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Here’s why cybersecurity is the bare bones of ESG

2020 was a challenging year for global organizations, with the adjusted average total cost of a data breach reaching $4 million per company

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Akashdeep Arul
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Cybersecurity

As the internet continues to grow perpetually while helping businesses bring in millions, their revenue streams remains at risk as cybersecurity breaches are rampant today.

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Previously, companies opted for cybersecurity as a way to safeguard the company, employees, and its customers but now it has evolved as an important part of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issue.

What is ESG?

ESG are a set of standards followed by a company that socially conscious investors use to screen potential investments. Meanwhile, governance deals with a company's leadership, executive pay, audits, internal controls, and shareholder rights.

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Last year came with a separate set of challenges for global organizations, with the adjusted average total cost of a data breach reaching $4 million per company. This was compounded by remote workforces, increasing the average total cost of a data breach by nearly $137,000, JP Morgan said in its report.

It is becoming a major topic for company management, global investors and players from all industries with exposure to cyber technology and customers’ private information. A far broader demographic is becoming increasingly concerned with cybersecurity’s social impact as well as technological implications, JP Morgan added.

Companies under ransomware attacks and other cybersecurity threats suffer damage to its credibility and prominence. It leads them to be viewed as a liability and not an asset by investors.

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Keep an eye out

The type of threats that should be considered when creating the cyber security plan includes, phishing attacks – attacks that depend on the user clicking on or downloading a malicious link; malware –software that’s designed to infiltrate without permission; web-based and mobile app-based attacks; ransomware – a form of malware that blocks access to files for the computer; denial of service (DoS) attacks – a type of attack in which the purpose is to overwhelm the system, as per Cyber Talk Organization.

Back in February 2021, Polish videogame developer CD Projekt known for making The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 was smacked by a ransomware attack. The hackers threatened to leak the company’s source code and internal data (which was later leaked) online.

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More recently ransomware hackers have reportedly leaked 7GB of confidential AMD and Intel data on a forum after a recent cyberattack stealing 112GB of sensitive information from computer hardware giant Gigabyte.

Why should you care?

As cybersecurity becomes a broader concern, the core security spending reached $68 billion in 2020, consisting of major spending in infrastructure protection, network security equipment, integrated risk management, and application security.

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The fastest-growing segment was cloud security, with further increased demand expected in a post-COVID world.

Looking at cybersecurity through a global lens, the U.S. led the way, accounting for 65% of the global market and then Asia accounting for 27%, JP Morgan reported.

According to Next Peak's Geo Cyber Risk Index, India is placed fourth in their top 10 list on high-risk regions at 6.78%. Next Peak Geo Cyber Risk Index helps multinational companies monitor their global cyber exposure by providing a multi-dimensional view of country-specific cyber risk. The Geo Cyber Risk Index measures cyber risk from nation-state adversaries, cybercriminals, hacktivists, and network environments.

It is important to be cyber resilient because every time a company is breached it reflects on its framework and how the company is run. It has become a necessity to invest in cybersecurity as frequent attacks will tarnish a company’s reputation leading to reduced market share and investments.