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Threats and solutions to digital security

An examination of the major threats to enterprises, government agencies, and citizens. The topic that has attracted the most interest in the field of technological breakthroughs in recent months in the sphere of the Internet of things is cybersecurity.

In view of the growing importance of digital resources in enterprises and society in general, news stories and studies agree on the need of alerting against hazards and the urgency of implementing actions. Attacks cost an estimated €14 billion in Spain alone in 2015.

Threats have a worldwide scope and can affect any individual or institution connected to the Internet from anywhere in the world. They are also difficult to eradicate due to the lack of effective legal processes in cyberspace and the fact that they evolve at the same rate as digital breakthroughs, making prevention difficult.

To grasp the scale, we will examine the main risks, threats, and methods of solutions in three areas: businesses, government organizations, and citizens.



The keys to developing trust are detecting risks, mitigating their impact, and understanding how they operate in order to prevent attacks.

The aerospace, technology, and banking industries are the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. However, the threat is widespread throughout industries. Processes are being transformed by digitization, rendering them vulnerable to cyberattacks unless suitable precautions are taken. The most common type of attack in businesses is the threat or destruction of intellectual property.

The defensive plan should not be based exclusively on defense. Instead, it must incorporate monitoring to avoid attacks as well as define response measures to mitigate the damage.

Human factors are seen as a significant source of risk. Some of the main hazards identified include the actions of employees who use digital services and systems without sufficient security understanding.

Hiring managed security service providers (MSSP) that offer a variety of services such as spam and virus protection, management of virtual private networks (VPN), and system updates is one example of a solution being applied to secure enterprises.

Hiring cloud-based security services to increase e-mail access, identity management, and data encryption is another possibility.

The combination of big data and analytics can also help boost security levels if the data is utilized to detect aberrant activity or predict assaults.

Another security method is ethical hacking, which involves doing penetration testing on systems in order to uncover flaws. One of the most effective techniques of developing defenses and anticipating responses is to simulate similar occurrences.

IBM suggests that businesses install continuous security monitoring software, discuss events to strengthen industry defenses, identify assets and establish a plan for each one based on the risk level, and integrate cybersecurity into business operations and decision-making.

The Cisco Annual Security Report emphasizes the outsourcing tendency, particularly audits and incident response services, and budget constraints are the biggest hurdle to deploying defense tactics. The keys to improving trust in a company’s security are detecting threats, reducing their damage, and understanding how they operate in order to prevent future attacks.



The Internet of Things is built on networked smart items, and these systems can be hacked to affect how services are used.

In terms of human factor risk in the workplace, the BYOD (bring your own device) trend is a threat that users share outside of the workplace due to the widespread usage of applications and connected services. Mobile devices are prone to cyberattacks due to the use of apps and accessing content or networks without the necessary safeguards.

Most cases are resolved with an update from the manufacturer, as long as the manufacturer has the knowledge and solution for security breaches, or they will rely on service providers, resulting in the need to anticipate risks and ensure infallible communications in sectors that are particularly vulnerable, such as banking, telecommunications, or retail.

The standard advice for consumers is to install antivirus software, improve password security, and avoid installing applications from unknown developers. Leading operating systems and browsers already recommend similar steps.

Personal identification systems, which are becoming increasingly important as a result of the growing number of services given via mobile devices (such as payment methods), are making strides to ensure transaction security as well as the use of wearables or smart home controls. Currently, identification models are based on biometric data such as fingerprints or facial recognition, as well as new methods such as vein readers, as proposed by VISA.


Important ideas

BYOD (bring your own device): the usage of personal devices (such as mobile smartphones) in the workplace increases a company’s security vulnerabilities.

Smart grid: smart grids that are connected to the Internet necessitate a risk assessment in order to prevent power outages and consumption espionage.

SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition): safeguarding this industrial process control software is critical to preventing remote control of elements such as production systems, satellite communications, and public infrastructures.

Malware is defined as harmful applications that cause harm to computer systems, while ransomware (a type of malware) encrypts documents and requires users to pay a ransom in order for their systems to be unlocked.

Phishing: identity theft (for example, of a service provider) used to obtain passwords or financial information has evolved into spear phishing. This enables attackers to leverage a user’s public information (through social networks, for example) to commit fraud with greater authenticity.