A Cisco report in 2018 states that more than 54% of cyber attacks result in financial damages of more than $500,000.
With every year, new threats and hacking strategies emerge. If you own a large or small business, you must be aware of this danger.
To help you understand these cyber security threats, we’ve gathered a list of the most common ones and show you what to do about them. Keep reading to learn more.
What are Cyber Security Attacks?
Before we get into what threats are out there, let’s quickly define what cyber security attacks are.
A cyber security attack is any malicious attempt to gain unauthorized access to your computer systems. In most cases, the end goal is financial gain. Cyber criminals use various techniques and types of malware to accomplish this.
Malware is short for malicious software. It’s a software program written to aid these criminals in getting the access they need to wreak damage on your company.
Current Cyber Security Threats
Now we’re going to go through seven of the most common cyber security threats today. While there are others, these are the ones used most often that you have to keep an eye out for and ensure your computer is protected against.
1. Software Updates
Because these deal directly with how your computer operates, software update hacks can be the most dangerous. They’re also some of the easiest to fall victim to since your instinct is to trust your computer when it says it’s time to update.
2. Phishing Attacks
This type of attack most often comes through your email. It appears to be from a legitimate source, like your banking institution, but it’s not.
The goal is to get you to provide them with sensitive information such as credit card numbers, usernames, or passwords. Once they have this information, they have full access to your accounts.
Something to remember is that a website will never email you to ask you for your password or any other information. If there’s a problem with your account, they will most likely have you reset your password.
This is a newer type of malware that many businesses have already fallen victim to. Ransomware holds your computer or data for ransom until you pay the hackers the amount they’re demanding.
Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that the hackers will release your systems after meeting their demands. Even if they do, you’ll still end up facing a lot of downtime to cleanse your systems of the implanted malware.
4. Endpoint Attacks
An endpoint is any electronic device used by someone in your company. It could be a computer, tablet, or phone. Many businesses have vulnerabilities in these areas that compromise their security.
Consider this scenario: a cyber criminal installs malware on a USB drive and leaves it in your company’s parking lot. A curious employee picks it up on the way in and plugs it into their computer to see what’s on it.
The malware is automatically installed and within minutes, the hacker now has access to passwords, account numbers, and more.
5. Third Party Attacks
You can have the best cyber security in the world for your business, but if you’re connecting with third parties that don’t have the same standards, they could be sharing their malware with you.
This often comes in the form of shared infected files. The third-party company may have no idea their files have been compromised, and if you blindly trust them, their ignorance could become your problem.
Cryptocurrencies, like BitCoin, have gone up significantly in value since their creation a few years ago. For that reason, people looking to get rich look for ways to mine these coins with minimal effort.
With just a few lines of code, a cyber criminal can use your computer and resources to solve the complex problems needed to earn this form of currency.
This type of malware may not directly attack your company, but it can slow your systems down which can lead to profit loss and unnecessary downtime.
7. Eavesdropping Attacks
Remember the days of landlines when you could listen in on someone else’s private conversation from another phone? In the same way, cyber criminals now use unsecured networks to get private information.
In most cases, this is done with the installation of malware on one device which allows another person to see everything that’s being shared between that person and anyone else they’re talking to.
How to Avoid These Threats
By now, you’re probably wondering how you can avoid all of these cyber security threats. Fortunately, it’s far from impossible although it may not be easy.
Have a Plan
The first thing you need to do is create a plan to deal with these threats. Just as your plan for keeping your home safe is by locking all the doors when you leave, you need to plan on protecting your business and data.
Create a detailed cyber security policy that covers each type of threat and update it as often as you need as new threats are uncovered.
If all of your employees are not on board, your company won’t be completely safe. For that reason, you need to train your employees on cyber security. Don’t just hand them the policy and trust they’ll read and follow it.
You also need to regularly remind employees of these policies and crack down on anyone who isn’t carefully following the protocol. It only takes one breach to compromise your whole company.
Last and certainly not least, you’ll want to get help from a company that offers specialized protection for your business. This will ensure that your policies are accurate and that you always have the most up-to-date protection available.
Looking to Protect Your Small Business Data?
Now you know everything you need to know about cyber security threats. As you can see, it’s important to pay close attention as new threats emerge.
If you want to learn more about protecting your small business data, be sure to check out our business articles. There, you can find tons of articles to help you grow your small business.