5 Cyber Security Risks and Issues You’d Be a Fool to Ignore

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(Newswire.net — August 31, 2020) — Every single day, over 350,000 pieces of new malware are detected. Competing with this is difficult but staying on top of cyber security risks is vital for your business.

A data breach can cost a fortune and if you are attacked, you could lose days, weeks, or even months of work. Could your business survive this?

In our guide, we’re going to look at the biggest IT security risks around today. Ready to learn more and learn how to stay safe? Read on!

1. Ransomware and Extortionware

One of the biggest risks around today is ransomware. This is a particularly nefarious form of malware that doesn’t only cause chaos but can make your company lose a fortune.

The way ransomware works is particularly damaging. It is often spread by infected links or phishing. 

The malware installs itself onto your system. As soon as it’s in, it will encrypt your files and folders, then demand a ransom for restoring access. It’s not an empty threat either: your files are encrypted and the only way to decrypt them is to pay the ransom.

This can lead to a horrendous situation where you either have to pay the ransom or lose potentially all of your work. The best way to handle ransomware infections depends on you having backups of all important data. If you do, you can wipe your computers and restore the data without paying the ransom.

There’s an even more nefarious variant of ransomware around today too, called extortionware. This doesn’t encrypt your files: instead, it makes copies of them and threatens to release them to the public unless you pay a fee. If you don’t pay the fee, you’ll suffer a data breach, which on average, costs American companies $8.19 million.

Backups won’t help you with extortionware. The only solution is to avoid infection with strict security policies and to ensure that you keep high-risk data out of harm’s reach.

2. Phishing

Phishing has been around since 1995 and it’s never stopped being a problem. The simplest description of phishing is an attempt to gain information or infect a system via fraud.

An example phishing email could say that you’ve won a prize and that you need to enter your bank account details to claim it. More targeted attacks, called spear phishing, are growing in popularity. These can address the recipient by name and pose as a specific person, often a real client or colleague.

Phishing emails can be hard to spot. They may use official-looking branding or logos in an attempt to trick you.

Training your employees to be able to recognize phishing emails is absolutely vital. You can let your employees enroll in all types of cyber security training for beginners so they can build critical skills to address security threats, and adopt best practices for reducing the risks and issues in your workplace. One of the most common penetration testing steps involves sending spoof phishing emails to your employees. If they fall for them, the pros can step in and teach them how to recognize them in the future.

3. Internet of Things Vulnerabilities

If you’re not aware of the “internet of things” (IOT), it’s made up of all the small smart devices that are connected to our networks today. For instance, smart speakers, smart lights, smart locks, and more.

While these do offer some convenient features, they also pose a problem for security. Many of these devices can’t be configured to be more secure, which means that they can represent gaping holes in your company’s cyber security coverage.

Hackers can even eavesdrop on you using smart lights. As there isn’t really an interface you can use to patch holes in the security of these devices, you’re leaving an open door to your network.

We would recommend that you vet any smart devices that you use on your network. Make sure that they’re secure and don’t have any known vulnerabilities. If you want to be at your most secure, we would recommend avoiding IoT devices altogether.

4. Insider Threat

We understand that you want to trust your employees. Yet a lot of cybersecurity attacks come from within companies. Angry employees may want to sabotage the company while other employees may be out to embezzle from the company for personal gain.

There are a few ways to combat the threat of an insider attack. You should be monitoring your employee’s computer usage to ensure that they aren’t attempting to access unauthorized materials or to carry out any acts of sabotage.

You should put concrete password policies into place to make sure your employees don’t share passwords with any other employees. They should also never write their password down, as this can give an inside threat exactly what they need.

You need to compartmentalize what your employees have access to. There is no need for your entry-level employees to have access to mission-critical information. Make sure that they only have access to the information they need, nothing more.

5. Not Keeping Devices Updated

One of the biggest mistakes a company can make is not updating their devices. If you don’t keep your computers and other devices updated with the latest patches, you’re leaving massive holes in your security. 

If you have an IT department, you need to make sure that they update all of your machines remotely. If you don’t have an IT department, you should mandate update checks as part of your daily operation.

However you do it, make sure that you’re always updated. Never leave your devices unpatched.

Managing Cyber Security Risks

Managing cyber security risks can seem like a lot of work. Yet it’s essential to keep your business secure and thriving. Make sure that you bring in the pros if you aren’t sure what to do to help boost your IT security!

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