Cybercrime is on a sharp rise in our increasingly digitized world. In the modern digital age, the way we use the internet is vastly different from even a few years ago, and the threat landscape has changed in line with shifting technologies.
Nowadays, the typical office contains multiple Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as smart printers, numerous mobile devices, and work computers. Networks have expanded to encompass all these tools and devices, but with it, there is an increased risk of cyberattack as more vulnerabilities are present.
Failing to protect your company’s data, and that of your clients, can result in a loss of reputation, liability, and financial distress. Did you know that the average cost of a cyberattack is around $200,000? A sum that is substantial enough that many businesses won’t survive.
With the above factors in mind, below we go over 3 of the biggest cybersecurity threats and the tools you need to mitigate the risk.
1. Ransomware Attacks
There is no doubt about it, ransomware attacks are less than ideal. With this type of cybercrime, hackers use sophisticated malware to infect a company’s computers or whole network, locking the business out of the systems, and demanding a ransom in return for the data. In 2016, ride-share giant Uber experienced a ransomware attack that resulted in the data of over 57 million customers being stolen. Unfortunately, the company didn’t report the breach until a year later. Instead the company tried to pay off the cybercriminals and regain the data. Every month you hear about another big new ransomware attack, an unfortunate trend that is sure to continue.
Protecting Your Company From Ransomware
First things first, develop a cybersecurity culture at your company so that all staff is aware of the risks involved in opening suspicious links. Education is everything since human error is the biggest vulnerability in cyber security. Secondly, invest in high-quality email scanners to ensure your company’s inboxes are as protected as possible.
This is a practice whereby hackers with unauthorized access to your company’s devices (be it computers, mobiles, or any IoT device) use that access to mine cryptocurrencies. Because crypto-jacking can yield quite impressive numbers of coins, the practice has skyrocketed in recent years, according to security firm Norton.
Protecting Your Company From Crypto-Jacking
Crypto-jacking is carried out through the use of malware, so as with ransomware above, companies should invest in better staff training and email scanners. Anti-crypto-jacking browser extensions can also be installed onto company devices.
3. Unsecured WiFi Networks
These days, staff frequently work on their own devices, be it in the office or outside. Unsecured wifi networks and a pervasive bring your own device (BYOD) culture compound the risks above and introduce a whole new level of threat.
All too often, employees conduct work business in airports, coffee shops, and on wifi networks that cannot be trusted, placing company systems at heightened risk. Secure hardware and security software are needed for workers, along with a quality VPN (virtual private network).
Protecting Your Company From Unsecured Networks
Ask all staff to use a VPN app when they are working on public networks. Or better yet, provide a subscription so your employees are protected. Now an essential security tool, VPNs create virtual private networks and encrypt data in transmission, making vulnerable networks secure.
The digital world is an increasingly dangerous and risky place for businesses, despite being more crucial than ever before. Keep all these top tips in mind to ensure that your business is protected and secure online or offline. Proper IT security could be the difference between your business barely surviving and your company thriving.