Between 2019 and 2020, the number of successful cybersecurity attacks worldwide has almost doubled from roughly 2,100 to nearly 4,000 data breaches. This has occurred at the same time that the penetration testing (or “Pen Testing”) vertical within the cybersecurity industry has become a multi-billion-dollar market, projected to more than double in size between 2021-2025. With the number of cybercrime incidents rising and with so much at stake in securing our digital information, the question remains, how are successful attacks still rising?
Rapid Digitization Means More Personal Data is Available Online
Twenty years ago, it would have been relatively uncommon for a middle-class home to have more than one computer with internet access, whereas nowadays you would be hard-pressed to find one without an array of technology devices connected to various networks. Because virtually every piece of technology we use in our daily lives is now internet-connected, our personal data is being shared through an increasing number of devices. When those devices and the software and data stored on them is not properly secured, it further adds to the problem of growing cyberattacks.
If a software company hires a cybersecurity consultant to perform Pen Testing services on a new application the company has developed, it may take 2-3 weeks just to get the paperwork in order to conduct the testing, leaving potential vulnerabilities in the software’s data untested and exposed. At the same time, cybersecurity consultants who use scattered software toolkits in their Pen Testing, coupled with human-centric Pen Testing policies, can cost these companies more resources (time and money) in the long run.
Rapid Technological Evolution
Another symptom of rising rates of malicious cyberattacks is the reality that security professionals struggle to match the speed at which our technology, and the data we store in it, evolves. Before IT security professionals can properly secure a new technology that has already been delivered to commercial markets, another newer technology is ready to launch, perpetuating the problem.
Since the onset of COVID-19 last year, more people are using technology to work remotely, adding new challenges for cybersecurity professionals to keep the organizations and people they work with secure. Normally, companies would hire cybersecurity professionals to test their data security, as well as identify, assess, and fill in the gaps found in those defenses. However, the gap between the supply and demand of certified cybersecurity professionals is increasing and there are currently not enough professionals in the industry to perform the amount of testing needed at scale right now.
Beating the Hackers with AI-Backed Pen Testing
The problem of malicious cybersecurity attacks is not linked to a lack of investment in cybersecurity products and services. Rather, the problem arises when these investments are not performing as intended. Every major company and software platform needs cybersecurity testing and we must increase the amount of Pen Testing from certified Pen Testers to help reduce the success of malicious cyber-attacks.
One option is crowdsourcing, where companies bring in a broad amount of hacker expertise from all around the world and test their cybersecurity defense systems. One caution is that this often causes companies to lose control over the process of which defenses are being tested, the methods used in testing, and the frequency of those tests, leaving their data vulnerable to attack.
A second option, one many cybersecurity professionals agree as to the more plausible and advisable one, is to use technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) in order to generate algorithms from the process that your Pen Testers perform, allowing for human hackers and AI to complement each other to perform more testing in less time for less cost.
Using this method, companies can secure Pen Testing within 24 hours, rather than waiting 2-3 weeks to file the paperwork traditionally associated with the process. Within 5-6 days, the results are sent to the company’s software developers with recommendations on how to fix any potential threats that were identified. This process makes the entire testing process much easier, faster, more accurate, and more cost-effective for the client. It also allows software development companies to develop at a more rapid pace without sacrificing security, providing additional value to product end-users.
The endgame of cybersecurity professionals is to have a more secure society, but the only way we can achieve this is by including solutions such as AI-backed Pen Testing, allowing security professionals to conduct more tests, more often, in order to generate more accurate results and identify issues that can be fixed proactively, rather than reactively. In using AI-backed Pen Testing processes, companies can ensure that their business’ and their clients’ data are fully protected and remain secure.
Seemant Sehgal is the Founder & CEO of BreachLock Inc. – the world’s first AI-powered full stack and SaaS-enabled Penetration Testing as a Service. Since 2019 BreachLock has quickly emerged as a market disrupter in the traditionally human dependent Penetration Testing market.
Apps You Can Relax With
Price and Platform: $1.99, iPhone
The people that have used this app are constantly singing its praises. When you use this app, you’ll want to place your phone next to you on your mattress. The app works alongside the accelerometer in the iPhone, using a sensor to monitor your movement so that it can accurately determine the phase of sleep you’re in and track your sleep cycle levels. It presents you with a graph that can tell you a lot about the quality of the sleep you’re getting. This data can be incredibly useful. For example, you can see if you don’t sleep as well on nights where you drink tea.
When you’re sleeping lightly, you’ll wake up more easily, and you’ll have more energy throughout the day. When you set an alarm, the app sets a 30-minute window ahead of that time. It will make sure you’ve woken up when you’re in the lightest phase of sleep. Even if you’re woken up 30 minutes earlier, you’ll feel much better when you woke up.
There’s a similar app with fewer features available on Android, known as Sleepbot. This app also keeps track of your sleep patterns so that it can wake you up at the appropriate time.
Price and Platform: $0.99, Android, Free, iOS
This app does everything it can to help you relax. It plays cosmic-inspired music while showing you time-lapse photos that were actually taken by NASA astronauts. If you touch the views, you’ll be able to set the speed of your images. Thanks to the weather and clock availabilities, it’s handy to have this app on your night table. You can use this app to distract yourself from the stresses of your everyday life.
Price and Platform: Free, iPhone
Deep Relaxation is based around the Silva Method, which teaches you to center yourself while meditating. There are two different options: a 30-minute track for deep relaxation or 20-minutes for quick relaxation The leader of these tracks, Laura, has a voice that’s pleasant and soothing. The app has plenty of positive reviews, and Laura’s relaxing voice is one of the things that people praise. Although the app is free, it’s possible that there are no costs because the app is trying to entice you to pay for another program. Still, you can get a lot out of the free version of the app. On Android, there’s a similar free app titled “Relax With Andrew Johnson Lite.” This is a self-hypnosis app that is designed to encourage relaxation.
Squeeze and Shake Stress Relief
Price and Platform: $0.99, iPhone
This app essentially operates as a stress ball. It looks like a rubber duck, and it makes a fun squeaking noise when you press down on the screen. If you press the sides of the phone and give it a good shake, you’ll be able to get a hand massage. When you shake faster, you’ll get a more intense massage. People have been using stress balls to unwind for a very long time. People often say that repeating the same movement over and over is enough to relax you. Of course, people will notice you shaking and squeezing your phone, which is why you’ll probably want to use that app when you’re at home. When you’re done using the app, you should feel far more relaxed.
Price and Platform: $1.99, iPhone and iPad
Not everyone is a fan of aquariums. It can be creepy to look at fish in this sort of environment, especially if you spot some dead fish in the tank. However, studies have found that watching fish in the water can lower your heart rate, elevate your mood, and even bring your blood pressure down. This is the reason you see fish tanks in waiting rooms. You’ll see videos featuring real fish, not fish that are animated. You’ll be able to select your favorites from 28 different species and even change the lighting in the foreground and the background. Thankfully, you’ll never have to worry that these fish will die.
If you feel you may need professional help for stress or depression visit clarityclinic.com.
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