This post was authored by Scott Garrett, GSSO, Cisco and Matt Gyde, Group Executive Security, Dimension Data.

The speed at which we operate in a mobile world can result in risky user behaviors that threat actors are taking advantage of in order to breach information. Attackers are targeting the human element of digital IT through phishing and other forms of social engineering.

The 2017 NTT Group Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) distributed by Cisco’s top security partner, Dimension Data, highlights the latest ransomware, phishing and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack attack trends —  demonstrating the impact of today’s threats against global organizations. One of the report findings reveals that phishing attacks were responsible for nearly three-quarters (73%) of all malware delivered to organizations. Last year alone, phishing attacks resulted in ~$500M in losses for US companies.

According to the Cisco 2017 Midyear Cybersecurity Report, approximately 49% of businesses globally experienced at least one cyber ransom attack in 2016, and of those, 39% were ransomware attacks. In the US alone, the number of attacks rose 300% from 2015 to 2016.

Cybersecurity awareness is not just for the security professionals. With the evolving threat landscape, we have to expand the conversation and communicate how we each play a role in cyber protection. Let’s make cybersecurity relevant and interesting to our employees organization-wide.

Improve personal security practices

  1. Share information on how to to safeguard employees’ personal data and devices, enabling practices that extend into the workplace and develop better corporate citizens. Visit StaySafeOnline.org to learn how to stay safe online, secure your personal information and what to do if you are the victim of cybercrime. StaySafeOnline.org is powered by the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA). As part of Cisco’s steadfast commitment to online safety, Cisco’s Senior Director of the Security and Trust Organization, Anthony Grieco, serves on the the NCSA Board of Directors with a mission to make the internet safer and more secure.
  2. Provide security awareness training to educate employees on phishing, social engineering, ransomware, how to identify attacks and how to report possible attacks. Recognize or reward employees that follow security procedures and report issues that impede breaches.

Defend against the threat to your business

  1. Ensure security is viewed by your organizational leadership as a long-term priority and that you have support for the development of a holistic cybersecurity approach.
  2. Download Ransomware: The Pervasive Business Disruptor to learn about the genesis of the most popular cyber weapon today, its impact on business, and how to respond before a threat becomes a business disruptor.
  3. Engage a third-party, such as Dimension Data and Cisco, to assess your vulnerabilities, strengthen your business continuity capabilities, and provide support and managed services to secure your network.

Taking a more proactive approach toward cybersecurity safeguards ourselves and our organizations. Security is technology, processes, and people working together. Our goal is to provide you insights to rev this engine into high gear and keep ahead of today’s evolving risks.

Get more insights into actions we can take today to become better corporate citizens by Cisco’s Chief Security and Trust Officer, John Stewart, in the blog “Preparing Today for Tomorrow’s Threats.”

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and Cisco is a Champion Sponsor of this annual campaign to help people recognize the importance of cybersecurity. For the latest resources and events, visit cisco.com/go/cybersecuritymonth.


Scott Garrett

Global Cybersecurity Partner Manager

Global Security Sales