The Most Common Cybersecurity Threats that Businesses Face in the Modern Era

by - 9 February 2018
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According to a study sponsored by IBM Security and conducted by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach or other cybersecurity attacks in 2017 came in at approximately $3.62 million.

While this is a healthy 10% decrease over the same figure from the previous year, it’s still the type of expense that most small- and medium-sized businesses cannot afford to deal with.

This number underlines the importance of taking a holistic and proactive approach to cybersecurity. Modern-day cybersecurity solutions should take more than just having a piece of antivirus software or a network scanner. It should be a combination of a reliable cybersecurity software and additional employee training, working together to help mitigate the chances of becoming a target in the first place.

One of the best ways to stay protected from cybersecurity threats is education. Taking the time to learn more about possible cybersecurity threats that your business is prone to puts you in a better position to avoid them from happening in the first place. 

Malware Attacks

Malware is a catch-all term, typically used to describe anything from trojans, viruses, worms, and more. In simpler terms, malware refers to any software with malicious intent. It is usually introduced to your system via rogue email attachments, suspicious software downloads, or through other vulnerabilities in your operating system.

Preventing malware attacks ultimately boils down to ongoing employee training and education on top cybersecurity threats and risks. They need to know what rogue and suspicious links look like so that they can avoid clicking and downloading attachments from unknown senders. Turning on your computer’s firewall and keeping other security software updated will go a long way towards system protection.

Phising Attacks

Phishing attacks have grown quite popular in recent years, due to how effective and easy they are to deploy. Phishing or fake emails sent to employees often include links that look legitimate. When a user clicks on the link, however, they are redirected to a dummy site and often asked to enter their username, password, and other personal information. All this data is intercepted by a hacker, who then gets unrestricted access to your system.

Preventing phishing attacks ultimately comes down to common sense — your employees should never, under any circumstances, click on unknown email links from a recipient they don’t know. If a link appears to be genuine but is asking for usernames, passwords, or other login credentials, users should take steps to verify that the request is authorised before proceeding (like with a phone call). 

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Also commonly referred to as MITM, man-in-the-middle attacks allow hackers to impersonate endpoints to steal information in an online data exchange. If you log in to your bank account on a public Wi-Fi network from a coffee shop, for example, a man-in-the-middle attack could essentially spy on all your data — including usernames and passwords — that is sent to and from your bank.

These types of attacks can be prevented by improving network security and only sending sensitive information over encrypted wireless access points. If you must log on to the internet via a public network, be sure to use a VPN or other secure networks that hide any information being transmitted.

Unpatched Software

Many people don’t realise that when a software developer issues an update for a particular IT program, they’re doing a lot more than just fixing bugs and adding new features. They’re often counterchecking and eliminating loopholes and issues that present significant security challenges to various organisations.

The best way to combat security attacks from an unpatched software is, thankfully, simple: keep all your applications up-to-date as often as possible. If a new version of your software is released, it should be downloaded and installed immediately to avoid these types of problems altogether.

Denial-of-Service Attacks

Finally, we come to a particular type of attack that is unfortunately common — Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks (DDOS). 

In this type of situation, a cyber attacker essentially attempts to flood your network with a lot of traffic, overloading it, and making it nearly impossible to serve up content to site visitors. 

This is another type of attack where proactive security scanning will play an essential role. This is because DDoS attacks happen through the use of different computers and IP addresses. For DDoS attacks, every second counts. Your network security infrastructure needs to be configured in a way that alerts people of any suspicious activity immediately so that appropriate measures can be done before it’s too late. 

The Powernet Approach

Viruses, malware, phishing attempts, and other pressing IT security issues also serve to underline why so many small- and medium-sized businesses choose to team up with a managed IT service provider like Powernet.

The benefits of this relationship extend far beyond having ready access to IT solutions for various challenges at the right time.

The true measure of our expertise rests not only in providing instant, real-time updates to all your software and hardware assets but also in keeping abreast with the latest news surrounding cybersecurity attacks around the world.

Through our professional, highly knowledgeable, and experienced team, we can help protect your business from these types of cyber attacks. Even better, we can prevent them from happening entirely.

If you’d like to find out more information about the most common threats that businesses face in the modern era, or if you have any additional questions, don’t delay — contact Powernet today. You can also subscribe to us to get updates on the latest cybersecurity attacks.