Technology has brought countless advantages to the business community. Unfortunately, it has also brought many advantages to cybercriminals intent on cashing in by stealing money and information from upstanding businesses. Here’s a rundown on what to watch out for and how to protect assets from these dangerous attacks.
Breaking Down the Cyber Security Threats
In order to manage and detect threats, businesses need to know the major sources of these threats. By understanding them better, managers can find preventative solutions like managed IT services to protect assets.
1. IoT Vulnerabilities
IoT connected devices like security cameras and smart container ships are being installed like crazy from offices to homes. However, many companies are neglecting a proactive plan for keeping these devices updated and protected. These devices are prone to be used as “botnets” or as vulnerable mini-PCs that hackers can easily get access to.
Lags in updates on IoT devices like these can leave them open to attack as their outdated software becomes vulnerable. In 2016, three teenagers created a botnet-control software program that hacked more than 100,000 webcams and other devices just to gain an advantage over other players in Minecraft. This hack caused interrupted connections among PayPal, Amazon, and Netflix customers in the East Coast.
2. The Data Breach
A data breach is a businesses’ worst nightmare. These attacks can cripple an entire organization. Not only can vast amounts of money be stolen, but a data breach can also take something more valuable, information. The information lost in such an attack can range from trade secrets to customer information.
When customer information is stolen, it can lead to a spiral of costly damages and in the worst cases, leave the company liable for mismanaging customer data. Domestic firms should keep in mind that data breaches in the United States have the highest average cost in damages. A breach of 1 million records costs $40 million while a breach of 50 million costs $350 million on average.
3. The Inside Threat
Corporate espionage has been growing increasingly concerning over the years as more companies have seen data stolen by personnel and traded to competitors. These threats can be both some of the easiest and most difficult problems to control.
Not all insider threats are deliberate, however. Many employees are liable to trigger damages by accident. This can happen when personnel fall for phishing scams, open infected links, or catch a virus from something shared on social media. These incidents can be avoided altogether by properly training employees in basic cybersecurity practices. Furthermore, a managed IT service can help prevent threats lie these with powerful software and expert IT support.
When it comes down to it, there’s no excuse for it. Firms shouldn’t have to waste time fretting over disgruntled, careless, or overambitious employees.
4. The Threats to Mobile Are on the Rise
It may still be a PC world, but mobile users are rising fast and the uptick in use has attracted the attention of hackers. Mobile security software is still less developed than those built for PCs which has been in the game much longer.
Some of the common mobile threats include:
- Mobile malware
- Data leakage
- Connection to insecure Wi-Fi networks with 4% of these devices suffered from a “Man-in-the-Middle” attack which allows a person to intercept another’s internet connection and gather information
With more phones being targeted, it’s essential for companies to take preventative action. One of the best courses of action is to give personnel access to anti-malware solutions and managed mobile device management or MDM.
5. Cross-site Scripting
Cross-site scripting, or XSS attacks, let hackers hijack business websites to inject harmful code into people’s browsers. In this way, cybercriminals can steal cookie information and seize credential information to get past authentication.
These attacks are happening more frequently as upwards of 21% of problems identified by bug bounty are XSS in nature.
Cryptojacking has been exploiting key weaknesses in company systems to mine for cryptocurrency. In this way, cryptojacking is similar to ransomware, but more sophisticated. Businesses whose systems lack backups or network segmentation are especially vulnerable to facing this threat via the cloud. One thing to keep in mind about cryptojacking is that it is indiscriminate when it comes to size, meaning that businesses of any scale are at risk.
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