What Every Business Needs to Know About Cyber Threats
7 in 10 Businesses Aren’t Prepared to Respond to Cyber Threats or Attacks. Why? Maybe a Lack of Resources, Budget or Awareness… But One Thing’s For Certain: This Statistic Needs to Change.
Hiscox released a report showing that approximately 73% of companies aren’t prepared to face cyber threats or attacks. They gathered information from 4000 companies in the Netherlands, Germany, US, Spain, and the UK to find that there’s a major lack of preparedness around the world. Why? There’s no singular reason, but chances are, it’s a combination of factors – from a lack of budget to a lack of resources to a lack of awareness. But one thing’s for certain: this statistic needs to change because cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated and complex than ever before.
What Are the Main Types of Cyber Threats?
Cybercrime can present itself in a number of ways, including the following types of cyber threats:
- Phishing: This involves a hacker sending an email that appears to be from a credible source, such as a bank or government agency. They will typically include misleading links or requests for sensitive information.
- Malware: This is a type of program downloaded via a malicious link or attachment commonly found within phishing emails. Trojan viruses and other forms of malware can be disguised as legitimate software.
- Brute Force Attacks: This involves a hacker gaining access to the network via a password generated from a program.
- Ransomware: This refers to a form of infection where the hacker encrypts the data and/or systems on the network, then demands a ransom in exchange for the decryption key. This is often spread via malicious websites or phishing emails.
Although this is not an exhaustive list, the 4 cyber threats mentioned above are the most common types of attacks and/or infections we see.
What Are the Consequences of Cyber Threats?
Many businesses are starting to come around – showing more of an understanding of the importance of preparing for cyber threats. This is likely due to the risks of cyber threats are more widely discussed than ever before. So what are the risks? Here are a few of the primary concerns to keep in mind:
- The disclosure of confidential information: If you’re collecting and storing confidential information like most businesses, cyber threats can leave you at risk for disclosure. Whether it’s a hacker or disgruntled employee, data disclosure can damage your reputation and leave you riddled with legal fines and/or lawsuits.
- The cost of recovering equipment: A malware infection can result in equipment crashes and/or failures that are costly to recover. Aside from recovering the actual equipment, you may also have to pay extra to recover the data stored on the equipment in some cases.
- The damage to your reputation: If you’ve lost confidential information that belongs to your customers, they will have a hard time remaining loyal to you, and more often than not, they may end up leaving to find another company that provides similar services and/or products.
Studies show nearly 90% of attacks result from human errors, such as an employee accidentally downloading an unauthorized software program or clicking on a link within a phishing email.
How Can You Protect Against Cyber Threats?
There are many common ways to protect against cyber threats – many of which involve common sense and/or best practices. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe:
- Install enterprise-grade security solutions including firewalls, intrusion detection software, anti-virus software, web-content filtering, and more.
- Use complex, hard-to-guess passwords consisting of at least 12 characters (a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols) and change them often.
- Keep your data and applications backed up on a regular basis and make sure your backups are tested to ensure recoverability.
- Train employees on the latest threats and make sure you’re testing them after the training is done to validate that they’ve learned how to stay safe.
- Make sure your devices are up to date with the latest security patches and updates.
With hackers expanding their methods of social engineering, the responsibility for educating employees on what to look out for and how to protect their devices falls largely on the employer.
Need an IT Company in Northeast Ohio to Keep You Safe Against Cyber Threats? Rea & Associates Can Help.
Rea & Associates has grown steadily over close to two decades due to our extensive knowledge in the realm of cybersecurity. Our clients trust us to keep them secure against all sorts of cyber threats.