In its “What’s Now and What’s Next” report released Wednesday, Aon discusses what companies face in 2019 with cyber risk, especially due to the rapid digitization of business that “expands the attack surface of global business” in unexpected ways. “Thanks to the rapid enhancement and constant changes in technology, the number of touch points that cyber criminals can access within a business is growing exponentially,” the report states.
Here are the eight risks that could impact companies in 2019:
1. Technology: The broader use of technology “also brings vulnerabilities.” Organizations must understand these risks as they move forward and adapt cyber precautions accordingly.
2. Supply Chain: Aon notes that two trends will heighten cyber risks. The first is the “rapid expansion of operational data exposed to cyber adversaries, from mobile and edge devices like the Internet of Things.” The second is a firm’s growing reliance on outside vendors. Both trends “present attackers with new openings into supply chains.” Aon notes that company boards and management must have “forward-looking risk management” to deal with these factors.
3. Internet of Things: This means multiple devices that “are everywhere,” and need to be managed. “As time goes on, the number of IoT endpoints will increase dramatically,” the report states.
4. Business Operations: Connecting to the internet improves operations, but also exposes a firm to new cyber risks. Once in, a cyberattacker can “move laterally across an entire network.” Again, firms need to be aware of and protect against this risk.
5. Employees: Often cited as the most common cause of cyber breaches and the weakest link, firms must take precautions for every level of employee. The study states these include strong data governance, communicating cyber security policies throughout the organization, and implementing effective access and data-protection controls.