From infiltrations on infrastructure and data breaches to phishing attacks and malware. Cyber threats are varied and they don’t discriminate organizations from individuals when looking for a target. Cybersecurity is the topic that we will explore in this article. But first, what is a cybersecurity threat? It is a malicious act seeking to damage or steal data or disrupt digital life in general. Globally, cyber threats continue to evolve at a rapid pace, with rising numbers of data leakages or privacy violations. A report conducted by RiskBased Security revealed that in 2020 there were 23 269 vulnerabilities disclosed in 2020, exceeding 2019’s records despite the pandemic.
When it comes to cybersecurity, businesses face greater challenges in protecting their services. Especially small businesses face intensive technical and intensive challenges. Small businesses often have less stringent technological defences, less awareness of threats and less time and resource to put into cybersecurity. As attackers increasingly automate attacks, it’s easy for them to target hundreds of small businesses at once. This makes them an easier target for hackers than bigger organizations.
Further, this article will cover 5 security threats faced by businesses, and how organizations can protect themselves against them.
Phishing accounts for 90% of all breaches that organizations face, accounting for over $12 billion in business losses. Phishing attacks occur when an attacker pretends to be a trusted contact and entices a user to click a malicious link, download a malicious file, or give them access to sensitive information, account details or credentials. Although phishing attacks are very difficult to combat, there are technological defences against phishing attacks, for example, having a strong Email Security Gateway or Post-Delivery Protection. These solutions allow users to report phishing emails and then allow admins to delete them from all user inboxes. Last but not least, Security Awareness Training allows businesses to protect their employees by testing and training them to spot phishing attacks and report them.
The second biggest threat to businesses is malware that encompasses more cyber threats such as viruses or trojans. By creating malicious code (website downloads, spam emails), hackers gain access to networks, destroy or steal data. Businesses can prevent malware attacks by having strong technological defences in place such as Endpoint Protection solutions. Web Security is also important, stopping users from visiting malicious web-pages and downloading malicious software.
Ransomware involves encrypting company data so that it cannot be used or accessed, and then forcing the company to pay a ransom to unlock the data. Therefore, businesses should whether pay the ransom and lose huge sums of money or damage their services with a loss of data. Endpoint Protection in place across all business devices can help prevent ransomware attacks from being able to effectively encrypt data. Businesses should also consider having an effective cloud backup solution.
As self-explanatory as it might sound, weak or easily guessed passwords can cause data to become compromised due to a lack of awareness about the damage they can cause. Businesses should consider using strong passwords or Business Password Management technologies that help employees to manage passwords for all their accounts.
Employees, former employees, business contractor or associates can access important data and cause harmful effects through malice or ignorance. To block insider threats, businesses need to ensure that they have a strong culture of security awareness within their organization. Therefore, Security Awareness Training will allow employees to spot early when the data is compromised.
Although the cyber risks faced by businesses do not limit only to this list, it is important to raise awareness about these threats beyond the corporate sphere. Business leaders should remain aware of what is coming down the innovation pipeline and be flexible in implementing strategic initiatives that ensure sustainable corporate cybersecurity.