Fast forward to December 2021, and online and print editors everywhere are preparing their ‘People of the Year’ lists. Who’s going to appear in them?
Jason and Laura Kenny, Sifan Hassan, Billie Eilish, Marcus Rashford, Simone Biles, Elon Musk, Naomi Osaka, Sky Brown are all probable shoe-ins, but a surprise contender could be a woman who has dominated the world of entertainment for over six decades. Step forward, music icon Cherilyn Sarkisian known simply as Cher.
It’s been quite the 2021 for the ‘Goddess of Pop’ as she celebrates the 75th year of her birth. In the past few weeks, the BBC have aired the Viva La Diva, the Queens of Pop and Cher at the BBC, Universal Pictures has confirmed a major biopic of her life, and she’s been revealed as one of the music stars, alongside Rita Ora, Grimes and Jennifer Hudson, to feature in Bryan Adams’ 2022 Pirelli Calendar
Cher’s career is the stuff of legend. Over 100 million records sold, Emmy, Grammy and Oscar winner, biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist in the UK, and the only artist to have a number-one single on a Billboard chart in six consecutive decades. She’s known for her singing, dancing, acting and activism the world over but could cyber clairvoyant be added to her list of accolades?
In 1987 – six years before the internet became a thing – and following a five-year musical hiatus, Cher released what became known as her comeback album ‘Cher’. On it was a track appropriately titled Dangerous Times and it featured a verse with these three prophetic lines.
The cloud has got a silver lining
And if I’m scared, I got a right to be
I know, you could wound me critically
Fast forward 33 years and 2020 broke all records when it came to data lost in breaches and sheer numbers of cyber-attacks on companies, government, and individuals. Money.co.uk’s Quarterly Fraud and Cyber Crime Report recently revealed that UK residents have lost over £1 Billion due to a huge rise in cybercrime in the first 6 months of 2021 alone (scared and a right to be)
So, the cloud, which has enabled so many people to communicate and continue working, particularly through the global Covid pandemic (silver lining) is also responsible for the world’s fastest growing criminal revenue stream – the cyber attack. Research indicates that by 2025, global cybercrime costs will reach $10.5 trillion based on the current growth rates.
The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards remote working and, with it, created a host of new cyber threats. The UK Government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2021 found that just 23% of businesses have cyber security policies in place to cover remote working, underscoring the vulnerability of many home working setups (wound me critically).
Worryingly, a recent survey from the UK and US-based security firm, Tessian, found that 56% of tech departments believe their home working employees have developed bad cyber-security habits that didn’t exist when working on premise. Over 50% of the home workers interviewed admitted that they feel less scrutinised by their tech departments now they work away from the office and that good security practise has lapsed.
For the many organisations preparing for the ‘new norm’ by encouraging a blended office/home working pattern must now consider cyber security as a key priority.
Urgent steps must be taken to address threats including the training of employees and the deployment of secure threat detection systems. Devises utilised at home should be scanned for malware before being allowed to reconnect to on premise corporate networks, with two-factor authentication as an access minimum.
Training is key. Even prior to the pandemic it was estimated that only 44% of employees received adequate, or indeed, any cyber security training, so the ‘new norm’ offers an opportunity for organisations to address this oversight.
Organisations will need to evaluate, assess, monitor their existing systems, and seek to improve and strengthen them at every level. Protect, Recover and Assurance must be the mantra within every board room and budget must be made available to fund it.
With an average cost of a cyberattack estimated at $25,612, you’d better Believe you’ll be made to pay if you don’t take security seriously.
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Credit Image of Cher