Cybercrime is a global threat and huge industry.
Bad actors will attack organisations of any size and whatever their purpose. In most cases the motivation is financial gain - but some have political objectives and others just enjoy the challenge of causing mayhem / getting publicity.
Exploits are traded on the dark web at low cost, enabling less skilled people to be involved in malicious activity and so swelling the number of attacks.
It is often the case that exploiting just one vulnerability can open the door and provide a stepping stone into the network. An attacker can then move laterally through the network and systems to unleash further wide-ranging hostile actions – ultimately impacting the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data.
Bad actors do bad things:
- In many cases it will cause severe financial impact (for example - loss of customer trust, loss of intellectual property, severe compliancy fines, corrupted data ) .
- In the worst case will cause business ruin.
- In the most catastrophic case, a malicious cyber-attack will cause loss of life.
The following is the Attacker’s Advantage … and Defender’s dilemma
- Defender must defend all points - Attacker only needs one weak point
- Defender must defend against known attacks - Attacker can probe for unknown vulnerabilities
- Defender must be constantly vigilant - Attacker can strike at will
- Defender must play by the rules - Attacker can play dirty
And the problem is compounded because there are huge numbers of attackers targeting the defender.