The digital world has expanded exponentially over the last few years, the speed of which was catalysed by the raging COVID-19 pandemic. Most people have become accustomed to working from home—and many businesses have had to tackle the numerous cyber security challenges that this change in work environment has brought with it.
Too often our Sydney Cyber security team read reports and hear stories of businesses cutting funding to their cyber security budget—convincing themselves that their money will be better spent elsewhere. We can presume that this isn’t just occurring in the landscape of Australian business, but also around the world. It could also be presumed that the ongoing financial impacts of lockdowns and the consequences that come with them are likely influencing these decisions.
In this article, we will briefly explain 5 cyber security threats businesses in all industries face—and explain why cutting funding to battle this rising threat is a big mistake.
When you’re working from home, lack of endpoint security is the number one cyber security threat that can affect your affairs. It doesn’t matter if you’re a part of a small, medium or large business, or perhaps even a freelancer or trader working from home, strong endpoint security is a must. Simply put, endpoint security assumes taking measures that will prevent any endpoints (laptops, phones, tablets etc) from being penetrated through a network.
As many home offices are not equipped to handle or deal with security breaches with the same robustness that business places are, many remote workers endpoints have been targeted by cyber criminals. Normal protocols are thrown out the window, with some employees likely to use many devices on the same unsecured networks—greatly increasing the chance of a security breach. Ensuring your employees have the appropriate antivirus software installed on work/home devices and educating them on cyber security, you can greatly reduce your businesses exposure to cyber crime via endpoint breaches.
This brings us to the next biggest threat.
The exponential use of mobile phones, both in our personal and professional lives, has dramatically increased the odds of employees being targeted by mobile malware. A big error we have seen at Essential IT is businesses allowing employees access to corporate networks via unchecked and unsecured mobile devices. These actions show a clear correlation to an influx of malware attacks occurring through employees’ mobile devices.
This is especially true when employees aren’t provided with antivirus software and made aware of the consequences various kinds of malware can have on the businesses they are working for. Some of the most common kinds of mobile malware we have seen are bank trojans, click fraud advertising, remote access tools (RATs) and ransomware attacks.
Deepfakes are no longer a cyber security threat belonging to futuristic sci-fi movies and conspiracy theorists—they are very real and can be very damaging to unsuspecting businesses. In layman’s terms, a deepfake is a type of AI program that analyses a person’s photo/video history to plant that image onto another person or thing—essentially falsifying their actions and speech. If done correctly, the attacker can impersonate an employer for example, which can lead to very damaging consequences.
Through deepfakes, cyber criminals may be able to give harmful instructions to employees, facilitate phishing attacks or aiding and abetting hackers in attempts to storm and overrun security systems.
While representing a much newer kind of cyber threat, phishing attacks are the cyber version of identity theft. Phishing is a process wherein a hacker emails a person, employee or boss, with a slightly altered email to gain access to personal or sensitive information.
Phishing made up one-quarter of all data breaches in 2020 and a staggering 78% of all cyber crimes in the last two years. Businesses should be aware that phishing schemes through cloud applications are one of the most common ways that hackers can access company data and information.
Much like the name suggests, cloud jacking is the process of infiltrating a business’s cloud computing service. Most cyber security experts will note that, besides phishing, this is one of the most frequent ways hackers gain access to a business’s sensitive information—seeing as many businesses may have cut funding to the security services in place protecting cloud services.
Hackers can gain information about employees’ sensitive data, company communications or can manipulate operations and logistics, eavesdrop on important meetings or even take over an entire cloud system. More concerningly, they can also plant phishing schemes into various documents that other employees have access to, helping spread malicious files through the workplace.
It may seem obvious, but protecting your company from cyber attacks should be a priority for all businesses in 2021. Although spending may need to be cut across the board, Essential IT recommends it is not at the expense of your business cyber security—especially during this unprecedented time of remote work.
Finding the right Sydney IT security service is just the start of your journey towards a better business. If you are considering protecting your business from cyber security threats we have mentioned and many more, get on a call with a member of our team today.
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