With the remote work trend and computerized systems gaining immense popularity, businesses and individuals are constantly focusing on cybersecurity practices, more now than ever.
If you think your business has little to no risk of getting exposed to these attacks because it’s a small-scale company, you couldn’t be more wrong. According to Astra Security, 700,000 small companies became attackers’ victims in 2020, costing $2.8 billion in loss. If a small business is exposed to a ransomware attack, there’s a 51% chance they will pay the asked price to recover the data.
These stats clearly show the importance of implementing cybersecurity practices for businesses of all sizes. Here are the 10 most common cybersecurity threats businesses must watch out for in 2023.
1. Business Email Compromise
A hacker can make a few tweaks to the authentic email address and request an employee in your organization to transfer funds to their bank account. The entire procedure is executed over email. The attacker compromises your business’ email to monitor all emails you receive and the payment system your company follows.
They will, then, impersonate an authentic user from your firm to request a payment transfer to their account. Recovering from a business email compromise is tough, especially if the hacker has stolen money. Multi-factor authentication, strong passwords, and a strict identity verification process are a few ways to prevent this attack.
Phishing is the most common cyber threat that’s disrupted organizational workflow for many companies—small, medium, and large. It’s a type of social engineering attack where the hacker gains unauthorized access to your confidential information, like login details or bank account information. They might trick users into revealing this data by sending a malicious link over email or SMS.
The moment you click on it, you are redirected to a malicious website that will get quick access to your private data. Educating your employees about these attacks and implementing robust authentication tools can mitigate the risk of phishing to some degree, but it’s best to hire a specialized IT help desk team to manage the risk of such attacks.
Cyber attackers have infected multiple devices with malware in the past. Malware is malicious software, which gives hackers easy access to a company’s private network. They can view and control your network remotely without your knowledge.
In most cases, businesses remain unaware of the malicious codes running on their system until a serious loss or damage to the organization occurs. Keeping your security software and network up-to-date with the latest technology can mitigate the risks of these attacks, but for comprehensive protection, a firewall is a must.
4. Insider Threats
Verizon’s data Breach Investigation report shows that 25% of attacks are from insider threats. No one has as much access to your business’s confidential data as your employees. Dissatisfied employees or greedy ones might plan a cyber-attack on your organization by leaking the data to third parties or those who can misuse it to destroy the company’s reputation.
5. Remote Network Vulnerabilities
It’s been continuously advised to not use public Wi-Fi or connect to an unsecured network at random places. Attackers can use the network’s vulnerability to their advantage and may gain access to your system. Even the network at home is vulnerable to attacks because of the lack of security and technical expertise. Working with a dedicated IT service provider who can remotely manage your systems seems the most reliable way to prevent these attacks.
The ransomware attacks were on the rise in 2020. With a majority of land-based businesses closing and eCommerce sales becoming a new norm, attackers got a golden opportunity to conduct ransomware attacks. We saw a massive spike (148%) in ransomware attacks during the pandemic. It continued in 2021. Now, it’s expected to be one of the biggest cyber threats in 2023.
An attacker can deploy malware into your system, which restricts your access to the company’s sensitive data. You need to pay a ransom to retrieve the locked-up data or the attacker threatens to leak it to the public. The worst part is that there’s no guarantee the hacker will give you access to your database back after receiving the ransom.
7. Data Exfiltration
An attacker can copy or transfer data from your company’s devices to unsecured networks. The only way to avoid data exfiltration is by installing firewall programs that monitor incoming and outgoing traffic regularly. Knowing who’s accessing your network is key to protecting your system from such attacks.
8. Social Engineering
Attackers may sometimes build employees’ trust in them by creating fake profiles or impersonating a famous person. They use their relationship with the employees to gain unauthorized access to the company’s network and breach their security.
Phishing is a common example of social engineering attack, but an attacker can conduct it in different ways. Auditing, monitoring your security protocols, and using strong passwords and verification methods are some effective ways to prevent social engineering attacks.
9. Man-in-the-Middle Attack
MitM is another common type of cyberattack, in which the attacker might intercept messages transferred between two parties. This can be a conversation between two businesses or individuals. It may contain sensitive data which, if revealed to the attacker, can cause significant damage to the company’s image. Using encryption technology to hide the information shared between two devices is the best way to avoid MitM attacks. It ensures that only the recipient can decode the message.
10. Brute-force Attack
Finally, an attacker can use an automated password-cracking algorithm to test different combinations of passwords until they log into the user’s private accounts. Fortunately, you can prevent brute-force attacks by implementing a stringent password policy, two-factor authentication, and account locked method.
Criminals have started using sophisticated practices and intelligent tools to conduct cyber-attacks, which often result in significant losses for businesses. These were only a few security problems that pose a serious threat to a business’ security. As technology is progressing, attackers are finding new ways to steal sensitive data and perform security breaches.