Over time, our reliance on the internet is constantly marking an uptick. Though the benefits of online space abound, you should also be aware of the threats lurking in the digital shadows. From the comfort of their computer screens, cybercriminals are constantly developing sophisticated methods to steal your personal and financial information.
Assessing and mitigating cybersecurity risks is crucial to maintain the integrity of businesses worldwide. If you want to ensure the safety of sensitive information, you must stay on top of the following cyber security threats:
- Insider Threats
When it comes to cyber attacks, sometimes the biggest threat comes from within. That is right! An insider threat refers to a malicious or accidental breach of security that is initiated from within an organization by an individual. This means that the attacker has inside knowledge of the organization’s security measures, infrastructure, and sensitive information, making them a highly effective and difficult-to-detect threat.
Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to insider threats because staff members often have access to multiple accounts with sensitive information. The motivations behind insider threats can be driven by anything from greed to pure carelessness.
So, what can organizations do to prevent these types of attacks? Well, here are a few suggestions:
- Train employees: Educate your team on how to recognize insider threats. This way, they will be able to spot when someone is trying to misuse the organization’s data. Make sure the training is conducted by someone who has a strong academic background in cybersecurity. If you do not already have such individuals on your team, hire them right away. With the popularity of the Online Cybersecurity Degree Program, you will not have a hard time finding qualified candidates.
- Foster a culture of security awareness: Make sure everyone in the organization is on the same page when it comes to cyber security.
- Cloud Security Risks
Businesses of all sizes and types have adopted cloud computing. It is because the cloud provides a convenient way to store and access data. However, with the increasing reliance on this technology, the risks associated with security are also rising. Among other things, breaches in your cloud infrastructure could lead to financial losses, reputational damage, and loss of customer trust.
Lack of visibility is the biggest issue with cloud technology. When you move your stuff to the cloud, it is like you are packing everything into a mysterious black box. You may not know where it is going or who can get their hands on it. So much so that even your SaaS provider may be outsourcing their hosting to another cloud company. So you never really know who is in charge of your data.
To be on the safe side, it is recommended to inquire with your service provider about the storage location, the distribution of rights between you and the provider, and the party responsible in the event of data loss. Furthermore, also consider asking about the possibility of implementing additional security measures to give you more control over your cloud-stored data.
- Phishing Attacks
Phishing attacks are among the most common cyber breaches. A comprehensive study conducted in 2021 revealed phishing was responsible for 36% of the breaches, a significant increase from 22% the previous year. These scams typically involve an attacker posing as a trusted entity, such as a bank, government agency, or well-known company, to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information.
Phishing attacks could take many forms, including emails, text messages, or even phone calls. The attacker may ask the victim to download an attachment that contains malicious software. In some cases, the attacker may direct the victim to a fake website that looks exactly like a legitimate site and ask them to enter their login credentials.
One way to guard your organization against phishing scams is to leverage email filters. These filters use a combination of advanced algorithms and threat intelligence to detect and block phishing emails before they reach the inboxes of employees. Emails suspected of being phishing scams can be automatically deleted or routed to a quarantine folder for later inspection by IT.
Ransomware attacks take place when cybercriminals infect a computer or network with malicious software that encrypts the victim’s data. Picture this: you are in the middle of an important project, and suddenly your computer systems are locked up tight. All your critical data is now out of reach. That is exactly what a ransomware attack looks like.
After the attack, the cybercriminals then demand a ransom payment, usually in a cryptocurrency, in exchange for the decryption key to restore access to the data.
So do you pay the ransom and hope that the hacker will actually release your data? Or do you risk losing everything? Unfortunately, even if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that you will get your data back. It is like playing a game of chance with your business on the line.
To protect your business from ransomware attacks, you can implement the following measures:
- Regular backups: Store important data in multiple secure locations, including off-site backups. Also, test your backups to ensure they can be quickly restored in the event of an attack.
- Strong passwords: Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication where possible.
- Network security: Use firewalls and other security measures to protect your network from unauthorized access.
- IoT Vulnerabilities
The term “Internet of Things” (IoT) is used to describe the growing network of internet-enabled physical objects (e.g., smartwatches, voice assistants, and smart refrigerators) that can collect and share data. With the growth of remote work and the increasing number of IoT devices, it is estimated that there will be 64 billion IoT devices worldwide by 2026.
However, the increase in connected devices also means that there are more potential entry points for cyberattacks. Due to their limited processing and storage capabilities, many IoT devices are not equipped with the same security measures as laptops and smartphones, making them more vulnerable to cyber threats.
To keep IoT risks to a minimum, you should carry out security audits. By doing so, you will ensure all your IoT gadgets are included in your company’s cyber-security plan. And do not forget to keep the audits coming every once in a while. It will enable you to keep tabs on any new devices that show up on the network.
Since there are millions of active hackers around the world, even the most robust cybersecurity system cannot guarantee safety from intrusion. But that does not mean you should completely overlook your security. Your best bet to put up a fight against cybercriminals is to learn about cyber threats and ways to cope with them.