Working in the business world usually means dealing with sensitive data. Digital sensitive information often comes with data privacy concerns and cyber security risks. In order to protect corporate devices, software, and information, it is imperative to know how to recognize a cyber security threat.
Cyber attacks hit businesses and gain unauthorized access to sensitive information. Such data breaches could cripple your computers and hurt your business in the long term due to file leakage, data loss, privacy invasion.
So what can you do about it? Keep on reading to learn what is the biggest cyber security threat to your business and what security measures you can take to ensure better cyber protection.
What is a phishing attack?
Phishing attacks are social engineering attacks. They are often masked as authentic emails or messages, sent by a “trusted entity”. When in reality, they are being dispatched by cyber criminals and their content puts data privacy in your organization at risk.
Why are phishing attacks a cyber security threat?
These types of phishing emails and messages are one of the biggest and most common cyber threats. They aim to deceive a user and trick them into clicking on malicious links. Upon opening, the link infects the system and spreads malware to bypass security controls.
Phishing attacks grant hackers access to steal or expose sensitive data. For example, personal details, login credentials, credit card details or other sensitive information.
A social engineering attack could result in unauthorized withdrawals, transfers and purchases, even identity theft. If your business operates with a big database of partners and clients, the data breach could be devastating. That means exposing both in-house privileged data and third party sensitive information.
How to prevent phishing attacks?
A phishing attack is a cyber security threat that could be prevented with proper employee training and cyber protection.
Follow these tips on cyber security to counter this type of malicious act within your organization:
- Two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Employee training on phishing cyber threats
- Add email extensions that auto-detect phishing emails
What is a malware attack?
Malware is a malicious software or computer virus. Its goal is to gain access to valuable data and execute unauthorised operations on the infected system. Malware attacks are one of the most common types of cyber attacks and one of the biggest cyber security threats for businesses.
Why are malware attacks a cyber security threat?
Malware attacks computers by infecting them with malicious code. As a result, the security breach allows cyber criminals to take unauthorised actions, access confidential information, as well as steal data.
Such malicious software is spread by scamming users into clicking a link or installing a questionable application. Malware could also be transferred from an infected flash drive, USB drive or another connected device. The cyber security threat is higher if the organization is using outdated security software.
How to prevent malware attacks?
Here are some efficient ways to enforce better cyber security and protect sensitive data:
- Use ad-blocker extensions on all corporate browsers.
- Avoid visiting malicious sites.
- Refrain from using flash drives and set up a cloud to transfer internal files.
- Advice your staff to be cautious towards email attachments and spam.
- Install up-to-date antivirus software on all work devices (avoid using free versions of antivirus programs as they do not provide full system protection against cyber security threats).
- Set up your antivirus software to automatically make daily scans for viruses and malware. Make a full system scan on all computers once or twice a week.
What is a ransomware attack?
As the name suggests, a ransomware attack is a cyber form of blackmailing. Ransomware uses encryption to block access to certain sensitive data, applications or databases.
Holding an organization’s sensitive information for financial gain means the users cannot access the encrypted files unless they pay a ransom to the cyber attacker.
Why are ransomware attacks a cyber security threat?
The biggest cyber threat of ransomware attacks is the lack of certainty at what comes next. Even if a ransom is paid, there could be long term damages. No assurance cybercriminals would release data once paid.
Also, the hackers would have access to personal information, so they might as well steal data and then decrypt it.
How to prevent ransomware attacks?
These are the step towards a more secure digital environment when it comes to the cyber security threats of ransomware:
- Educational courses for employees about the risks of ransomware
- Add malware scanning browser extensions to all corporate devices to check incoming email attachments and block users from downloading corrupted files
- Use cloud storage for data backup so you can restore lost data
- Regularly back up all company sensitive data on the cloud
Why are weak passwords a cyber security threat?
Credentials are the most simple means to ensure data privacy and cyber security in the digital space. Yet, weak passwords could be a serious cyber security threat! If a password is simple, it could be way too easy to crack by hackers resulting in a cyberattack and/or sensitive data leakage.
What makes a strong password?
