Cybersecurity attacks can become a major pain point for a business that fails to take the necessary precautions.
Some impact examples include:
- Work disruption
- Reputation loss
- Data exposure
- Data loss
Different threats affect different business aspects. Knowing what you are up against is a good way to prepare in advance.
Let’s take a look at different cybersecurity threats businesses might face and how these threats affect operations.
1. Social Engineering
The odds are that most employees use social media. As such, cybercriminals can take advantage of unsuspecting users and target them while hiding behind a fake profile.
It takes time to build a relationship with someone on social media, but plenty of criminals achieve their goal and persuade one to install malware or sabotage the business in other ways.
Social engineering gets its name from different forms of social interactions between a malicious actor and their target.
2. Zero-Day Attacks
Zero-day attacks are on the worse side of cybersecurity threats. Hackers detect vulnerabilities within an organization before developers become aware that such issues exist in the first place.
A flawed system is detrimental to overall security, and if cybercriminals are the only ones aware of a security hole, they have the freedom to act and complete their goal with no resistance.
3. Insider Threats
According to Soft Activity, 1 out of 3 businesses are affected by insider threats annually. Employees have access to sensitive information and act out of greed or bitterness to get back to the company.
Identifying insider threats is tricky because those with insider knowledge are usually smart enough not to leave patterns. They know the ins and outs of the company and how to play the system.
It’s becoming more common to use case management and other tools to flag crimes within an organization. However, as things stand, insider threats are still a massive headache to deal with for most businesses.
Phishing is one of the most popular forms of cyber crimes that result in financial losses. Hackers aim to steal login credentials or credit card details by tricking users into sharing information.
Phishing attacks tend to occur the most via emails. An email comes with an attractive offer and a landing page. Clicking on the link and ending up on the landing page installs malicious code on the visitor’s device, compromising the security and leaving it wide open for the hacker.
Smishing is a similar threat, with the difference being that attackers solicitate users via text messages rather than emails.
Malicious code, often shortened to malware, targets unprotected devices and gains backdoor access. From there, the code lets criminals steal data, attack the network, and cause other problems for businesses.
Malware infections can go as far as making an entire network obsolete because the network becomes too unstable or slow to use.
Moreover, malware spreads from one device to another. For example, if a company has all of its computers connected to a network, one poorly maintained device can affect an entire network.
Ransomware locks businesses out of the system, preventing access to critical information. It becomes impossible to continue operating, and ransomers ask companies to pay up if they want to remove the obstacle. And even if a company pays up, there are no guarantees that the criminals will remove ransomware from the system.
These days, cybercriminals tend to use a more sophisticated and evolved code to target larger organizations because they expect to make more profits.
On the other hand, small businesses should not rest easy. They are an attractive target as well because smaller organizations tend to lack the necessary resources to fend off the attacks.
7. Deep Fakes
With the rise of artificial intelligence, malicious actors are taking advantage of opportunities to create deep fakes and pose as a legit version of an organization.
Hackers modify voice recordings, videos, and images to falsify actions and impersonate a company’s CEO, for instance.
8. Cloud Jacking
Most companies rely on the cloud to work, particularly now that remote work is on the rise. And while cloud services tend to be secure, there is still a possibility that cloud jacking occurs within an organization.
Once hackers overtake a cloud account, they get privileges that of a regular user. And from here, it is up to the criminal what they want to accomplish.
How to Prevent Cybersecurity Threats Within an Organization?
Despite the fact that cybersecurity threats pose a great danger, businesses can and should implement a means to prevent or minimize the risks.
1. Antivirus Software
Antivirus software is a cornerstone of a cybersecurity strategy. Threats manifest via digital devices, such as computers and smartphones.
The purpose of antivirus software is to flag and eliminate threats before they occur. Running an antivirus in the background is usually enough, but it is also recommended to launch custom disk scans as an extra precaution.
2. Virtual Private Networks
Some employees travel overseas, and some like to go outside of the office and work in a local cafe or library because they want a change of scenery.
Joining public Wi-Fi is a common denominator for both groups. The risk stems from the fact that public networks lack the necessary security protocols. Connecting to such a network exposes your device.
Organizations should encourage employees to be smart and use virtual private networks if they have to connect to public Wi-Fi.
VPNs encrypt data and hide your location. If a hacker on the other side of the network wants to attack you, they will have a much harder time getting across.
You should not have problems with enabling a virtual private network. On the off chance you experience VPN not connecting, check with the provider.
3. Limited Access
Limiting access to select individuals is one of the best ways to reduce the risks of insider threats.
In addition, it is worth implementing a two-factor authentication. If somebody exposes their password, there will be a backup security layer stopping attackers.
Two-factor authentication means can range from a text message or an email with a code to a dedicated tangible key code generator.
4. System Updates
System updates play a prominent role in cybersecurity efforts. It applies not just to a company-wide system but to individual devices as well.
As soon as a new update becomes available, download and install it. In addition to new features and overall performance improvements, OS updates also introduce security patches.
In some instances, an update is pushed precisely because a new threat appears, and the longer a patch is delayed, the more exposed the users are.
5. Employee Education
Educating employees about the dangers of poor practices that invite cybersecurity risks should be a company-wide policy.
Even if the training program covers the very basics, it should still be carried out. And whenever a new threat becomes prominent or a new and effective method to eliminate the risk is available, organizations need to share such information with their employees.
6. Data backups
Since multiple threats target company data, it is wise to invest in a backup solution.
Recovering corrupted files is a hassle. It is much easier to restore the information when there is a copy of two in the cloud that gets updated on a regular basis.
7. Cybersecurity Insurance
Cybersecurity insurance is not a direct way to fend off cyber threats, but the investment is still worth considering.
It works as a means to recover some of your losses, though in an ideal scenario, you would much rather prevent the cyber attack altogether.
All in all, different cybersecurity threats pose a challenge for businesses, especially when organizations fail to implement security measures.
The rise of cyber crimes is expected to continue. Knowing what you are up against is only half the battle.
A business also has to invest in the means to prevent threats and continue to develop and improve its cybersecurity strategy to minimize the risks as much as possible.