the global economy a staggering $10.5 trillion annually, according to Cybersecurity Ventures research.

Among these incidents, ransomware attacks, data breaches, and IT disruptions stand out as primary threats. Ransomware alone is expected to cost victims $265 billion annually by the start of the next decade, with activity surging by 50% year-on-year during the first half of 2023. Ransomware attacks encrypt or steal data, demanding ransom payments for its release.

Data breaches — increasingly targeting personal and sensitive commercial data — have become pervasive as well. Statista.com shows the number of data breaches in the U.S. nearly doubled in 2023 compared to the year before. Data breaches compromise sensitive information, leading to financial losses and reputational damage.

Any type of cyber attack also disrupts business operations, causing downtime and financial losses. As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, understanding these threats and their implications is crucial in building effective cybersecurity strategies.

Growing vulnerabilities

As the number of cyber threats escalates, several factors are also increasing the vulnerabilities of companies. Rishi Baviskar, global head of cyber risk consulting for Allianz Commercial, warned in the risk analysis report that “the avenues for cyber attacks look only likely to increase in future.”

Cybercriminals are now leveraging AI-powered tools to automate and accelerate attacks, creating more effective malware and phishing schemes. AI enables the rapid development of new and more effective cyber threats, presenting an alarming challenge for traditional cybersecurity measures.

At the same time, as our world becomes increasingly digitized, businesses are unavoidably more exposed to digital threats. The fact that most employees do at least some work from their cellphones or personal computers — combined with the increased dependence on digital infrastructure — gives cybercriminals more opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities.

Baviskar explained, “Personal devices tend to have less stringent security measures. Utilizing public wi-fi on such devices can increase their vulnerability, including exposure to phishing attacks via social media.”

This intersection of AI-driven cyber threats and the expanding digital landscape underscores the critical need for proactive cybersecurity measures to safeguard businesses against evolving risks.

Embracing a proactive and adaptive security framework

The best way to protect your business from cyber threats is to build a robust and proactive cybersecurity system. By taking advantage of technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, businesses can proactively identify and neutralize potential threats before they escalate. A strong security plan should include the following components:

1. Risk assessment and continuous monitoring

To effectively mitigate cyber risks, organizations must conduct comprehensive risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities and prioritize mitigation strategies. Continuous monitoring allows for real-time threat detection and response, minimizing the window of opportunity for cyber attackers.  Mark Montgomery, executive director at the U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission, warns that cybersecurity must start in the boardroom, with a well-trained CISO who will keep a vigilant eye on potential threats.

2. Employee education and awareness

Human error remains one of the weakest links in cybersecurity defenses, advised Sharon Shea for TechTarget. “Regular security awareness training will help employees do their part in keeping their company safe from cyber threats.” By imparting training on cybersecurity best practices and raising awareness about emerging threats such as phishing attacks, businesses empower their employees to become active participants in safeguarding organizational assets.

3. Robust security measures

Implementing robust security measures forms the cornerstone of a proactive cybersecurity strategy. Encryption, multi-factor authentication, and secure access controls serve as deterrents against unauthorized access and data breaches. Additionally, organizations must adopt a zero-trust security model, wherein access permissions are granted on a need-to-know basis, minimizing the attack surface and enhancing overall security posture.

4. Disaster recovery and business continuity planning

In the event of a cyber incident, having robust disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place is paramount. Rapid response protocols, backup systems, and redundant infrastructure enable organizations to mitigate downtime and minimize the impact on operations. By proactively planning for contingencies, businesses can ensure resilience in the face of cyber threats, safeguarding continuity and preserving stakeholder trust.


The benefits of proactive cybersecurity extend far beyond financial protection. By demonstrating a commitment to safeguarding sensitive information, companies foster trust and strengthen relationships with customers and partners, enhancing brand reputation. By embracing a proactive approach and implementing the tips above, any business can transform its cybersecurity posture from reactive to resilient, ensuring that it thrive in the digital age.

This article was originally published in Certainty News.



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