While technology is a regular part of our lives, it’s more recent. The first mechanical computer can be traced back to 1822 by Charles Babbage. The word computer traces back to 1613 in the book “The Yong Mans Gleanings” by Richard Braithwaite.
With the ease and use of technology comes greater threats. If you’re a small-medium-sized business owner, then you’ll want to be mindful of cybersecurity threats.
While these threats can be overwhelming, there’s hope. This article will take a look at some of the top threats out there online. Read on to explore these threats, and ensure that you’re secure today.
What Is a Cybersecurity Threat?
This is a malicious and intentional effort by an individual or organization to breach a system. This can include sabotage, espionage, financial gain, and informational theft.
1. Data Theft
Cybersecurity threat intelligence doesn’t just attack small-medium-sized companies, but they’re the principal targets. Many criminals see these companies as a way into larger companies. They know that many smaller businesses don’t have the security to prevent theft.
Many small businesses handle threats on their own which puts yourself and your business in danger of cybersecurity threats. In order to avoid threats, you’ll need to understand a hacker’s thinking, and your best option is to hire an IT professional for your business.
2. Cyber Espionage
If you’re storing your information on the cloud, it’s important to understand regulations for sensitive data. First, it’s a good idea to have an IT company set up your business on the cloud securely instead of doing it yourself. Having a lack of resources and expertise necessary can lead to hacking.
Phishing attacks are becoming more intelligent, as they fool you into clicking on a link. Once you click on the link then the malware is installed onto your computer.
Now that many organizations are becoming mindful of the suspicious links, hackers are upping their game. Hackers now use machine learning to distribute and craft fake messages to convince people that they are who they say they are. Once they’re in, they can steal your financial information including credit card and login info.
Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
Multifactor authentication methods include one-use texted codes, biometrics, and physical tokens. They’re a way to protect your information from hackers instead of just passwords and usernames. You can also use tools to check email attachments for malware.
One of the top cybersecurity threats in 2021 is cryptojacking. This is where criminals will hack into work or home computers and mine for cryptocurrency.
Since this requires much computer processing power, they often piggyback off of someone else’s system. This can cause serious problems for companies since it can be expensive to track down and resolve the issue.
There are hundreds of thousands of malware created each day. As time goes on, hackers will take older malware programs, and update them so that they’re unrecognizable to antivirus programs.
This is a type of malware that pretends to be a trustworthy company. It tricks you into installing it onto your computer. They do extensive damage since they have a trojan horse masquerading as a trustworthy program.
Worms can spread in several ways, including through email. They’ll search file-sharing systems and contact databases. Worms will be sent as an attachment.
This is a type of software that encrypts your data storage drives and makes them unusable for you. You’ll then receive an ultimatum such as asking for a payment in order to receive the encryption key. If they don’t receive their money, then they delete the key, and the data will be lost.
6. Hidden Backdoor Programs
A hidden backdoor program is when a manufacturer for computers or parts installs a program in order to allow a computer to be remotely accessed. It’s dangerous since it allows the person who installs the backdoor to access the computer.
Huawei Technologies Co. received allegations that it had sanctions on Iran. This company is accused of trying to steal trade secrets from a business partner.
Vodafone Group Plc admits that it found vulnerabilities over the years. They state that the issues are resolved now, but this might damage the reputation of the company further.
Vodafone has asked Huawei to remove all backdoors in the internet router. While they were told the problems were fixed initially, there were still vulnerabilities.
7. Your Employees
Your employees can be the largest threat to your organization since they have access to personal information. Accidents can occur where an employee clicks on a suspicious link.
Ensure that your employees have limited access to data. This makes it harder for them to steal information. Have cybersecurity training for all employees, and teach them what attempts to avoid.
8. Distributed Denial of Service
One of the common categories of cybersecurity threats is the distributed denial of service. This is when they overwhelm a target system and make it stop functioning. You won’t be able to access the system when this occurs.
They can stop one or all computer devices on a network. This can be combined with other cyber threats as well. They often create confusion in order to distract you while they carry out their attacks.
This is when Internet Control Message Protocols (ICMP) are sent to the victim’s IP address. The requests are from spoofed IP addresses. It overwhelms the target.
This is where bots carry out attacks. They can launch grand attacks across millions of devices.
TCP SYN Flood Attack
This is where attacks go after the target system with connection requests. When the target system tries to complete the connection, the attacker’s device won’t respond. This causes the target system to time out.