When relying on a password to protect company accounts and sensitive files, make sure the passwords are strong and unique:
- Use a unique password for each account.
- Use long passwords, symbols, special characters, lower case letters, uppercase letters and numbers.
- Store your passwords safe to avoid the cyber security threat of unauthorised access.
- Install encrypted password management tools and systems.
What are insider threats for a business?
Employees with authorized access to your internal systems and networks are the biggest cyber security threat to your business. Even though cyber attacks are the thing to be cautious about, almost every system infection starts with a human error.
In most cases, a data breach or cyber attack is enabled by accident or completely unintentionally. But in other cases, insider threats are real and could be a result of deliberate actions.
What makes a certain employee a cyber security threat?
The main types of insider threats are sabotage, fraud, espionage, intellectual property theft and involuntary human error.
Check these examples of risks that come from insider cyber security threats:
- An employee intends to sabotage company processes by destroying and damaging systems
- A staff member uses legitimate access to steal data to perform fraudulent activities
- An insider observes internal processes and steals company data for a competitor
- A negligent employee clicks on a corrupted email attachment and unintentionally downloads malware
How to detect insider threats?
Detecting insider threats is vital for the long-term well-being of a business.
There are a few measures you can take to limit the misuse and compromise of company resources:
- Limit user access to specific resources
- Monitor computer network operations, social interactions and employee behaviour
- Allow employees to use personal devices (applicable for small businesses)
- Educational courses for employees about cyber security threats
Uneven Cybersecurity Protections
What are cyber security gaps?
Uneven cyber security protection, also known as security gaps, stands for system weaknesses. Those types of weaknesses benefit hackers in their attempts to intrude corporate systems and bypass network protections.
Why is uneven cyber security protection a cyber security threat?
As a result of the increasingly vulnerable system, cyber criminals and malware could gain access to corporate data or devices and everything on them. That makes security gaps one of the common online threats in the business world.
How to prevent cyber security gaps?
The steps below could help recognize weak points of your company network and system and prevent cyber security breaches:
- Perform regular IT asset audits and consult with specialists for risk assessments and identification of flaws and security gaps
- Create a data breach response plan
- Use Cyber Security architecture services
Unpatched Security Vulnerabilities/Bugs
What is an unpatched security vulnerability?
Unpatched vulnerability, also known as a bug, is a software or system weakness that could be triggered and exploited by cyber invaders. Bugs put data security by allowing malicious code to run, taking advantage of an unpatched “hole”.
Why are bugs a cyber security threat?
Network bugs are computer security threats because they leave the company network exposed. So software remains unprotected from cyber attacks. Cyber criminals tend to target unpatched vulnerabilities because they are a shortcut to hack into a system.
How to prevent unpatched security vulnerabilities?
To ensure ultimate cyber protection against these cyber security threats, follow these tips:
- Maintain a patching schedule
- Update all software on your network to their latest version
- Ensure company IT assets run with the latest security patches
- Replace or uninstall non-supported and outdated software
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) is a form of cyber attack, intended to overwhelm the network resources of a company. A DDoS attack specifically targets organizations. It is designed to overwhelm systems in order to obstruct and limit organic traffic.
Why are DDoS cyber threats?
Due to the diversity and complexity of individual attacks, DDoS attacks are common online threats to cyber security. Businesses should not underestimate those.
DDoS attacks make access to an online resource, server or digital service unavailable to its target users. That means an important network resource would be down, disrupting online income, brand reputation and daily operations. The bigger the organization, the bigger the potential damage.
How to counter DDoS attacks?
Some of the cyber security measures you can take against DDoS attacks include:
- Perform regular traffic analysis
- Install DDoS protection on your company servers
- Use Content Distribution Networks (CDNs)
- Control the traffic to your applications via Access Control Lists (ACLs)
Managed Security Services
Are you ready to withstand the biggest cyber security threat to your business? Entrusting cyber security professionals to deal with computer security threats is the best decision you can make for your organization.
Network Fish is bound to provide efficient cyber protection of your work devices and sensitive data. Track security alerts and take security measures against every pending cyber threat to your business on time. Security teams, security controls, multi-factor authentication, antivirus software – we have it all.