When it comes to cyber security threats, both small and large businesses alike, are equally at risk. One common misconception amongst all business owners is that their businesses are too small for cybercriminals to target, but that is anything but the truth.
As hacking becomes more and more automated, it makes it easier for hackers to target a large number of businesses all at once. The smaller businesses usually have less in way of security, due to less resources, time and awareness. This makes them prime targets for these kinds of people.
Even the smallest of businesses may generate significant amounts of revenue, or at least have a fairly substantial clientele base, which, under GDPR regulations, they are legally obligated to protect.
There are many things for business owners to consider, in the event that they are hit by a cyberattack, one such factor is company reputation.
For this reason, it’s important that individuals and organizations are aware of these threats, and the many things they can do to stop them. In this article, we will be looking specifically at 5 threats that businesses and individuals face.
1. Malware Attacks
Malware is one of the biggest threats that businesses face nowadays. Such attacks encompasses a wide array of threats, such as viruses, Trojan horses, etc. Malware is a general term, which refers to malicious code that hackers typically use to gain unauthorized access to a network, which they’ll then use to either destroy or steal sensitive data. These malicious files are usually picked up from dodgy websites, spam emails or from connecting to an infected machine.
These kinds of attacks pose the biggest danger to smaller businesses, this is because they can cripple devices and entire network systems, which ends up costing hundreds, even thousands for replacements or repairs. They are also capable of giving the hacker back door access to any sensitive data, which can put both the employees and customers at risk. Smaller businesses tend to have work staff that oftentimes use their own devices for work, as this saves both time and money. However, this can increase the chances of the company suffering at the hands of a malware attack, as personal devices are much easier to compromise than business machines.
To prevent such attacks, businesses can put in place the most effective and strongest levels of defence. Endpoint Protection solutions is available to protect devices from a range of attack types, including malware due to downloads from dodgy websites. It also provides company administrators with a central control panel, which can be used to manage all company devices, ensuring all security systems are working and are up-to-date. Web security is important because it stops end users, like employees, from visiting compromised websites, and downloading malicious files.
I suggest you go away and do your own independent research on Endpoint Protection, to learn how it can properly help you.
2. Denial of Service
A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is another one of many cyber-attack types that entails flooding both networks and computers with random requests to cause it to crash. Distributed DoS (DDoS) attacks are similar, only they occur exclusively on network systems. A computer hacker will usually attempt to inundate a system with random requests in order to disrupt the handshake process. There are many other techniques that can be used, however. Some attackers may wait until a network is disabled (maybe for maintenance or repairs) to carry out their attacks. A botnet is another kind of DDoS attack, which involves hundreds, thousands maybe even millions of systems being infected with the same malware which allows the hacker to control and use them for nefarious activity. Botnets are also sometimes referred to as Zombie systems, and are designed to target and overwhelm the processing capabilities of the target system or network server(s). Botnets can be very difficult to pin down.
Today, ransomware is amongst the most common and lucrative cyber-attack type, hitting hundreds, even thousands of different businesses every year. Ransomware entails encrypting the data of a target machine, so that it becomes inaccessible, and then forcing the victim to pay a ransom to regain access to it. This leaves the business (or individual) with a choice. Either they pay the ransom sum, or they loss the data forever.
In order to prevent these kinds of attacks Endpoint Protection is a must and should be evenly distributed amongst every device that makes up the business. This should prevent or at the very least, make it difficult for hackers to carry out their ransomware attacks.
Additionally, businesses want to have a cloud-based back-up solution in place, as this ensures the company’s data is safe from tampering, which in turn minimizes data loss.
The main benefit of having accessible back-ups, that are up-to-date, is that the company, at any time, can recover its data, in the event of a ransomware attack. This means they’ll never have to pay a ransom, nor do they have to worry about lost productivity. This is a crucial and important component of improved cyber-resilience.
4. Insider Threats
The insider threat is where actions of former employees, business contractors, employees or associates act in a manner that can cause harm to the business, whether that’s accessing sensitive data for malice or greed, or simply by being careless or ignorant of the cyber threats.
Because employees typically have access to various company accounts, threats from an upset or disgruntled employee are a reality that can cause serious financial woes for the company.
The most effective way to minimize insider threats is by ensuring the company has the right culture of security awareness in place. As this will help any employee easily spot when another employee decides to go rogue and compromise the data of the company.
5. Man in the Middle
Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks occur when a cybercriminal positions themselves between transactions between two or more parties. After they have compromised said traffic, they can now steal or filter the data.
MITM attacks occur more commonly when end users log into unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. A hacker will position themselves between the end user and the network, and then use malicious files to steal confidential information from the target machine.