Our increasingly digital world is opening up new markets, industries, and ways of doing business. But born out of that technological progress are new risks that come in the form of cyber-attacks on IT systems, computers, and data storage devices. No matter what industry you’re in or how big your operations are, you are at risk of being targeted by cybercriminals. This article explores the top 5 cyber threats to look out for in 2020 and how you can protect yourself.
Phishing scams are perhaps the biggest cyber threat to businesses today and account for a staggering 90% of data loss incidents. These scams work by sending emails from fake sources to trick the user into giving up sensitive information. Phishing scams have become notoriously more sophisticated over the years, making it difficult to decipher whether a business contact is genuine or not.
Because these tactics pose such a threat, it is essential that you and your employees are well informed. Staff should be wary of new contacts and they should be trained on the key signs to look out for. It’s also imperative to have good spam filters in your email system and it can be beneficial to employ the help of technicians from companies like Capstone IT Services (Florida) who can help protect you from attacks.
Malware is another big challenge when it comes to cyber threats to businesses. Malware essentially involves malicious software like viruses or worms that infiltrate an IT network. These types of threats can be easily downloaded from malicious website downloads, spam or through connecting with other infected devices.
To protect your business from malware, make sure you install strong anti-virus software and anti-malware programs.
Another common cyber-attack is via ransomware where access to a computer is blocked until a sum of money is paid. Technically it works by encrypting company data so that it can no longer be accessed. Unsurprisingly, this creates a difficult situation for businesses as they must sacrifice either money or a loss of data to settle the matter.
Preventing ransomware is fairly straightforward. You should conduct frequent software updates, back up your data regularly, and install strong endpoint protection or anti-virus software and anti-malware. Staff training is also essential so that they know what to look out for.
Cracking weak passwords is another tool in a cyber criminal’s arsenal. Businesses often have multiple accounts that require different login information and sensitive data can be accessed if a weak password is breached.
Three key tactics you can implement to prevent password attacks are:
- Training your staff to use strong passwords that contain a mixture of lower- and upper-case letters, numbers, and symbols. It’s also important not to use the same password across all accounts.
- Using password management technology that can assign high-quality passwords as well as store them, allowing centralized access for your team.
- Creating multi-factor authentication so that more than just the password is needed to access the data.
Hacking takes place when a user gains unauthorized access to your computer systems. Hackers are often after credit card statements and financial information, but increasingly they are also pursuing intellectual property due to the value it holds.
The best way to protect your business from hackers is to set up proper firewalls and ensure that your access to data is secure. Training your staff to be aware of these risks while maintaining the safety of data is also important.