Cyber threats are a very real threat to businesses all over the globe, with attacks occurring on businesses every minute of the day. Every business is at risk of a cyber threat. When a cyber threat occurs, the risks are financial and also carry a human risk. A business that has been exposed to a cyber threat experiences an increased risk of data breaches and privacy losses to the end consumer.
In this day and age, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of cyber threats to businesses and the end consumer. It is not impossible however to apply some preventive maintenance to networks and data systems in order to ensure that they are protected. To protect your networks and systems from data breaches and cyber threats, you’ll need to be aware of what threats your business could be exposed to. Learn more about the top seven kinds of cyber threats your business needs to protect itself against here.
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Outdated Software Yields Vulnerabilities
We all dread the operating system updates that hit our smartphones, laptops and desktop systems. However, these software updates serve the purpose of debugging systems and enabling a more streamlined user experience. When an application, program, or operating system remains outdated and in use, the system is more vulnerable to some of the most common cyber threats. Protect your employees, customers, and your systems by ensuring that your software is always up to date.
Phishing Attacks Expose Users to Data Breaches
A phishing attack is an attempt to steal information or money from the end user. A text or email is sent to a system, the user performs an action on that email or text, and then a data breach occurs. Sometimes this is noticeable right away, and sometimes it may take days or weeks for a company to notice that an employee or system has been the victim of an attack.
Phishing attacks are among the most common cyber threats, and experienced by individuals every day, and by companies every day. It is estimated they can cost the country billions in losses annually. Businesses can protect themselves from this threat by training employees adequately on how to recognize phishing attacks and refrain from performing requested actions.
Malware and Ransomware Attacks Damage Systems
A malware attack functions very much like a phishing attack with similar methodology, but with a different motive. Here, the malware is designed to freeze or disable a system or application, while a phishing attack is intended to bring in information. In a malware attack, a virus or Trojan is installed on the user’s network or system to disable it. In a ransomware attack, a company’s system or network is frozen until a ransom is paid. Ransomware attacks and malware attacks not only damage systems, but they cost companies billions every year, and thousands of dollars daily in the United States.
A down system for a business is as effective as a cash register that does not work, and in many cases, is the same thing.
Malware and ransomware attacks give hackers a back door to sneak into, where they can steal data, funds, or security information. The rate at which these attacks are happening is increasing annually, and there are preventive measures a company can take to reduce these risks. Adequate training in IT departments and across every employee is a sound start. Having systems cleaned and backed up frequently is a preventive measure against malware and ransomware.
Malicious Websites Disrupt Operations
A business that visits a malicious website puts their operations at risk, even when the risk is found by one user on one system. In most cases, the malicious nature of the website is unknown. A user visits the website, and then a previously programmed virus or bug is installed onto the system or network. A malicious website will look like the website that it is trying to model or mimic.
An action taken by the end user is performed that results in a disrupted operation. When a business takes measures to prevent these attacks with endpoint security programs or other content filtering applications, they can mitigate and even eliminate these threats.
Password Exposures Increase Liabilities
The easiest way to breach data or systems is through a password vulnerability, and this will increase the liabilities to a business. Providing passwords to external threats or not changing passwords regularly is akin to handing the threat the key to your business. Ensure systems are programmed for regular password changes and employees are required to change their system passwords daily, weekly, or monthly to maintain security of systems and data.
Secure Your Business’s Assets
Data and networks are assets to a company that have values. These assets are recognized by hackers and attackers in a different way than they are recognized by the end user. Secure your business’s assets by ensuring all departments and employees are adequately trained on increasing system and password security. Ensure your IT department is equipped to manage external threats through both preventive and counter measures. Outsourcing this work can help to streamline the productivity of your business and protect these assets.