With cyber attack incidents on the rise, more than half of businesses will likely find themselves victims of cyber crime this year alone. With cyber attacks becoming more automated, it’s easy for criminals to target hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses at once and spread the devastation that common cyber security threats can have.
Small businesses are at increased risk of facing the most common cyber security threats as they, typically, will have fewer defences in place for protection against cyber attacks. In the event of a cyber attack, small businesses also tend to have the most to lose in terms of financial loss and reputational damage and sometimes, this can be irreparable.
Businesses need to be aware of the more common cyber security threats they may face, so let’s take a look at a guide on how to spot and deal with the most common cyber security threats.
One of the biggest, and perhaps most damaging, common cyber security threats that businesses may face is phishing attacks. Phishing attacks take place when a cyber attacker imitates a trusted contact and then uses this trust to encourage a user to click on a malicious link or share sensitive information, such as account details, personal information or credentials.
Over recent years, phishing attacks have become much more sophisticated and are amongst the most common cyber security threats a business can now face. Criminals are now much more convincing in their efforts to prove that they are legitimate business contact who can be trusted and this is where some of the problems lie.
Alongside this common cyber security threat, there has also been an increase in Business Email Compromise, which uses phishing campaigns to steal business emails and account passwords from employees at a higher level, and criminals will then use these accounts to impersonate trusted key employees to request fraudulent payments from other employees.
In an attempt to prevent phishing attacks, there are things you can do to combat this common cyber security threat. Having a strong email security gateway can prevent phishing emails from being sent and received and some cloud-based email providers often allow users to report phishing emails or delete them all from user inboxes.
Malware is another common cyber security threat faced by businesses. Malware uses a combination of different cyber threats, such as viruses and trojans, to enable criminals to gain access to networks. The presence of malware typically comes from infected website downloads, links in spam emails, or from connecting to another infected device.
Malware attacks can be particularly damaging for small businesses, as they can cripple devices which then need extensive and expensive repairs or replacements. They also allow criminals to gain back-door access to sensitive data and information, putting clients, customers and employee information at risk. This common cyber security threat is one that is on the rise, and has been over recent years.
With so many more people working from home now, this has caused the number of people falling victim to this common cyber security threat to increase. Home devices tend to be less secure than ones in situ in a workplace and this increases the chance of being susceptible to downloading malicious malware. Malware attacks can be prevented by having endpoint protection solutions in place if operating on a singular network, or by following web security recommendations to have a safer browsing experience.
Another common cyber security threat faced by businesses isn’t one which is initiated by a criminal, but is instead one that can be solved internally. Weak or easy-to-guess passwords are one of the easiest ways for criminals to quickly gain access to networks or devices, but are something that can be easily combatted. Many businesses will use cloud-based services or storage accounts that are typically accessed by different accounts and, with these areas often storing sensitive financial information or data, they can cause huge security issues if breached.
Around 19% of people use easy to guess or weak passwords and, given that this is a hugely common cyber security threat, it is one which can be easily resolved. Consider asking your employees to use password generators which create a long, complex mixture of symbols, numbers and letters that is hard to access. Alternatively, you may consider using password management technology to help employees, particularly if they work remotely, manage passwords for different accounts and programmes.
You can also implement two factor authentication across your devices and networks to combat this common cyber security threat. This ensures that, instead of just a password protection for your networks, devices and accounts, an additional security step is in place. This additional security measure enforces multiple verification steps, such as facial recognition or a passcode being sent to a mobile device to prevent cyber criminals from accessing accounts, even if they do gain access through a weak password.
Ransomware is one of the most common cyber security threats that businesses can face. This type of cyber attack affects thousands of businesses each year and, with them being a particularly lucrative cyber attack, they’ve become increasingly more popular for criminals. A ransomware attack involves a cyber criminal encrypting business or other sensitive data so that it cannot be accessed by the users. Then, the business is forced into paying a ransom cost which leaves businesses with a tough choice – pay the ransom, or have their services affected due to loss of data.
Around 71% of ransomware attacks are targeted towards small businesses, as attackers know that smaller businesses will be more likely to pay. Small businesses often don’t back up their data and will experience more of an impact if this is lost. Healthcare businesses are more likely to fall victim to this common cyber security threat, as hackers know that this data is valuable and worth more to recover.
As with malware attacks – another common cyber security threat – one of the best ways to prevent this type of attack is to have strong endpoint protection across all business devices. It would also be worth having effective cloud storage and backup in place, so that, in the event of an attack, your data is secured.
Combat Common Cyber Security Threats With CYFOR Secure
There are a range of common cyber security threats that businesses of all sizes face in today’s modern digital world. One of the best ways in which businesses can protect themselves against these common cyber security threats is to have protections in place. At CYFOR Secure, our managed cyber security services can protect your business against a range of common cyber security threats and provide insights on how to prevent falling victim to them.
Cyber attacks are, sadly, common for businesses now, but that doesn’t mean that you need to fall victim to common cyber security threats. By taking steps to protect your business, you can prevent financial and reputational loss. Our team is here to help with any questions you may have about your cybersecurity needs, so if you need any assistance, please get in touch.