The Biggest Cybersecurity Threats Facing Businesses Today

In the last year, almost half of all British businesses suffered a cyberattack. Cybersecurity is of vital importance for all businesses today, especially those that deal with confidential customer information. 

What are the biggest threats facing British industry in 2020? How can you deal with new threats? 

In this guide, we’ll show you how you can secure your business against hackers and malware. This means less chance of monetary loss, lost business, and downtime.

Ready to bolster your security and make 2020 a better year for your business and its security? Then keep reading and learn more about the latest cybersecurity threats!

Ransomware and Variants

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats to businesses today. In recent years, it has grown in profile and infection severity. For an example of a wide-scale infection, see the 2017 Wannacry malware that infected NHS systems and cost the organization £92 million.

Typical ransomware installs itself onto your system, encrypts your files, and demands a ransom to restore access. If you have backups, you can wipe your machines and restore the data. If you don’t, you’ll either lose data or pay the ransom: ransomware is very difficult to remove.

Ransomware is also becoming more sophisticated. Extortionware is a variant that threatens you with data leaks if you don’t pay. This could land you with a huge GDPR fine and if your data has been copied, removing the malware may not be enough.

The best way to avoid problems with ransomware is to make backups and keep your security software updated. You should also train your employees in cybersecurity best practices: a lot of ransomware is installed via email attachments and drive-by-downloads. Teaching your employees to avoid these will help avoid infection.

Phishing

Phishing is the practice of sending emails that purport to be from a legitimate client, customer or organization. If all goes according to the scammer’s plan, you’ll either hand over confidential information or you’ll download malware to your computer.

How can you avoid falling for these scams? There are a few calling cards of phishing emails such as:

  1. Poorly written emails
  2. The domain does not match the sender, e.g., it purports to be from Paypal but is from a Hotmail account
  3. The email is asking you to download an executable file or a document that contains macros

Spearphishing and social engineering represent more sophisticated and nefarious evolutions of phishing. These attacks are targeted at an individual rather than sent to a large number of recipients. They may call you by your name, purport to be from a named client, contain facts that only a client is likely to know and are, generally, a lot more sophisticated.

The solution to these sophisticated attacks is the same as with more simplistic ones: training your employees with cybersecurity programs. If your employees are more educated on the threats, they’ll be able to recognize more sophisticated attacks as they will more simple ones.

The Internet Of Things and Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

Smart devices are all the rage and are used by businesses as well as in homes. For instance, Amazon offers a specialized Alexa For Business service that can help to make your day-to-day business more convenient. Yet the internet of things may make your business more vulnerable.

Researchers have already shown that hackers could listen in on conversations using only a smart lightbulb

A lot of these devices use «over-the-air» updates that you have little control of. This lack of control can lead to security issues if updates aren’t patched. 

Purely by adding more devices to your network, you are creating more potential for gaps in your cybersecurity. Other smart devices can also pose material problems for your business. For instance, if a hacker were able to disable all the lights in your building or force lock the smart locks so you couldn’t get into your business, this would cause lost business and revenue.

Man-In-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-middle (MITM) attacks are where hackers intercept data before it reaches its destination. If a hacker can gain access to your business network, they can get their hands on confidential data. If it’s encrypted, your safety may be preserved, it if isn’t, you’re in trouble.

These attacks can also redirect web traffic. This means that a hacker could redirect a customer’s web traffic to a malicious website where they steal the customer’s information. This, in turn, leads to lost trust in your business and damage to your reputation.

How can you combat MITM attacks? Securing your network should be your first step: ensure that every part of your network is safe for customers and your business alike. You should also ensure that traffic on your network is encrypted so that hackers will have a harder time making use of it.

The Vulnerability Of the Cloud

Does your business use cloud storage for backups or day-to-day storage? While the cloud can be great for avoiding infections, it also comes with its own issues. Storing your data elsewhere means that you need to have complete faith in the other company’s security.

If their security is lax in any way, your data will be vulnerable to attackers. This isn’t the only problem with cloud storage either. When you access the cloud storage, is the API and interface that you use to access it secure?

While using cloud storage is near-essential for a lot of businesses today, you should choose your cloud service provider with care. Ensure that they put as much effort into their security as you do into your own.

Keeping Your Business Safe

Keeping your business safe and ensuring that its cybersecurity is well-maintained is a challenge for small businesses. Yet, as you’ve seen from the variety of threats, it’s not one that you can forgo.

We can help you: we can carry out penetration testing on your business to find any weak spots. Once we’ve found these weak spots, you can deal with them. For more information about our services and rates, please get in contact with us!