9. Man in the Middle
This is when an attacker places themselves between the target and a user. Once an attack occurs, they might be able to attack a user’s credentials, and steal sensitive data.
This is when an attacker makes you believe that you’re working with a trusted network. The attacker then receives access from the user. They use the IP address of the trusted host instead of its own.
This is where an attacker goes between a client and a network server. They use the IP address of the client. This leads to the server believing they’re corresponding with the client.
Attackers will take advantage of an unsecured network communication to receive information transmitted between a server and client. They’re hard to detect since it appears that the network is acting normally.
This is when you have an attacker eavesdrop on network communication and replays messages. They pretend to be the user. Replay attacks can be stopped by using timestamps for network communications.
10. Bring Your Own Device
This is when you allow your employees to bring their own devices to work. They can work remotely on their own devices as well.
The problem with this is, it brings a large number of unique threats. You can protect yourself from these threats by incorporating 2-factor authentication, and role-based access.
Require your employees to use strong passwords. Also, come up with a strategy to protect the company’s data and devices for when employees leave a company.
Many companies choose to move to DevOps due to higher speeds and better efficiency. This can also lead to cybersecurity threats as well. Many organizations don’t have proper security control for DevOps.
Since environments change, false positives can be created that your system can’t keep up with. Attackers can take this issue and hide their activity behind different processes.
Security Group Misconfiguration
Managing larger groups is difficult, and a slight misconfiguration can lead to security problems. This is due to the environment becoming large, and leading to hundreds and thousands of security groups.
Public Data Exposure
If your data isn’t configured well, it can cause public access to valuable and sensitive data. This is because the data is placed into an accessible Simple Storage Service bucket.
Protecting Your Company
In order to protect your company, you’ll want to have a recovery plan. This needs to include how you’ll prevent attacks, and how to decrease damage if it does occur.
Choose Managed IT Services
Next, consider hiring managed IT services for your company. This can save you money instead of having an internal team that you have to worry about bonuses, benefits, etc.
For many of these companies, you’ll pay them a flat rate per month or per year. They’re experts in their field and are constantly educating themselves on the newest cyber threat trends.
Funding Is Necessary
Many companies are putting their money toward the growth of their business and forgetting to have funding for preventing cybersecurity threats. Your company needs funding to prevent severe cyber attacks.
First, create a budget for yourself and place the resources you can afford. Next, reach out to an IT service provider in your area.
You must have a cybersecurity policy for your company. This is because security breaches are at an alarming rate recently. Get your employees on board with the cybersecurity policies as well.
Your policies need to include:
- Protect company information and networks
- Detect unauthorized activity
- Address risks with remote access to client information
- Risks with cybersecurity
- Have oversight processes, procedures, and policies
- Detect unauthorized activity
A managed IT service provider can perform penetration testing. This is where they’ll determine how an attacker might break your system. This is in order to check for security gaps that they can close before you receive malicious attacks.
A penetration test can vary from company to company. This is because your risk profile and security architecture will vary from another company’s.
This test normally includes someone to run the penetration test at a set date/time. Next, there will be an audit of an existing system to see what assets are vulnerable.
The people running the attacks will then try to find any weaknesses. You as the organization will see if your company has the tools necessary to stop this planned attack.
One large cybersecurity attack is when in March 2021, Chinese hackers used Facebook in order to send malicious links to journalists, activists, and dissidents abroad. The U.S. Cyber Command found that they had completed more than 2 dozen operations ahead of the U.S. election.
In February 2021, Iranian hackers had control of a server in Amsterdam to control and command the center for attacks against political opponents there. Their other attacks include political opponents in India, Germany, and Sweden.
In February 2021, 10 members of a cybercriminal gang were arrested after they tricked telecom companies into providing celebrities’ phone numbers to new devices. This lead to over $100 million in cryptocurrencies.
In January 2021, hackers that were a part of Hezbollah, breached internet service providers, hosting providers, and telecom companies. It happened in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan, the US, UK, Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority for intelligence gathering and data theft, and the UAE. If you see a cyber incident, report it to the National Cyber Awareness System.
Exploring the Top Cybersecurity Threats
Now that you’ve explored this guide on the top cybersecurity threats out there, you should have a better idea of what to expect. Don’t wait to come up with a cybersecurity plan for your business.
Are you wanting to protect your company from cybersecurity threats? Don’t wait.
Contact us today, and we’ll come up with an action plan to meet your needs. From managing the cloud to security services, we have you covered!