The Anticipatory Leader’s Guide to Cyber Resilience

Written by Posted On Tuesday, 12 March 2024 00:00

Cyber attacks have been an ongoing challenge for individuals and businesses over the years. Previously, they manifested through emails, Trojan horses, and various forms of malware that, upon infiltrating your computer via the internet, replicated themselves and replaced code within functional programs. Today, this threat continues to persist, posing a constant danger to both individuals and businesses.

But as digital technology has evolved at unprecedented rates, so too have cyber attacks and their complexities. Recently, I discussed how Ransomware has impacted many industries — most recently, the manufacturing industry. Ransomware attacks are a Hard Trend that is not slowing down anytime soon, as cyber criminals infiltrate organizational software and lock away vital information the company requires to operate.

Frankly, it is unfortunate that when these cyber criminals demand compensation, or ransom, to return the information, including sensitive customer and client information as well as valuable data, many organizations simply buckle and pay without ever fixing the problem.

And as a result, yet another attack is sure to follow. Soon, the organization is a crisis manager that never actually manages the crisis!

Ransomware attacks cost organizations millions of dollars, but worse, they reduce client trust in the organization — valuable equity in the longevity of an organization that far outmatches simple cash-in and cash-out. Suddenly, future profits are at risk as much as current profits!

I want those future gains to be bountiful for you, your team, and your organization as a whole. And without question, I know that the best defense in cybersecurity and Ransomware is an effective offense, all of which stems from proactivity and a well-developed sense of anticipation that complements an Anticipatory mindset!

Persistent Cybersecurity Threats to Stay Vigilant Against Today

Now, you may be thinking, “A cyberattack could never happen to my business. We are too small of a business to be of interest to cyber criminals.” Or perhaps you are comfortable with the status quo, thinking, “Our current IT system has protected us for years and will continue to do so.”

That way of thinking will quickly cause a downfall in this digitally transformative world! Focusing on what has happened previously instead of looking to the future on where Ransomware is headed is dangerous.

This would be like a sports team believing that their strategy from years ago could still win a championship against a team that has a strategy for today’s game. We all know what the result of this would be.

Cyber threats intrude on every industry and have been increasing at unprecedented rates since 2020, when Ransomware started making headlines. Now that there is less of a focus on Ransomware, many are tabling the threat and moving on.

Let me present you with a few current statistics according to a 2023 study completed by cyber insurance company Corvus Insurance:

•  Ransomware attacks are up 95% since 2022
•  Attacks on law practices are up 70%
•  Threats to government agencies increased by 95% through 2023
•  There is a 60% uptick in Ransomware attacks against the manufacturing industry
•  Ransomware attacks are up 142% in the oil and gas industries
•  50% of transportation and logistics companies reported attacks

If these trends continue, and trust me when I say that you can count on this as a Hard Trend, there will likely be an attack every two seconds by the year 2031!

The focus may be on lost monetary funds; however, these threats are far more debilitating. In March of 2023, the Minneapolis Public School District was hit by the hacker group Medusa, who leaked over 300,000 confidential files of employees and students. Additionally, Lehigh Valley Health Network was hacked and is facing multiple lawsuits due to the loss of sensitive patient data that violated HIPAA laws.

In those cases, trust was breached and negatively impacted the future progress of these organizations.

Cyber criminals utilizing the advancement of technology to their advantage is just as much of a Hard Trend as those leveraging it for the good of their organization and industry. However, allowing these cyber criminals to do this is a Soft Trend. We can change the course of this!

Exponential Thinking Can Improve Cybersecurity

Because no industry is safe, it is no longer acceptable to sit back and let our IT departments operate as they always have. To keep employees, clients, and valuable data safe, it is paramount that we look to the future to anticipate the disruption that cyber crime and various Ransomware attacks will become and plan ahead before it ever has the opportunity to disrupt and destroy your future gains!

There may be no way to foresee exactly when a cyber attack will threaten your organization, but with my Anticipatory Leader System, the goal is to pre-solve any problems that may lead to a Ransomware attack or other cyber threat! We want to be prepared for when it inevitably happens so we are not trying to implement agility in the wake of an attack after the fact.

Because I encourage exponential thinking with regard to disruptive digital technology, I want you to use this same level of cognition regarding Ransomware and cyber threats.

For example, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been around for years but came to the mainstream with the introduction of ChatGPT in late 2022. Now, there are countless other AI applications out there, and cyber criminals are already using this technology to write virus-ridden code and streamline cyber attacks on various industries.

You cannot stop these individuals from utilizing AI for bad, but likewise, they cannot stop you from utilizing it to do good! Ask yourself:

•  How can you also use AI to improve your cybersecurity?
•  Can you leverage it to find holes in your system and create a better defense net?
•  Can you implement AI or hire an organization to implement it as a way to outsmart any tech trying to breach a firewall?

Of course you can! It is just about finding the right application and the right team, and beginning with an Anticipatory mindset.

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Daniel Burrus

Daniel Burrus is considered one of the World’s Leading Futurists on Global Trends and Disruptive Innovation. The New York Times has referred to him as one of the top three business gurus.

He is the CEO of Burrus Research, a research and consulting firm that monitors global advancements in technology driven trends to help clients profit from technological, social and business forces that are converging to create enormous, untapped opportunities.

He is a strategic advisor to executives from Fortune 500 companies, using his Anticipatory Business Model to develop game-changing strategies based on his proven methodologies for capitalizing on technology innovations and their future impact. He has delivered over 3,000 keynote speeches worldwide. 

He is the author of seven books, including The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Flash Foresight, and his latest best selling book The Anticipatory Organization, and he is a syndicated writer with millions of monthly readers on the topics of technology driven trends, disruptive innovation, and exponential change. 

Burrus is an innovative entrepreneur who has founded six businesses, four of which were U.S. national leaders in the first year.   His accurate predictions date back to the early 1980s where he became the first and only futurist to accurately identify the twenty exponential technologies that would become the driving force of business and economic growth for decades to come. Since then, he has continued to establish a worldwide reputation for his exceptional record of predicting the future of technology driven change and its direct impact on the business world.

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