This is Syed Hassan, a digital marketing strategist & writer by profession.
Imagine being a business owner who has worked hard to get their business off the ground. When your business starts flourishing, you come under a cybersecurity attack. All your user data gets stolen along with sensitive financial information such as credit card details, bank account details and more.
To add insult to the injury, this incident was highlighted by the media and your business reputation is badly damaged. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to recover from the effects of cyber-attack, but small businesses struggle to recover and go bankrupt soon after.
No business owner wants their business to face the same fate therefore, it is important for businesses to identify some of the biggest cyber threats that can wreak havoc on your business. The more you know about these threats, the better it will be for your business as it puts you in a much better position to protect against those attacks.
In this article, you will learn about seven deadly cyber threat that can target your business and how you can protect against them
1. Identity Theft
Hackers are always looking for opportunities to break into your systems and fulfill their malicious designs. For that, they will have to get access to your accounts. That is why many cybersecurity attacks target databases that store the login credentials of all users.
Lack of password policy, careless attitude of employees towards passwords, using the same passwords to login to all your accounts and choosing a password which is easy to guess or crack offer cybercriminals an easy pass. They take advantage of these loopholes to get access to your accounts. The best way to prevent identity theft is to follow the best password practices and implement effective password policies.
2. Data Theft
News of data breaches regularly make headlines which is not good news for businesses. Businesses will have to beef up their security to prevent data breaches. Look for vulnerabilities in your system which hackers can exploit to get access to your data and plug those holes before it is too late.
Implement role-based access control and limit access to your sensitive data to minimize the risk of data theft. Use a firewall that acts as a gatekeeper and stops unwanted guests from entering your network. Constantly monitor activities of all your employees and people who have access to your sensitive data and raise a red flag as soon as you find suspicious behavior. You don’t want cyber criminals to steal your data and get away without leaving a trace.
3. Social Engineering Attacks
Lack of cybersecurity training and awareness amongst employees can put your business at a higher cybersecurity risk. Hackers know that and launch cybersecurity attacks to trick your employees into sharing their sensitive information while pretending to be their coworker, friend or family member. Cyber attackers launch different types of social engineering attacks such as phishing, spear phishing, whaling and pretexting.
4. Device Infections
The rise of bring your own device trends combined with a surge in the number of IoT devices has increased the risk of malware infections. With so many devices connecting to your enterprise network, you might lose track of some and they will be unattended. Hackers target those unattended devices and get access to it easily. They use those devices as a ladder to target critical business infrastructure.
If you are allowing your employees to bring their own devices then, you should also keep a close eye on all the activities and data stored on those devices. Make sure none of your devices are ignored. Implement security measures to ensure security of these devices.
By far the biggest threat for businesses is ransomware. In a ransomware attack, the attacker encrypts your data and makes it inaccessible. They will ask you to pay the ransom to get access to your data back. Driven by financial incentives, ransomware is becoming more and more common. How can businesses protect against ransomware?
The best way to protect against ransomware is to take regular backup of your data so you don’t play into the hands of hackers. Install an antivirus and firewall and keep everything updated. Implement content scanning and filtering on your email server and buy VPS server from a server provider that prioritizes security.
6. Using Legacy Systems and Software
Most businesses are reluctant to switch to the latest technology and tend to resist change. Due to this, they are left with legacy systems. Legacy systems and older software have security vulnerabilities which can easily be exploited by hackers. Hackers are extremely quick to find vulnerabilities and when they find one, they don’t waste any time in exploiting it. That is why it is imperative to update your systems and software to the latest version and technology. If you are not doing that, you are putting your security and privacy of your business on the line.
Never versions come with bug fixes and plug in all the holes that was present in the older version of the software. Install a patch as soon as it is made available by software vendors as it can protect you from zero-day attacks and other latest threats. If that seems a daunting task to you, you can also automate the process and save yourself from hassle.
7. Malicious Links
Have you ever received an email with a link that looks like a genuine link but points to a malicious source? If you have there is a bright chance that you might have clicked on it. Avoid clicking any link sent to you via email until you are fully sure about its source and authenticity. Use a link checking and scanning tool to check whether it points to a safe or unsafe source before clicking on it. As soon as you click on a malicious link, it can deliver the payload or infect the computer or files or execute a malicious script.
Which is the most dangerous cyber threat that has targeted your business? Let us know in the community.