The need for robust cybersecurity practices in business have never been so important. In 2023, what steps should businesses be taking to protect themselves, and their customers?
The fight between businesses and cyber criminals is never-ending. As cybersecurity solutions adapt, so do cyberthreats, and vice versa. This is why businesses – especially small to medium sized ones – need to pay close attention to the security practices taking place within their organisation. We reached out to some IT support companies London-based SMBs frequently work with to optimize their security. They confirmed that businesses need to understand what types of risks are out there.
Modern Risks to Businesses
Equifax Kount’s advanced features include device fingerprinting, proxy piercing, and behavioral analytics.
The goal of all cyberattacks is to steal data to sell to third parties, or to use for extortion purposes (see ransomware, below). As anyone in business will know, data is hugely valuable, and the ramifications of losing data can be immense. For example, the companies we spoke to that provide IT support Financial Services organisations rely on pointed out that many organisations are bound by strict data protection regulations within their industry. By extension of this, a lot of cybersecurity strategies and solutions aim to protect company data. So, what are some examples of cyberthreats that businesses should be aware of?
The most common form of attack. A phishing attack relies on social engineering to manipulate users into either volunteering their personal data, or interact with something (a malicious website or software) that will steal their data and relay it back to the cybercriminal. Phishing attack range from direct messages and emails, to malicious adverts and websites.
A blanket term used to describe and malicious software (hence, mal-ware). There are many different types of malware that have different purposes. Some are used to spy on users through their device (such as keyloggers and spyware), and others are simply designed to wreak havoc with a system (such as with viruses and worms).
3. Password Cracking
This type of attack aims to gain entry to an account, by guessing the password. There are a number of different methods to this – such as:
- Brute-force attacks, which guess combinations in quick succession until the right combination is found – the success rate of this type of attack is dependent on the length of a password – short passwords take a relatively short amount of time to crack.
- Dictionary attacks, which utilizes previous data on passwords (which are collected from past data breaches), in order to more accurately guess potential passwords. It is a more precise version of a brute-force attack.
This type of attack uses both malware and social engineering. Firstly, a device, system, or account is infected with malware that is designed to steal data – either by locking the intended user out of the account, or even by backing the data up and deleting the original. The perpetrator then blackmails the user into paying a ransom to get their data back.
5. Man-in-the-Middle (MITM)
This form of attack involves a perpetrator intercepting transactions between two legitimate parties. When remote transactions occur, there will be data in transit between networks – this is when it is most vulnerable. A hacker can intercept that traffic and steal the in-transit data. This is most common when individuals use public Wi-Fi networks, which are typically unsecured.
6. Denial of Service
This form of attack is typically used to provide a gateway through which hackers can launch other types of attacks. It involves overwhelming a computer or network – when this happens, the system in question will be unable to respond to requests in the way it is supposed to. This can open vulnerabilities. According to companies that provide IT support for Healthcare, this type of attack is typically used to overwhelm systems and gain access to sensitive data.