The 3 Cybersecurity Threats Every Large Business Should Be Worried About

The 3 Cybersecurity Threats Every Large Business Should Be Worried About

Large businesses often suffer from cybersecurity threats they might not even be aware of. Even if your business has not been impacted by a data breach, there’s always a lingering threat of cybersecurity attacks on your business that can cost time, money, peace-of-mind, and client trust. But the good news is that there are measures that you can take to prevent your business from falling prey to the most common types of cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity Threat #1: Brute Force (Password) Attacks

Simply having a password in place is not enough to keep an account secure. Users often create passwords that are fairly easy to guess or recycle their credentials across multiple platforms. The result? Hackers and those who want to break into your business’ accounts can do so easily.

Hackers often create software programmed with algorithms designed to guess passwords. Your business can make it more difficult for hackers to carry out brute force attacks by:

  • Increasing the length of your password
  • Using a strong, random password generator to create passwords
  • Mandating that passwords in your company are changed every 90 days
  • Limiting the number of password attempts and locking accounts after the number has been reached
  • Mandating CAPCHA or verification code use with login attempts
  • Blocking IP addresses after a specified number of attempts

With these measures in place, it is less likely that a hacker’s brute force attacks will be successful.

Cybersecurity Threat #2: Cloud Attacks

Many businesses now use cloud-based software to store data and carry out important functions (such as marketing, file storage, document management, bookkeeping, and internal communications). While the cloud does offer powerful opportunities at reduced cost (as compared to more expensive desktop software), it does come with additional risks.

Cloud attacks have emerged as an important cybersecurity threat to businesses. Cloud attacks on a business can be executed by installing malware in a multitude of ways: on a business’ computer, uploading an infected file to an account on the cloud, using email to phish for login credentials to unsuspecting users, etc.

To avoid cloud attacks, make sure that your business takes the following measures:

  • Install security software on all devices that employees use
  • Make regular software updates to electronic devices
  • Teach employees to avoid accessing suspicious websites, downloading files that are flagged as insecure, or opening scam emails

Cybersecurity Threat #3: Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware does just what the name suggests: it is software that a hacker uses to lock down access to your files so they can demand a fee to restore access to those files. Hackers are able to deliver ransomware to your device through malicious software that encrypts your files.

Through preventative actions, you can decrease the likelihood that your business will be the victim of a ransomware attack:

  • Use and update security software. Security software has been programmed with the ability to detect, isolate and destroy malware. When activated, they can warn you that a website or a file seems untrustworthy.
  • Be wary of emails from unknown senders. Scammers can easily get a hold of your business’ email address and create fake identities that can convince you to click on a link or download an attachment. Before you even open an email from an unknown sender, put it in your spam folder to look at when you have the time to analyze the email. If an email subject or name of a sender is in all caps or has misspellings and grammar mistakes, chances are it is from a scammer.
  • Update your software and hardware. If you’re not using the latest version of software or are using hardware that is outdated, you make it more likely that scammers can exploit your system.
  • Archive your computer desktop on a regular basis. Invest in backup system that backs up in real time so you never lose files, even if they become corrupted.

If you do end up as the victim of a ransomware attack, do not pay the ransom. There is no guarantee your access to your files will be restored if you pay the ransom.

Even if your business does take all these preventative measures, there is no guarantee that your business won’t be the victim of a cybersecurity attack. Hackers are persistent and continually develop new ways of penetrating security defenses. But with a good defensive game, your business can drastically decrease the likelihood of falling prey to common cybersecurity attacks. And of course, calling in IT experts to do a security check on your system can point out weaknesses, if there are any.

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Open Source vs Proprietary: Which Technologies Are Right for Your Business?

Open Source vs Proprietary: Which Technologies Are Right for Your Business?

Trying to choose between open source vs proprietary software? You’re not alone. When looking to increase the productivity of your company through the integration of technology, you may have come to a crossroads where you are comparing a lot of very similar services. Some of these services advertise themselves as “open source,” but what does that really mean?

Below we explain what open source technology is and why you should consider it for your business.

What is open source technology?

As opensource.com explains, open source technology “is software with source code that anyone can inspect, modify, and enhance.” Additionally, it’s designed to be publicly accessible. This means that open source technology can’t lock your data, information, or code away in a place you can’t access it.

What are the benefits of open source technology?

So, why would your company want to utilize open source technology? When looking at the many benefits of open source technology, its hard to beat its price. Many open-source options are free, or nearly free in comparison to the cost of proprietary technologies. Being able to save money on open source software allows you to put that extra money into something else that your company needs.

One of the main benefits of open source technology, however, is that it’s highly customizable. Because there are so many open source libraries of free code you can access, you can always add the features that you need. If you don’t have a particular feature that you need to be successful on a future project, you can simply add it to what you are currently using.

Finally, open source provides your company with scalability: you can expand what you currently do quickly. If your company gets bigger and offers more services, open source technology can grow with your company as needed — and without a giant price tag.

Open source vs proprietary technology

The other side of the coin is proprietary technology. Proprietary technology is “commercial software that can be bought, leased or licensed from its vendor/developer.” Essentially, if a piece of software doesn’t say it’s open source, then it isn’t. A company owns all its code, content, data, and possibly a good chunk of any of your information you’re storing on it. It all depends on the license you agree to when using it.

Remember all those user agreements you clicked on when signing up for the apps you use on a daily basis? All those agreements granted companies various types access to your personal information, including for the purposes of personalized marketing and other invasive forms of data mining.

The Lure of Proprietary Software

You might be asking yourself: if open source is so great, why are most products proprietary? In a word: money. The top open source companies in the world (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Zimbra, Zabbix, etc.) make plenty of money, but nothing compared to a giant like Google or Microsoft. That’s really the only reason to make a product proprietary: to make more money off of it!

And because of this, the vast majority of software available to businesses is proprietary. And we’re so use to this fact, that we don’t question it. We just pay our licensing fee and go on with our lives.

Free Doesn’t Mean Without Expertise

At the same time, just because open source technology itself is free or low cost, doesn’t mean you don’t need help getting it installed, configured, or developed. Just like any tool, it needs to be customized to your needs. You need a partner who is skilled at adapting open source technologies to your business needs.

The Choice Is Yours

Ultimately, the decision of which technologies your business decides to utilize is completely up to you. There are definitely good reasons for going with proprietary technology. If you want lower cost and greater customization, however, the choice is clear.

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