Companies, big and small, often neglect the threat that arises from cybercrimes. Cybercrimes are becoming more of a threat, as cybercrime damage costs are predicted to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021, according to the Cybersecurity Ventures. A breach in your data security can be the downfall of your company or cause massive damage to your company’s reputation. To avoid cybersecurity attacks, it is important to know what the most common attacks are and how they can affect your business. Below are 7 data threats business owners need to be aware of and how to prevent them.

  1. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks trick you into introducing malware into your company or providing confidential information about your business form of an email. The attacker designs the email to look like it is from a trusted source, like a bank or insurance company your company regularly interacts with. The email includes a URL or attachment that may ask you to simply login to an account, which then sends your credentials to the hacker, or open an attachment, which introduces malicious software to your device.

Phishing attacks can also lead to ransomware attack, where after gaining access to your company’s data through a phish, a hacker threatens to publish confidential data, delete important information, or block access from your data completely until a payment is made. Ransomware damage is predicted to reach $11.5 billion by 2019.

To prevent a phishing or ransomware attack, make sure all employees are trained on recognizing and avoiding phishing emails and are aware of the dangers they create. Having a secure up to date antivirus program is a crucial component in protecting your data. Lastly, in case a ransomware attack does occur, having a thoroughly secured backup of your company’s vital data is critical.

  1. Malware

While most people are becoming increasingly conscious of avoiding malware, it is still a top data threat that business owners need to be aware of. Malware is any harmful software that is installed on your computer by a third-party to perform malicious tasks. Malware can come in the form of an attachment, a corrupted link, or advertisement. Some examples of malware are ransomware, spyware, bots, and adware, which can all jeopardize your company, especially online business, by destroying important data.

To prevent the threats of malware, your business should be protected by high-quality antivirus technology that is regularly updated and maintained. Failing to update your antivirus program poses a serious threat to your company’s security, as outdated versions are often exploited. Training your employees to recognize potential malware lessens the threat.

  1. Unpatched Vulnerabilities

Another common threat that business owners need to be aware of unpatched vulnerabilities. One of the most important steps you can take in ensuring the security of your data is updating your antivirus technologies.  This is no different with the normal software businesses rely on. With an out of date antivirus program or software, hackers can find a way to access your company’s data through those unpatched ‘holes’ that need to be updated.  Each hole leaves vulnerable to hackers.

To avoid the threat of unpatched vulnerabilities, regularly update all software which your company uses, from antivirus software and general apps to operating systems.

  1. Internal Attacks

Surprisingly, internal attacks are one of the largest cybersecurity threats to any business. There instances where both big and small companies have suffered severe losses due to what was believed to be an internal attack. Employees or exemployees with malicious intentions who have access to your company’s network or data can easily jeopardize your entire company.

To help prevent this threat, you must ensure that everyone who has access to critical accounts is identified and accounted for. Furthermore, it is important to immediately terminate any access a member who is no longer employed or connected with your company has.

  1. DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have created massive catastrophes for even some of the largest websites in the world like Reddit and Twitter. DDoS attacks usually last between 6 to 24 hours and are designed to flood businesses with large amounts of website traffic from multiple different sources, consequently slowing the functionality of the website drastically. In most cases, the traffic is so overwhelming that crucial services for a company is forced offline.

Although you can’t altogether prevent your website from becoming a victim of a DDoS attack, there are steps you can take to still maintain functionality in the event of an attack. Create a DDoS response plan which details what to do in the event of an attack and ensure your website has extra bandwidth available. if you want to eliminate this concern altogether, having your network protected and maintained by a trusted IT company would be beneficial.

  1. Bring Your Own Device Policy

Your company is even more prone to data theft when your network is accessed using an unsecure device, whether it be mobile device or a personal laptop. A hacker can easily gain access to your company’s network and data through an unsecured device, potentially bypassing any security set to protect your company’s data.

To avoid this threat, if a BYOD policy is used, thoroughly define device expectations and best practices. Instead of directly accessing the company data from the employee-owned device, have the device go through a VPN to provide extra security. This is especially important if the device accesses company data from a public WiFi network, which is unsecure.

Our Team at Strategic Systems Can Protect Your Company from All Data Threats!

There are countless data threats that business owners should be aware of that can all easily hurt or destroy your business. Instead of worrying about all these, let our team secure your business’s data security for you. Focus on simply advancing your business, while we shield your network and data from harm. Contact our office today at (919) 783-1410 or fill out our online form below.

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