Every year, businesses face a huge number of cybersecurity threats. If you are compromised, you could lose years of work or suffer a data breach, which on average costs businesses over $8 million.
Knowing about security vulnerabilities helps you stay ahead of them and combat them. This reduces your chances of being compromised and suffering a data loss or losing your work.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the most common vulnerabilities you may have to deal with at your business. Ready to learn more? Keep reading and stay secure!
1. Malware Infection
Malware is a huge threat to every business. If you download the wrong email attachment or click on a suspect link online, you could get infected by a virus, worm, or another form of malware. At the most trivial level, these can be very annoying but at the other end of the spectrum, malware can destroy data and cost you years of progress.
The most serious form of malware today is ransomware. This kind of malware encrypts your files and won’t give you access to them unless you pay a ransom.
These ransoms can be very expensive, with ransoms of hundreds of dollars being commonplace. That’s per device: if you’ve got 100 computers across your business, you’ll need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to restore access. While your devices are encrypted, you won’t be able to do any work, which could cost you even more.
One ransomware attack on the British health service cost it $120 million.
An even more worrying form of ransomware is known as extortionware. This threatens to leak your files unless you pay a ransom. Your choice then is stark: a ransom or data breach.
The best way to combat traditional ransomware is by having backups of everything. Then you can wipe your hard drives and restore them, destroying the malware in the process.
2. Unpatched Security Vulnerabilities
Do you keep your computers updated? Are you sure that every single device on your network has been updated to the latest version of its operating system? What about programs like Java?
You need to keep every aspect of your computers updated. Many updates that manufacturers release are there to patch security vulnerabilities that have been found. If you don’t update them, you’re leaving big gaping holes in the security of your company.
You must put an updating policy into place across your businesses. Make it a priority to keep your computers updated so that you are always as secure as possible.
If you’re concerned about the state of your company’s computers, hiring a penetration tester is a great way to discover any gaps in your armor. Run a PCI test to audit your network for problems, then work on fixing them, strengthening your security, and making your company better.
3. Insider Threats
While you want to trust your employees, you must put them under a certain level of scrutiny. Insider threats are a serious problem for cybersecurity.
These range from disgruntled employees committing sabotage to employees looking to steal from the company for personal gain. So how can you combat this threat?
Allow Access Only As Required
You should know and protect your critical assets. There is no reason for the average employee to have access to restricted information. If you let everyone have free reign over your network, your security measures could be for naught.
Create different levels of clearance and give your employees the appropriate level for their paygrade.
Monitor Employee’s Computer Usage
Monitoring your employee’s computer usage is important as it could show you any misdeeds that they’ve committed. There is a range of programs that can help you with this.
Put Security Policies in Place
Your company should have well-documented and clear security policies in place. This is good for your general security as well as preventing insider threats.
For instance, you should ensure that no one shares their password with anyone else. They should also never write their password down. A sticky note on a monitor is an open invitation to an employee who is looking to cause trouble.
Document these policies and make sure that every employee knows about them from the moment they join the company.
4. A Lack of Employee Training
Employees don’t even need to pose an active threat to cause security vulnerabilities. A lack of training can make your company vulnerable. Let’s take a look at what you need to train employees on.
Making Strong Passwords
If your employee uses a weak password or a password they use elsewhere, they are making your network more vulnerable. Their password needs to be unique and should also be changed every month.
Do your employees know how to spot suspicious links in emails? Would they be able to combat targeted attacks that address them by name? You need to teach your employees what phishing attacks look like in practice.
Bringing Other Devices Onto Your Network
Your employees shouldn’t be connecting their personal phones or laptops to your network unless they’ve been checked by your IT department. If there’s a virus on one device, it could easily spread.
5. Lax Network Security
One of the biggest IT security risks is poor network security. If your network doesn’t have a strong password, or worse, if it doesn’t have a password at all, anyone can walk in and access your files.
Make sure that you keep your network locked down and only give access to people who need it.
Avoiding These Vulnerabilities
We’ve barely scratched the surface of the security vulnerabilities that affect businesses. However, there are ways to deal with all of them. Take note and put these security protocols into practice and your business will be stronger and more successful for it.
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