Cybersecurity is not just an IT problem. It is a social, political and business problem, too. However, there are many different threats that your business could face, and trying to prevent and prepare for all of them is a waste of time and effort. Instead, the focus should be on the worst and most costly threats to your business. Here are the top three cybersecurity threats faced by modern business.
Social engineering attacks occurs when cyber criminals trick employees into thinking they are legitimate. This could occur when someone impersonates an executive at the firm or an external vendor. They may request a wire transfer, confidential information, or new login credentials that they then use to access your system. This is a serious risk, since one study found that nearly a third of targeted recipients open phishing emails and more than one in ten click on malicious email attachments. In the latter case, malware just infected your network.
The worst-case scenario is ransomware, though any data breach hurts your reputation. Complicating matters are the malicious parties who aren’t necessarily stealing your data; cybercriminals sometimes infect machines to install cryptocurrency miners that simply steal your processing power. That’s harder to detect than conventional computer viruses.
The best solutions are employee education and formal processes staff should follow if they receive a suspicious email. Your firm should also invest in technology that can scan attachments and warn people of suspected fake emails. This helps protect you from people who expect to open attachments, such as Human Resources staff receiving what they think is a CV.
Social scams are scams that take place on social media. They sometimes involve fake support accounts that prey on those seeking assistance. They ask your customers for their login credentials and financial information. Organisations can fight this by having verified social media profiles on all platforms their customers use, educating consumers on where to go for support, and monitoring social media for scammers. However, this type of scam can also take the form of fraudsters creating fake websites that look like yours while their social media profiles promote it as legitimate.
You could contact a watchdog group like fraudwatchinternational.com who will monitor sites pretending to be your company and then take them down so that your customers don’t visit it thinking it is legitimate. Fraudwatchinternational.com also offers a DCMA takedown service, and they’ll be able to take down sites that scammers use to capture your customers’ login and financial information.
A growing number of businesses are moving to cloud computing because of the benefits. A company will pay less per user than they would with an in-house IT department. You can outsource everything from tech support to software maintenance to experts who work 24x7. You gain access to the latest and greatest software, and because the costs are shared by a large user base, this is the best way for small businesses to gain access to tools typically restricted to big business. However, this does bring new risks. Improperly secured clouds become a threat to everyone who uses them. A denial of service attack against the cloud service provider or your own network can deny you access to your data.
Cyber threats cost Australian businesses more than three billion dollars in 2015, and the costs and threats have only multiplied since then. You must take every practical precaution to protect your company so that you can remain in business.