The forever-increasing number of cybersecurity threats has made many companies very weary. The more dangerous and sophisticated attacks are targeted at the major assets and data of governments, corporations, utilities, industries, school systems, and banking institutions.
To further compound this problem, the cybersecurity world is still struggling with a shortage of cybersecurity professionals. So we can say categorically, that cybercrime is here to stay. As we continue to rely on technology, more and more, and with many people now switching to remote working, we should expect the number of cybercrimes to also increase.
With increasing confidence, comes even more bold attacks, hackers are now devising more creative attack strategies using better, more sophisticated technology, to carry out these attacks to appropriately plan and repel these cyberattacks, an effective Incident Response Plan (IRP) should be carried out, so IT teams know the steps they must take to properly respond to a security breach.
One question that many IT teams and company executives want to know is the kind of cybersecurity threats they should be most cognizant of. My advice is that you should, at the very least be prepared to counter the threats highlighted in this article.
One of the most prevalent forms of cybercrime has to be phishing scams. The unfortunate reality is that these forms of attacks are forever evolving. Which means, no matter what we know and learn about them, there will always be someone somewhere who will fall prey to these kinds of attack.
As a result, phishing scams continue to be amongst the most popular. As it’s not only highly successful but also a low-tech approach, which means, not much technical expertise, on the hackers part needs to be learned.
The main goal of any phishing scam is to trick the victim into believing that the email that they’ve received is official. That the request by the institution, whether it be a bank or some other financial institution, is official. In other instances, it may simply be an email encouraging the reader to download an attachment or click on a specific link.
Some of these attacks can be negated by certain security measures, such as the implementation of an SSL certificate. Using an SSL certificate for your business will ensure that all communications between employees will be encrypted. This way, if they were to get into the hands of a cybercriminal, he/she would be unable to read it.
Additionally, because SSL certificates encrypt all your emails, this will also make it more difficult for the attacks to send phishing emails. When choosing an SSL certificate to buy, you always want to go with the one that has the most features but is also cost-effective.
2. Ransomware & Malware
According to current security reports, ransomware attacks are predicted to exceed the $11 billion per annum mark, in the not too distant future. At this rate, we can measure that one person every 14 seconds falls prey to one of these kinds of attacks. Ransomware is undoubtedly one of the more dangerous problems we have on the net today. The ransom payment end users are forced to cough out, is only a part of the problem. The biggest issue is in system downtime, loss in work productivity, and the huge cost in restoring and/or rebuilding their systems, possibly replacing damaged hardware, all of which have a big impact on the company overall.
3. Inadequate Patch Management
Patches are small little updates that are created to remove a weakness or plug a hole, in a hardware or software program that computer hackers could otherwise take advantage of. Software developers are constantly releasing patches for their programs to plug up all these security vulnerabilities. Making your software and system more secure.
When it comes to the overall security of your company, these patches and updates are crucial. But if the end-user forgets to regularly apply these updates, it can leave your business vulnerable to computer hackers. Thus, you want to be constantly monitoring your systems, ensuring that it’s regularly kept up to date, with all the latest and newest fixes.
4. Lack of a cybersecurity policy
For any business out there today, it’s imperative that they adopt some kind of security standard, especially if they hope to thrive in their industry. Cybercriminals are no longer targeting companies in the tech and finance industries. They are on the lookout for victims in virtually every business sector out there.
With the increasing number of security breaches being carried out on really big corporations, has made many smaller companies very alert and worried. This is a crucial step in the right direction, but it’s just a step. These external attacks are constant, and the amount of money they ultimately cost is very significant. Security reports indicate that a major cybersecurity breach occurs at least once per month, with the costs being in excess of $3 million per annum.
Not giving your cybersecurity policy its required attention, and not getting any of your employees to really engage with it, is not in your best interest. The experts conclude that, just as companies regularly seek both financial and legal advice from third-party sources (like finance companies and legal firms), these companies should now look at cybersecurity in the same way, as something they may need to consult help elsewhere, to get a full handle on.
Cryptocurrency, which is also known as online currency, has its own cybersecurity concerns. Crypto-jacking is basically when a computer hacker will hijack a system, whether a work node or a home PC, and use its resources for mining cryptocurrency. Because the process of mining for cryptocurrency requires an incredible amount of CPU processing power, hackers are able to increase their revenue by secretly using the resources of other systems. When it comes to businesses, a system that has been hijacked will likely suffer from major performance problems, and will ultimately cost the company downtime. To counter this problem, IT specialists are required to both track down and then remove the crypto-jacking code from the problematic system(s).