September 11, 2020

What are the 4 most common cyber threats facing businesses?

Most businesses need their computer systems every single day.

From offices which run on laptops and PCs, shops which have integrated computers and point-of-sale terminals, and manufacturers whose processes are run online, to solopreneurs who run everything from their smartphone and tablet.

Think how disruptive a cyber attack could be for your business.

So, here’s our guide to the four most common cyber threats you’ll face…

  1. Phishing – One of the leading causes of cyber breaches with malicious links allowing malware to spread to your systems. Phishers often use personal information shared on social media sites to create convincing texts, emails, and social media messages, so the attacks are becoming more and more difficult to identify.
  1. Malware attacks – The attacks are increasingly sophisticated. Techniques used include sharing fileless malware with malicious code which piggybacks on genuine software, stalkerware which builds a picture of a person’s life and activity on their smartphone, and ransomware, one of the most common security threats which seizes files and disables hard drives until a ransom is paid. Generally, there is a demand for cryptocurrency.
  1. Cloud misconfigurations – The number one cause of data breaches in the cloud, with 92% of IT professionals surveyed in April 2020 saying they fear their organisation was vulnerable to this kind of attack. This can lead to large-scale attacks such as one data breach in 2019 which compromised the data of 100 million credit card customers. Automated tools have now been created to search for these misconfigurations.
  1. Unpatched vulnerabilities – Keeping your business secure is the best reason for keeping software up to date. If it isn’t, there could be vulnerabilities which hackers could exploit. Software updates can contain patches which close any security loopholes. There are also security updates which will contain software to help combat against any new threats.

What could a cyber attack do to your business?

An attack on your cyber security could be disastrous. A data breach could cost your business dearly. Every business has a duty of care to deal with personal data securely under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

In fact, if there is a data breach, you must inform the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours of discovering it and, in the most serious cases, you must also inform the data subjects directly.

That could lead to an ICO investigation and there is the potential of a fine. The maximum fine for a serious data breach is 4% of worldwide annual turnover or €2 million.

What could be even more costly is the damage this does to the reputation of your business, causing lost sales, and the potential for data subjects to take their own action against your business if they lost out financially.

What can you do to protect your business?

It’s vital that you get expert advice on dealing with your business IT.

You should choose a provider with a proven track record in helping businesses protect themselves, such as Jötnar Systems. Ask for references and look at their testimonials and reviews to see how they responded in a crisis and how they helped businesses build robust cyber security systems to prevent problems occurring.

You should also establish good IT maintenance practices, including regularly updating software and educating staff about the threat of malicious links and emails.

If your staff cannot do this in house, now’s the time to look at outsourcing that cyber security.

Do you need expert help with your business IT?

Contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.

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