When’s the last time you did a thorough assessment of your business’s cybersecurity? The frequency of a cybersecurity assessment can widely vary based on a series of criteria, such as what type of company it is as well as the size of the company. Leaving the technicalities aside, it’s recommended that small businesses perform a cybersecurity risk assessment at least once a year. Some businesses may test their cybersecurity on a bi-annually, quarterly or even monthly basis depending on their requirements and current finances. While there are many things to take into consideration, a great first step is to educate yourself on some of the most common cyber threats and how to protect against them.
Three Common Cyber Threats
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, phishing is defined as “tricking individuals into disclosing sensitive personal information by claiming to be a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication (e.g., internet web sites).” This can be done a number of ways, but the most common is via email. A bad actor will send out emails to anybody he or she can and usually the email will state that the recipient’s account has been compromised and will contain a link to click on in order to “respond.” For more information on phishing and ways to avoid getting hooked, check out our article “Startling Statistics Show Phishing Scams Are A Top Threat to Businesses.”
This is when a cybercriminal gains access to a system through malware (or malicious software) and uses it to encrypt data or block access to authorized users, who can only regain access by paying a ransom to the hacker. The percentage of ransomware attacks jumped from 37% to 66%, representing a 78% increase over the course of a year. It’s believed that this rise in attacks is spurred by the implementation of the Ransomware-as-a-Service (Raas) model, which lowers the skill level needed to launch an attack using ransomware. With this and many other types of cyber attacks becoming more popular, it’s more important than ever to fortify your business’s infrastructure. You can learn some tips to protect your company from ransomware here.
Not every cyber threat starts with a shady character working in a dark basement. A staggering 82% of breaches involved what is known as the Human Element. This basically means that an overwhelming majority of breaches aren’t strictly caused by a direct attack but rather by simple mistakes made by people working within the affected organization. A solution to this problem comes down to establishing regular training sessions for employees. Keep up with cyber security awareness training so that your employees know what to look for and what to avoid when it comes to cyber threats like the ones mentioned in this article.
Working with a professional managed IT service provider can greatly ease the burden of tracking cyber risk assessments. Not only will they run assessments on your IT infrastructure for you and provide training to your company, but they will also provide 24/7 monitoring of virus software and ensure everything is up to date to keep your business running smoothly and protected from data breaches. Still not sure where to begin? Check out our Cyber Threat Checklist and sign up for a free consultation today and we’ll be happy to guide you in assessing your cybersecurity setup!