Making sure that your business has a strong cyber security strategy is place goes a long way to protecting you from cyber attacks. However, you also need to make sure that you’re up to date with the biggest cyber security threats out there, and knowing how to combat them is just as important to ensure you have the best defence possible. It doesn’t matter if you’re a cyber security novice or feel as though you’re a pro at protecting your business, you can guarantee that malware will always be ahead of you. We’ve created a list of our top 5 security threats that we think any business, big or small, needs to be aware of.
When we talk about malware, we mean any type of software that poses a threat to your cyber security. You’ve probably heard of threats such as Trojan horses and spyware, but malware comes in many different disguises. Most malware can be kept at bay if you keep your IT security systems updated – security software is essential if you don’t already have it – and a good rule of thumb is to be cautious about any sites that don’t look quite right. Signs that you’re on a website you can trust are the padlock symbol in the address bar and a website address that begins ‘https’ meaning all transactions are secure and encrypted.
2. Social engineering
How convinced are you that an email is from who it says it’s from? Social engineering is the natural evolution from phishing scams – they’re a lot more likely to have you fooled as attackers are getting really good at looking and sounding like a trusted source. Antivirus software should be able to suss them out for you, but make sure that you’re providing plenty of IT security training to your team so they can spot rogue emails too. Plus, it always helps to invest in a link expander that allows you to take a look at the full link before you click through.
One of the hot topics of the moment, ransomware has become a notorious cyber security threat in 2017 thanks to its takeover of NHS systems earlier this year. The effects of ransomware aren’t reversible – it encrypts your data and then freezes the computer so you can’t access any of your files unless you pay money for the decryption key – and they don’t give you the key for cheap. The best way to combat this is to make frequent, separate backups of all of your files.
We’ve mentioned phishing above – it’s the less convincing cousin of social engineering but it can still catch you out. While we may be relegating emails that promise us lots of money in exchange for our account details or passwords to the spam folder, phishing emails can look convincing and, if you click on them, can download malware or ransomware to your IT system.
5. Zero days
If you’re unlucky, a cyber attacker may be able to discover a weakness in your IT system which doesn’t have a patch. Chances are, you or your developers won’t even be aware of this unknown flaw and they won’t be picked up by a simple vulnerability scan. This is the only case in which you have to hope that the flaw is reported by IT professionals and not the attacker.
While there are plenty of other threats to cyber security, these 5 are the most likely threats your business is currently facing. If you have any concerns or questions, seek expert advice from CARA technology for IT support and IT solutions today.