Cybercrime is a growing concern for businesses of all types. With the recent shift towards working from home, more office communication is taking place online. This opens the door for sensitive company data to potentially fall into the wrong hands.
In this article, we’re going to look at the most common cyber security threats for businesses. More than a quarter of data breaches now involve small businesses with fewer resources to protect themselves. This makes education and awareness more important than ever. With this in mind, we’ll also present some cyber security best practices to help you minimize your risk of a data breach.
Malware is an umbrella term for malicious software such as viruses, spyware, and trojans. Malware is usually introduced to a computer or network via a compromised link or file that employees are tricked into clicking. According to Deloitte, hackers are finding new ways to attack and infiltrate systems during the work-from-home boom. There has recently been a 35% increase in previously unseen malware.
This is a specific form of malware, one that denies access to data or systems that are vital for everyday operations. Companies must then pay a ransom to regain access. You may have heard about the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack in 2021. This took down the largest fuel pipeline in the U.S. It was the result of a single compromised password and cost the company $4.4 million in Bitcoin. The attack could’ve been avoided with the simple implementation of two-factor authentication (2FA).
Phishing is a more psychological method of gaining access to sensitive personal data and passwords. It usually involves persuasion and deception, with hackers posing as friends, delivery services, or trusted institutions. Employees may be tricked into entering their details on a “mirror” website that closely resembles that of a bank or government agency. They can also be sent infected links by a friends’ email and social media account that has been compromised. This is a real danger for companies, with a reported 47% of individuals falling for a phishing scam while working at home.
These “brute force” attacks use programs that can guess weak passwords. They simply try multiple combinations until the right one is found. Another method of accessing passwords is via keylogging, which records common keystrokes on a compromised computer. Employees that use the same password to access multiple platforms are at particular risk.
Provide basic cybersecurity training to your team. This includes things like creating strong passwords, being aware of phishing techniques, recognizing suspicious websites, and keeping their security software up-to-date.
Two-factor authentication is a simple but very effective tool that prevents hackers from accessing systems in the event of a password leak. All company networks should also have a firewall that prevents entry by outside users. Ensure all employee computers are supplied with the latest anti-malware software. The use of VPNs, proxy servers, and secure browsers will help to prevent your employees’ online activity from being tracked by malicious actors.
A cybersecurity specialist can be on hand to assist employees with their security concerns as well as help to educate and train them. They will also be able to create and implement cybersecurity protocols to keep your networks and systems safe. A good cybersecurity plan is vital for taking proactive steps to avoid cyber attacks.
With increased hacking activity focused on vulnerable businesses and at-home employees, cybersecurity has become a major priority. By recognizing the most common threats and implementing cybersecurity best practices, you’ll be in a better position to keep your business safe from dangerous and costly attacks.