Data breaches and hacking attacks are among the biggest problems plaguing businesses today. They can generate enormous losses for companies, but more importantly, they cause distrust in customers and business partners. How can you protect yourself and your organization from various cyber threats?
According to a Check Point study, 2021 was particularly rich in the number of cyberattacks, with more than 900 attacks per week in the fourth quarter. In addition, there was a 50% increase in the number of weekly attacks compared to 2020.
Cyberattacks on companies are on the rise. One reason is that businesses went online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Many of them were not properly secured and made good targets for cybercriminals.
How can organizations stay safe?
1. Staff training
People are often the weakest link when it comes to cybersecurity. The best technology and software can be useless if your employees fall victim to phishing scams or download malicious files. That’s why you should educate them about social engineering, viruses, strong passwords, online privacy, etc.
2. Privacy and security tools
Any company operating online should invest in good software to protect its data – VPNs, firewalls, and others. One tool worth mentioning is meshnet for file sharing. This feature, bundled with NordVPN, connects devices in a way that allows secure, encrypted communication. This is a great way to increase security in companies that operate partially or entirely remotely.
3. Virus protection
While cybersecurity experts are working to improve everyone’s online safety, criminals are looking for vulnerabilities and creating tools. That’s why every company needs to pay attention to its malware protection software. Protecting a business is different from protecting an individual personal device. Thus a strong antivirus is a must.
4. Investing in backups
Even the largest companies, such as Microsoft, sometimes fall victim to hackers. Although we hope your company never has to deal with the consequences of a cyberattack, it is better to be safe than sorry. That’s why every business should invest in creating and storing backups. Copies of important data can come in handy in a variety of situations – for example, after a ransomware attack.
5. Personal privacy
Last but not least, don’t forget that your company’s security can be compromised by… you. Some people like oversharing on social media, broadcasting their co-workers and bosses’ names, etc. Personal data can be beneficial for hackers (for personalized phishing campaigns, for example). Check your privacy settings if you post on Instagram, Facebook, or other platforms.
What harm can cybercriminals do?
Organizations use copious amounts of customer and partner data in their operations. In the current world, information is one of the most valuable resources – no wonder hackers are trying to access it.
Personal information, such as names, addresses, or bank details, is particularly valuable to cybercriminals. They may try to steal it and either use it themselves or sell it on the black market. What methods do they use?
- Social engineering. Phishing and similar techniques have proven to be very effective in recent years. They have an important advantage – a hacker does not need to be particularly tech-savvy to use them. A phishing campaign can be very straightforward – all it takes is a well-constructed email from “the company CEO” and a list of gullible recipients. Victims of social engineering campaigns, for example, can let the impostor into their secured corporate network.
- Infecting networks with malware. The previously mentioned phishing campaigns can be used to infect systems with malware. How does it work? The hacker sends out an email asking their victims to download some software. It can be described as important data or a new tool for work. The victim downloads the malicious file and infects their device or even the entire network.
- Exploiting vulnerabilities. Networks that are not properly secured make great targets for cybercriminals. Hackers will try to get into systems that use outdated software or fail to implement security patches. This can result in data theft or other types of attacks, such as ransomware infections (encrypting important files to extort a ransom from a company).
- DDoSing. DDoS attacks on web services are probably the most popular. A DDoS attack (distributed denial of service) uses multiple devices to bombard a service with communication requests. This overloads the server with traffic, so it cannot perform its normal functions. DDoS attacks effectively shut down entire websites and generate huge losses for companies.
Think about your safety today
No matter the size of your company – do not ignore the importance of cyber security. All signs indicate that cybercrime will not decrease in numbers in the next few years. Take care of your online safety now.