As a business professional, it’s your responsibility to protect your company’s digital assets from cybercrime, but the path forward is not always so easy or clear-cut. Without a thorough knowledge and expertise of IT security at your disposal, it can be challenging to protect your infrastructure as adequately as it needs to be. Here are some of the common issues that involve cybersecurity, as well as how you can address them.
First, let’s take a look at the threat landscape as a whole. It’s always changing, so you have to be capable of reacting to shifts in the way threats present themselves or launch their attacks. After all, these hackers are trying to subvert the attempts of the best security researchers on the planet, so you can bet they are bringing their A-game against your business, too. What are some of the challenges you can expect to run into with the cybersecurity environment? Let’s find out.
The most common threats are made up of phishing attacks, ransomware threats, and distributed denial of service attacks.
Hackers launch phishing attacks against users to try and gain unauthorized access to their accounts. These phishing attacks can be as simple as an email, a social media post, a telephone call, or other similar tactics, and they often request that the user take action as quickly as possible. While there are plenty of telltale warning signs to look for, it’s often after the fact that people realize what they have done. Many of the other threats we will discuss in this blog are spread primarily through phishing scams.
Few threats pose as much danger to your organization as ransomware does. It locks down files on your system until you pay a ransom, often in a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. Ransomware has developed into even more dangerous variants in recent years, now utilizing methods like double-extortion to increase its profitability and success rate. To ensure users pay the ransom, they threaten to release the stolen and locked-down data online, putting their victims in a lose-lose situation.
DDoS attacks use the might of millions of infected devices, collectively known as botnets, to bring down networks and websites, overloading them with traffic all at once. Worse yet, these devices aren’t doing anything special—they just use their normal functionality to ping a network over and over until the system crashes. With so much traffic overwhelming the transfer protocols, all productivity grinds to a halt. DDoS attacks can be mistaken for malware or other network issues, and by the time they begin, it’s too late to do anything to stop them.
Other options for hackers do exist, of course, but you’ll encounter the above three most frequently, and they will often perpetuate other types of attacks against your infrastructure.
To take the fight to cyberthreats, we recommend you use the following strategies:
The greatest challenge you will face is that your employees might not be aware of the dangers posed by cyberthreats. You should do everything in your power to ensure they know that their actions while on the company network could impact the business. We recommend implementing a comprehensive training program that is complete with routine testing and review sessions. Some of the topics you should touch on include multi-factor authentication, how to spot phishing attacks, and how to build a secure password. Training your employees can pay off in spades, so long as it is done well and done often.
All it takes is one weak link in your infrastructure to expose it to untold threats. Be sure to address vulnerabilities by implementing patches and security updates on a regular basis, including your browser extensions. It’s also important to have a strategy in place to routinely review your organization’s IT assets to know what needs to be updated/upgraded and when.
If you don’t test your systems, you aren’t going to find vulnerabilities or issues that need to be resolved. Penetration testing is a great way to discover these things in a low-stakes situation. Let Managed IT Force help you with this task so that you can focus on getting your work done.
Security is hard, but it doesn’t have to be. To learn more about what we can do to help your business succeed, reach out to us at 724-473-3950.
About the author
Dan has 25 years of progressive experience in the IT industry. He has led three successful companies focused on small and medium business IT solutions since 1997.