2020 was the worst year on record for cyberattacks. The result? A huge economic toll on businesses and organizations of all types.
No one has found the magic bullet to fix the problem yet.
Efforts to combat cyberattacks are moving up to the top of the list of the U.S. government. The Justice Department recently announced two new initiatives as it looks to step up its efforts to take action against this type of crime: (1) a task force focused on finding solutions to stop the inflow of cybersecurity attacks, and (2) a four-month review of its strategy to defend emerging cyber threats.
Newly-appointed Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco has explained that areas under review will range from supply-chain attacks to the exploitation of artificial intelligence by cybercriminals, and she points out it is vital that we all collectively “rethink and really assess [if] we are using the most effective strategies against this kind of new evolution…there is no time to lose on what we can be doing better.”
Ransomware attacks are widely known for the chaos they create (such as hampering business, medical, and education operations and settings), as they typically cripple an information system until a financial demand is met. These financial costs are high: last year, an average of $100,000 was demanded from attack victims, with some notable cases highlighting demands climbing to the tens of millions of dollars.
And the threats are changing, evolving, and becoming more sophisticated which complicates the ability to find an effective response. As well, it has been cited that criminals take the sums of money they extort and reinvest the funds into the next generation of cyber tools to enable more complicated future attacks.
These attacks and cybercrimes are nothing new to businesses, but with the increasing reliance on technology in day-to-day operations, the number of occurrences has exploded. And yes, COVID certainly accelerated the number and frequency of attacks. During the pandemic, when everyone was forced to turn to Internet-based communications, remote business operations and more, the cycle of attacks and their numbers went into overdrive.
National security expert and former Acting Deputy Attorney General John Carlin recently told The Wall Street Journal, “If we don’t break the back of this cycle, a problem that’s already bad is going to get worse.” And other experts emphasize that this is not only a cybersecurity problem – it is truly an economic problem.
The Justice Department looks to develop a strategy to target the entire criminal ecosystem around ransomware – one that includes prosecutions, disruptions of ongoing attacks and importantly looks to halt various services that support attacks (i.e. forums that communicate availability of ransomware or any type of services that facilitate the cybercriminal activities).
This type of criminal activity has a billion-dollar impact on the economy, and businesses can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines and wait for the criminals to be caught. Leaders must take a proactive approach to protect their businesses and their clients.
Carlin and Monaco both made statements that came to our attention.
Said Carlin: a goal is “to find more innovative uses of legal authorities…to protect victims before they are victimized.”
And Monaco articulated, “We have got to get innovative and aggressive, and we have to work collaboratively and cooperatively with our partners and with the private sector if we are going to keep pace with what the malicious actors are doing.”
Venn is listening to these calls for an innovative solution, one especially geared for RIAs and financial advisors. And we have, in fact, been developing our technology over the years and continue to do so as our cyber landscape is ever-changing and evolving.
Importantly we are trusted: more than 400+ FINRA-regulated firms turn to Venn.
Venn is a critical tool for the financial firms who want to ensure their workforce can securely use any device, anywhere – the technology combines a cloud solution with a local device experience that wraps data and sensitive information in a secure perimeter.
Your team can access the data that they need. The outside world cannot.
The next step is clear. Take a proactive approach. Do what you need to – now – to ensure your firm benefits from the highest degree of security and does not fall prey to cyberattacks.
Our team of experts is ready to talk to you about the need for productivity wrapped in the highest degree of security. Reach out to us today to find out more about our solution.