image for 4 Business Cyber Security Threats to Watch Out For

4 Business Cyber Security Threats to Watch Out For

Published on Monday, 16th March 2020, contributed by Nico Prins

Cybersecurity threats were a major challenge for many businesses in 2019. There were 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches during the first 6 months of 2019, a 52% increase from the same period in 2018.

Cyberattacks will continue to impact organisations of all sizes in 2020. Businesses in every sector, from financial and healthcare to government and entertainment, will need to increase their defense against cybercriminals to avoid the high costs associated with data breaches.

To protect your company against cyberattacks, your need to watch out for these major cybersecurity threats:

Cloud Computing

While cloud computing and cloud storage often offer better security than on-premise solutions, you can’t assume that all your data stored in the cloud is safe. Hackers have infiltrated cloud computing infrastructure and stolen the stored data. For example, the Capital One breach had resulted in 106 million records being exposed.

With more businesses migrating their data to the cloud, cybercriminals will up the ante on hacking the servers used by cloud computing providers. Cloud-jacking will become a major security concern and it’s important to select reputable cloud providers that can offer the best security measures.

Internet of Things (IoT)

Connected devices, also called IoT, are everywhere. In fact, the IoT market will reach $1.1 trillion by 2026. As companies are rolling out smart devices at a breakneck pace, security experts can’t keep up with the development of new strategies to support the widespread usage of these devices.

These devices will increase the “attack surface” that hackers can exploit. We’re not only talking about smartphones. Everything that can be connected to an app — from blenders and light switch to baby changing pads and washing machines, can be exploited by hackers as an “entry point” to your network, from which they can steal your sensitive information.

Emerging Technologies

From 5G network to all things AI, we’re going to see a lot of emerging technologies that will challenge how businesses collect and protect user data.

5G networks will drastically increase the amount of data that’s being shared and utilised. The widespread adoption of 5G will increase attack surfaces. The higher bandwidth will allow hackers to launch wider and more powerful attacks. Also, the all-software network inherently comes with cybersecurity vulnerabilities that require a reassessment of how we fundamentally approach IT security.

Meanwhile, AI and machines learning require a large amount of data from a variety of sources to produce accurate insights and results. However, in the race to becoming the first-to-market, some vendors may not have the time or resources to fully analyse the many potential algorithmic biases that can lead to security blind-spots.

Phishing Attacks

While phishing attacks aren’t anything new, hackers are constantly refining their methods. Widespread use of online platforms and digital devices are exposing us to more venues through which cybercriminals can get our data through phishing attacks.

It’s found that 90 percent of the data-loss incidents have a phishing or social engineering component to them. After all, it takes only one employee to click on one phoney link to compromise the IT security of the entire organisation!

In addition, as Deepfake technology becoming more advanced, we can expect to see it deployed in phishing campaigns to trick employees into clicking links or downloading malware.

Protect Your Business From Cyber Threats

Cybersecurity can be a rather overwhelming topic for many businesses and it’s challenging to stay current with all the latest news and best practices.

However, it's important to have a solid foundation in place. Here are some basics you should implement right away:

  • Ensure that employees and contractors who need to access your network are doing so securely through a reputable Virtual Private Network (VPN) service.
  • Establish an IT security policy and provide employee training to ensure that it’s being followed.
  • Enforce strong password protocols and use the access control feature on software platforms or document management systems to limit who can view sensitive data.
  • Reinforce endpoint security by making sure that all devices used by employees to access your network are protected by anti-virus software and firewalls.
  • Implement a backup and recovery plan so you can get your business back up and running quickly if there’s a breach to minimise costly downtime and data losses.

Fending off cybercriminals is an ongoing effort and you need to stay vigilant in today’s hyper-connected digital environment so hackers can’t get their hands on your critical business information and customer data.