Business owners and senior executives may think that modern technology is reducing cybercrime, but the fact is that digital danger is on the rise. Recent attacks on Facebook, Equifax, Marriott, and Yahoo are testaments to this. But this problem isn’t just for big and famous organizations. Companies of all sizes are at risk, from small to mid-size businesses to large enterprises.
Want to keep your data secure? Find out unseen cyber threats that you must look out for.
The Damage of Cyberattacks
It is estimated that over the next few years, as much as $300 billion will be spent globally protecting against cyberattacks. But the damage done by cybercrime has an annual cost of over six trillion dollars. Ransomware cost over 20 billion dollars. Other crimes committed with cyberattacks cost over $11 billion a year.
One concern is that the rate of cyber breaches far exceeds the investment being spent to protect against it. On average, most small businesses spend less than $500 a year on products that are designed to protect them from cyberattacks. This represents about 13% of the entire market for cyber security per year.
Organizations around the world are being targeted through phishing—over thirty billion records have been stolen. Over the next couple of years, it is estimated that almost 150 billion records will be breached or at least at risk of being breached.
These are just some of the ways in which cybercrime is attacking businesses, organizations, and individuals. As time continues, this is likely to rise. More solutions will also be made available, but businesses must be willing to invest into those tools and methods. Otherwise, they will be exposed to cyber threats.
Five Cyber Concerns That Affect Modern Businesses
Breaches to Sensitive Data
When an unauthorized entity gets access to sensitive data that would otherwise be confidential, the information could be stolen or used illegally. It’s critical for companies to put in protection to avoid these incidents, and the company must have policies in place so that staff know what to do should a breach occur.
There are several ways that a business or institution could have their data breached. Some might be an accident, like if an employee made an error. But, more often than not, security breaches are intentional. If the company is being hacked, then this becomes a big problem.
If a company is hacked, then all its sensitive data is exposed. The hacker may be able to get their hands–on personal information which in some cases is more valuable than money. They may be able to create credit cards in another person’s name, apply for a tax refund, or even get a job using someone else’s identity.
The loss of personal items such as phones, notebooks, and laptops which have sensitive data is dangerous as people with ill intentions might gain access to that information. Keeping these items as secure as possible can cut down on the chance of this type of breach.
Moving Data Leaves It Temporarily Exposed to Potential Cyberattacks
To protect against cybercrime, a company should have specific transit requirements. The more sensitive the information the more it will need security like encryption to keep it protected. Not doing so leaves it vulnerable to attacks.
Depending on what data is contained, the theft could be substantial. It could directly affect the business or the individuals whose data was being kept by the business. This could ultimately lead to something very costly, financially and integrity-wise.
Negligence or Errors Made by Employees
Some business leaders have stated that almost half of cyber breaches happened because of negligence or employee mistakes. Human error is one of the main causes of data breach. It is estimated that this type of issue results in costs to companies of millions of dollars annually. For smaller companies, this type of disaster can cause bankruptcy—worst case scenario.
A few ways employees are failing to properly protect sensitive data includes leaving their computers unlocked and vulnerable; writing notes on paper and then leaving unattended; working remotely and using unsecure internet such as those in coffee shops. All these things can leave an organization open to attacks.
Theft by Someone Within the Company
It’s critical for companies to properly screen staff who will be working with sensitive data. Corporate espionage doesn’t just happen in movies—it’s a real-life occurrence! Organizations can be spared of this issue as long as a proper hiring process is put in place.
Failure to establish a well-designed security roadmap and protocols puts organizational data on the line. This makes it easier for cyber criminals to penetrate internal systems and data storages without breaking a sweat. So if it’s only the budget that is stopping an organization from investing to security technologies, being a victim of cyberattack is a much higher cost to pay. Post-attack scenarios can leave businesses with unimaginable security complications such as undencryptable data, damaged data sets, or the worst: data loss, regardless of its size, be it an SMB or a large enterprise.
Three Solutions to Keep Cyber Threats at Bay
These are protocols that determine who or what can enter a network. The firewall itself will monitor incoming and outgoing traffic. If it sees a trusted source, then it’s allowed in and if it’s a source that is untrusted and it blocks it. This can prevent malware and trojans.
Intrusion Prevention System
This should be included along with firewalls. Hackers can sometimes circumvent a system by sending things through using trusted sources. Having an IPS will help to further look for networks that are malicious. The system will look for patterns to help identify these.
All employees should be required to go through a very comprehensive security training class. This will help them to be equipped with the awareness and the skills to protect the organization and themselves. Having regular training seminars within the company will help keep them updated with the latest strategies. Encouraging them to always maintain strong passwords and to never leave their computer unattended when it is unlocked is among the strategies that all employees should implement.
With these in place, cyberattacks are up against stronger security foundations composed of infrastructural improvements and user knowledge against those threats—creating a full-blown security approach to modern cybercrimes.
Good news is these are highly doable and inexpensive from an organization’s end. However, to do away the hassle of implementation and training and at the same time to set things straight, tech partners are always available to help you cope up. Where to find them? Talk to us.