Cybersecurity is made up of many factors within an organisation. Things must be approached holistically with dedicated expertise in order to effectively tackle concerns.
Cybercrime today, accounts for over $6 trillion in damages, annually, up from $3 trillion, just five years ago, according to the experts.
A data breach can set a company back thousands, even millions. This has forced many companies, irrespective of size to consider some form of data protection, implementing very robust cybersecurity measures.
Additionally, the landscape is also continuously in flux, with hackers always looking for the newest and latest vulnerability. This has led to malware attacks, phishing scams and ransomware attacks being more sophisticated than ever.
In order to tackle this problem, businesses must work with IT companies experienced in computer security, to effectively implement and adopt the best cybersecurity practices, providing the necessary training for staff, and to conduct monitoring for an effective defence strategy.
Although these cybercriminals are always on the lookout for new ways to profit from other people’s misery, there are still many threats that are pretty prevalent across the board. If you want to keep yourself safe, you should be aware of them.
1. Ransomware Attacks
Over the past year, there has actually been a decline in the number of ransomware attacks, at least those that target individuals. However, when we look at ransomware attacks that target companies, we notice a rapid increase. From 2.8 million attacks around the beginning of 2018 to over 9 million attacks a year later in 2019. That’s a ridiculously large increase of 300%+.
One of the main reasons why computer hackers are targeting businesses as opposed to random individuals, is that companies have the money and motivation to pay the requested ransom. Another reason is due to the crash in the price of Bitcoin, which lead to a decline in the number of crypto-mining attacks, driving many of these cybercriminals towards other forms of attacks; ransomware being one of them.
A ransomware attack entails a hacker infecting an individual’s system, with a malicious file, which in turn encrypts the victim’s data. The victim is then given an ultimatum, they can either, pay the ransom to retrieve their data or don’t, and lose their data forever.
In the past year alone, there has been no indication of these ransomware attacks stopping. Almost every business today is at risk of their software, documents and media files being encrypted by malware, which could ultimately lead to them losing their data forever.
2. Phishing Attacks
At least 1% of all emails sent across the internet daily is a phishing scam. With close to 30% of these phishing emails getting past any security measures put in place.
A phishing attack is carried out via fake emails, websites or text, with the sole purpose of convincing an unsuspecting person into giving up sensitive information, such as confidential passwords, login credentials and credit card details. Such attacks are looked at as amongst the most dangerous, as they are capable of costing a company significant amounts of money in damages, due to sensitive information about a business being leaked to cybercriminals. One of the main things that makes such attacks so attractive is that they tend to be low risk, high reward for the average attacker.
The most effective way to protect a company from phishing attacks is to train staff, teaching about phishing emails, how to spot them, and what to do with them. An employer should be able to tell the difference between a malicious link and email. Limiting the amount of access any one employee may have, is another effective way of curbing the phishing threat. Only the administrators should have access to the entirety of a system, after they have provided authentication.
Additionally, having anti-phishing software installed, is another effective way of tackling these scams, as such software will be able to properly identify and remove them. This should help tremendously in curbing this threat.
3. Crypto jacking
Cryptocurrency has also had its own negative effect on the cybersecurity realm. This is especially true when we look at crypto jacking, which is a trend that involves cybercriminals hijacking an individual’s system and using its resources to mine cryptocurrency. Because, mining for cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, requires a great deal of processing powers, hackers have found a way around this, by piggybacking off the resources of other peoples systems. For a business, a crypto-jacked system will operate significantly below advertised spec, costing that company in downtime, as the security team are forced to identify and rectify the fault with the system.
4. IoT Attacks
Internet of Things is becoming more and more ubiquitous as each day passes, with current projections putting the number of interconnected devices at 75 billion by the year 2025. IoT devices may include things like tablets and laptops, as well as webcams, routers, smart watches, household appliances, manufacturing equipment, medical equipment, vehicles and home security systems.
These connected devices are very handy for the average consumer, as many companies are able to profit off them by using them to gather data which is used to expand and enhance their business. However, as the number of connected devices increases, so does the risk. This leaves IoT networks more vulnerable to infections and cyber invasions. Once a hacker is able to gain access to an IoT device, they can literally wreak havoc, crashing networks, locking down essential equipment, all for financial gain.
5. Internal Attacks
When it comes to cybersecurity threats in general, one of the biggest cause of concern, within a business itself, is the actual employees. Because the employee has inside access to the business, they can, if they choose, inflict a great deal of harm to the business, for whatever reason they choose. Or, they could unknowingly allow one of their accounts to become compromised by a cybercriminal, who in turn, uploads a Trojan to the network, which enables them to do all kinds of nefarious things on the network.
Whether the result of an accident or misconduct, on the part of the employee, the biggest risk to a company, is without a doubt, the employees who actually use the network on a daily basis.
Insider attacks continue to be one of the biggest cybersecurity threats to look out for, because of the amount of damage caused by them on a year by year basis. One careless or disgruntled employee could leave your network vulnerable to a major data security breach.
You want to prepare yourself and your company for such incidences, as they can occur at any time without notice.