Cybercrime isn’t a new phenomenon, but recently it is getting much, much worse. This is mostly because the business and personal data that we share is increasing and criminals are developing new ways to steal and use this data for illegal purposes and financial gain.
As businesses rely more on online platforms and digital tools, they are becoming more vulnerable to cyberattacks. And as more people share personal information online, cybercriminals have more opportunities to exploit this data. The financial cost of cybercrime is simply staggering, with data breaches in the UK costing businesses an average of around $3.88 million per breach according to IBM and Ponemon’s Cost of a Data Breach study.
These figures are only going to increase as cybercriminals become more sophisticated.
That said, the cost goes beyond money – cybercrime can also have a devastating impact on people’s lives, safety, and wellbeing. That’s why it’s essential for both businesses and individuals to educate themselves about cybercrime and take steps to protect themselves from becoming victims.
Let’s begin by investigating the top 5 threats and then how we can work together to mitigate them.
The Top 5 Cyber Security Threats
It’s a complete misconception that only larger, more established businesses are at risk from cyber security threats. With this in mind, smaller businesses often attempt to hide behind their size, thinking that they are too small to be a target. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth, however, and what invariably happens is that the ‘little guys’ are hit harder due to their lack of security.
They also tend not to have the resources to recover.
These are the cybercrimes we consider to be a continued threat to businesses of all sizes:
1. Weak Passwords
Top on our list is a threat so easily solved that it’s pure folly that something as simple as your employees using weak or easily guessed passwords can be one of your biggest security threats. It boggles the mind, but there you have it.
Typically, smaller companies may use multiple cloud-based services, each requiring different account logins in order for employees to use and manage the sensitive data and financial information contained within. It makes sense that some people might use the same, easy to remember passwords. But it’s precisely these weak passwords that leads to compromised data.
That’s why we start by raising awareness about the damage weak passwords can cause before recommending business password technology to help employees manage passwords for all their accounts, across multiple devices.
Ransomware is perhaps one of the most lucrative cybercrimes, with 48% of UK organisations hit by ransomware in 2020, according to Sophos. This type of attack involves encrypting company data so that it can’t be accessed, never mind used, until the company pays a ransom to unlock the data. The alternative is to risk crippling themselves with the loss of data.
In case you’re interested, the average remediation cost of a successful ransomware attack on UK businesses came to £746,781 at the time.
Again, because smaller businesses tend not to have great security, they are especially at risk from these types of attacks.
3. Malware Attacks
Third on our list is malware, which is a term used to describe the malicious code that hackers create so that they can gain access to networks in order to steal data or destroy data on computers. These attacks can cripple devices, which are expensive to fix, and give attackers backdoor access to data, which can put your customers and employees at risk.
4. Phishing Attacks
Ah yes, phishing. It’s been around for years and for that reason has lost its edge in the eyes of the public, but in fact, phishing attacks are still the most widespread and the most damaging threat facing small businesses today. Worryingly, phishing has grown more sophisticated and is becoming more difficult to combat.
We have taken great strides to adopt the latest technological defences that are capable of preventing today’s phishing attacks.
5. Threats From Within
Insider threats are a growing problem, where the actions of employees are the risk. This isn’t limited to current employees and can include former employees, business contractors, and associates. Anyone who has and has had access to critical data about your company. It’s worth noting that this internal threat isn’t all down to greedy or malicious actions. It can also be the result of ignorance and carelessness, which is remedied with training and awareness.
Risk Inspired Solutions
Risk assessments are a costly and lengthy, not to mention intensive process and at the end of the assessment you are no safer than prior to beginning the process.
The idea of conducting annual risk assessments is specifically geared towards larger corporations. Your budget may not extend to evaluating the risk, when in reality we all know that the risk is out there. It is far better to partner with a reputable cyber security provider and invest in security measures that are capable of identifying weak spots as they present themselves, combating these issues as they happen.
Talk to us if you would like to get ahead of the risks that are threatening your business and start protecting your livelihood today.