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.