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How Can Cybersecurity Professionals and Organizations Protect Against Escalating Cyber Attacks?

Deloitte reported in 2019 that 58% of corporations cited data security and protection as the top reason for migrating their digital assets to the cloud from on-premises servers.

This change created a new universe of vulnerabilities, and cybercriminals wasted no time exploiting them. In 2022, 80% of organizations experienced cloud security intrusions, including data breaches and leaks, compliance violations and failed audits, and system downtime.

Cybergangs target cloud servers — the largest providers are Amazon, Microsoft and Google — for “ransomcloud” attacks that encrypt data and demand payment for a decryption key. Another emerging threat is cryptojacking, a hack that mines cryptocurrency — an expensive, power-intensive process — using an unsuspecting business’ cloud platform.

“One of the most common misconceptions among organizations entering a cloud transformation journey is the belief that securing workloads in the cloud is the same as securing workloads on-premises,” CIO magazine warns. “That is just not the case.”

In Murray State University’s online Master of Science (MS) in Cybersecurity Management program, students learn the costs, measures and skills needed to defend their organizations from cybercrime.

What Is the Cost of Cybercrime?

In 2017, the Federal Bureau of Investigation recorded 301,580 cyber-attack complaints that cost the economy $1.4 billion.

When government mandates forced businesses to decentralize during the COVID-19 scare, remote and hybrid work became the new normal — often via a cloud platform — and cybercrime incidents spiked. The FBI recorded 847,000 complaints and $6.9 billion in losses. Two years later, the volume of complaints has ticked down, but losses topped $10 billion.

As hackers expand the use of sophisticated technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, and dark-web organized criminals provide Crimeware-as-a-Service to technology-challenged malicious actors, global economies face catastrophic financial damage.

Cybercrime cost $6 trillion in damages globally in 2022, about $190,000 per second. By 2025, losses due to damage and destruction of data; theft of money, intellectual property and personal and financial information; forensic investigations; and remediation is expected to top $10.5 trillion.

“A bullseye is squarely on our nation’s businesses,” Cybercrime Magazine warns, noting more than half of all internal and external cybercrime attacks hit small- to medium-sized businesses, 60% of which go out of business following the incursion.

What Security Measures Can Companies Take to Defend Their Digital Assets?

Estimated aggregate investment in cybersecurity topped $170 billion in 2022 — an 11% increase from the previous year — with similar growth continuing over the foreseeable future.

Among the recommended components of an effective security strategy, cybersecurity experts recommend:

  • Regular network and data systems testing. Ethical hacking, for instance, enables companies to detect vulnerabilities and fix them before cybercriminals can exploit them.
  • Information systems security. Effective cybersecurity depends on intrusion prevention and detection, incident response, malware, public key encryption and message authentication protocols.
  • Business continuity planning. Incident response strategies in the wake of a breach comprise policies to anticipate threats, support digital forensics and analyze root causes.

As cyberwarfare heats up, employers cannot fill the surplus of new cybersecurity openings with the available talent pool, a deficit that continues to grow. At the end of 4Q22, for instance, businesses reported over 755,000 available cybersecurity positions.

How Do Professionals Acquire High-Demand Cybersecurity Skills?

An online MS in Cybersecurity Management from Murray State University equips graduates with technical expertise to defend against digital threats. Its curriculum builds the technical foundation to manage and secure contemporary data networks.

Courses immerse students in such critical topics as:

  • Cybersecurity solutions development
  • Incident management
  • Information security risk management
  • Project management
  • Data communications and networking

Learn more about Murray State University’s online MS in Cybersecurity Management program.

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