With the global economy expected to contract for the first time since the global financial crisis in 2018, the next downturn will likely be more severe than the one experienced during the global recession in 2008.
While the outlook for the industrial paint services industry is far from clear, according to a new report by the UK-based IT security company Wickr, the threat posed by cyber criminals will be felt by a range of industries.
The report, entitled Cyber Risk: Exploring the threats posed by the digital revolution, highlights the importance of cybersecurity as a driver of innovation in the economy, as well as the impact of the increasing use of social media and cloud computing.
“The growing use of cloud computing has given businesses the ability to scale their IT infrastructure and become more agile, allowing them to respond more quickly to any threats that may arise,” said Mark Clements, CEO of Wickr.
“The increased security awareness and awareness about cyber risks, coupled with the increase in data being shared and shared more freely online has also contributed to an increase in cyber-related crimes.”
The report also highlights the growing impact of online marketing campaigns and social media marketing as cyber criminals attempt to exploit these trends to target businesses.
“Companies are increasingly using social media, video and other forms of advertising to reach a wider audience, which in turn, increases their online presence and the amount of data they have access to,” said Clements.
“It is not just the online presence of a business that is being targeted by cyber-criminals, but also the ability of the company to maintain control over that online presence.
It is also important to note that companies are often not the only ones affected by cyberattacks, and this is often not taken into account by the businesses themselves.”
For example, a study by cybersecurity firm Trend Micro found that nearly half of all online businesses were affected by ransomware attacks in 2018.
This figure rose to nearly one in four of all businesses.
While some industries may not have to deal with a ransomware attack, many do.
The threat posed to the paint industry was highlighted in a report by Wickr which found that paint companies were vulnerable to cyber attacks.
“With the increased use of virtual assistants such as virtual paint and paintbots, paint businesses are increasingly vulnerable to attack,” said the report.
“As paint businesses become more automated, they may not be able to control the use of their paint and the ability for the attackers to control those paintbots and other software components that could compromise the paint services business.”
The researchers found that in 2018 paint companies suffered $8.9bn in losses due to cyber-attacks, which was almost double the $6.4bn loss in 2017.
“It is critical that businesses understand the risks and understand the potential for ransomware attacks to occur,” said Tom Foulds, CEO and founder of Wahoo.
“While many companies have already adopted anti-virus solutions, it is critical for them to ensure that they have a secure and resilient network and network infrastructure.”
Wickr has partnered with the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre to help businesses and governments manage the risks associated with cyberattacks.
“There is no silver bullet for protecting businesses against cyber-crime, and the best protection against ransomware is always a robust and well-managed network, but we encourage businesses to look beyond their current security measures to address the risks posed by their networks and systems,” said Fould.
The security firm also warned that the rise in social media has been a boon for cyber criminals.
“Social media is a perfect platform for cybercriminals to communicate their malicious intent, and many cybercrimins use it to gain new followers on social media to help them recruit new users, which could lead to further escalation,” said Ben Williams, Vice President of Security and Privacy at Wickr Cyber Security.
“Although we cannot predict all possible cyber-threats, we are confident that businesses can mitigate the effects of social networks and other networks that they use to communicate with their users.”