In today's digitally connected world, cyber security threats have become a major concern for individuals, businesses, and governments alike. The advancements in technology have brought a range of benefits, but they have also exposed us to various security risks.
Focusing on the automotive industry as a case study, there were several examples of high-profile cyber-attacks across 2022 that caused major operational and financial disruption:
1. Global Rental Company
A cyber-attack affecting more than 2,000 locations across 110 countries was announced by the company in April. Thankfully, the matter was resolved relatively swiftly. However, it has been confirmed that the incident did disrupt the business. Considering the sensitivity of customer data held by a rental company, this could have been a real disaster if not rectified quickly.
2. Nationwide dealer network #1
In March 2022, one of the UK’s largest dealer networks confirmed that they were victims of a ransomware attack at the hand of a prolific criminal gang known as ‘Conti’. The attack resulted in major internal and intranet outages across all 65 of their locations.
3. Nationwide dealer network #2
Another major dealer group targeted by a cyber attack during the usually quiet period running up to Christmas. It was confirmed by the business that the attackers were able to steal customer data from their systems. With the support of third parties such as Experian to provide their affected customers with guidance and protection, the question remains – could these 3 attacks have been prevented?
What could a Cyber Attack look like?
Understanding the different types of attack is vital to safeguarding against their threat. Here at CGI, we have leading industry experts who can develop long-term strategies to defend against one or all of the below:
Short for malicious software, refers to software programs designed to damage or disrupt computer systems. Malware can take many forms, including viruses, worms, Trojans, and ransomware. Malware is often spread through email attachments, infected websites, or compromised software downloads. Once installed, malware can steal sensitive data, damage computer systems and even take control of networks.
These attacks are a common form of cyber security threat. They typically involve an email that appears to be from a trusted source, such as a bank or other financial institution. The email usually contains a link or attachment which, when clicked, will direct the user to a fake website that looks like the real one. Once on the fake website, the user is asked to enter their login credentials or other sensitive information, which is then stolen by the attackers.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim's data and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key. Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common in recent years, and they can have devastating consequences for businesses and individuals. In some cases, victims have been forced to pay large sums of money to regain access to their data.
4. Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs)
APTs are highly sophisticated cyber security threats that are often used by nation-states or other well-funded attackers. APTs involve a long-term, targeted attack that is designed to steal sensitive data or disrupt computer systems. APTs often involve multiple stages, including reconnaissance, initial compromise, and long-term data exfiltration.
5. Social Engineering
This refers to the use of psychological tactics to trick people into revealing sensitive information or taking other actions that they would not normally do. Social engineering attacks can take many forms, including phishing emails, fake phone calls, and fake websites. Social engineering attacks can be difficult to detect, as they often exploit human weaknesses rather than technical vulnerabilities.
6. Insider Threat
An insider threat is a cyber security risk that originates from within the organization. This can include employees, contractors, or even business partners. Insider threats can range from accidental data breaches to malicious actions, such as stealing sensitive data or disrupting operations.
How can you prevent cyber attacks?
Cyber security threats are a significant risk that we face in today's digital world. The examples above are the tip of the iceberg in terms of businesses that have been targeted in recent years. Please get in touch with me to discuss how we can work with you to develop an online protection strategy to safeguard both your business and your customers.