There are so many things we do in our lives today that are based online. From banking to shopping, or checking restaurant menus and monitoring the children’s activities at school, we have grown dependent on the World Wide Web and it isn’t going to change anytime soon. However, with online technology going through rapid innovation, cybersecurity threats are also becoming more advanced and almost impossible to combat.
To prove, data breaches in recent years have been prevalent, beating the cybersecurity measures of big companies like Equifax, JP Morgan Chase, Yahoo, eBay, and so much more. According to CNBC, the estimated global cost of cybercrime already added up to around $600 Billion in 2017!
“The cost of damage brought about by cybercrime continues to mount up every year. Pundits suggest that the world will see an estimate of $6 Trillion per year of damages caused by cybercrimes.”
What’s more appalling than the losses, though, is the cost of recovering from a cyber-attack. While the damage is big, the amount you need to get back up is even higher.
Recovering from a cyber-attack may require around $5 million.
For small businesses, this is not just a huge amount but something they couldn’t possibly afford. While they can be wiped out with a smaller bill than the big enterprises, a major cyber-attack from botnets, malware, Trojans, ransomware, or worms can cause their whole business to fail.
In fact, it’s estimated that 60% of small businesses attacked in a major cybercrime go out of business shortly after.
That’s how scary it can become when you neglect a small cyber threat. As soon as you detect malware on one of your computers, act at once to stop it from spreading to your whole network. Who knows how hackers can outsmart you and how much damage they will cause.
However, prevention is better than cure. Set up a firewall and use the latest versions of antiviruses too. Plan your IT Security and Cyber Security measures well.
Also, knowing what you are defending your business form can help you come up with the most efficient strategies to prevent cybercrimes. So to help you out, we listed 5 of the scariest cyber threats posing danger to our world today.
Common Cyber Threats of 2019
Most of us are familiar with hacking, but we don’t know how they are carried out. Their methods are real cyber threats.
Like we mentioned earlier, hackers know how to take advantage of technology too. They use it to create unbeatable or unidentifiable malware so they can penetrate through your firewall. So it isn’t safe anymore to simply rely on firewall technology. You need to know what threats are there and how they’re different from each other so you can come up with preventive measures appropriate for each.
Here are 5 of the most common but also the most dangerous of them:
Botnets are invisible and they often go undetected. Hackers use software robots to make an army of infected computers called zombies. Once an army has been set up, hackers can now be in control and spread all kinds of malware to your whole network that can greatly affect your operations.
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) Attack
One of the many attacks that zombie computers can do on your network is the DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service. In simpler terms, your system won’t be able to carry on its usual tasks due to overloading.
Zombie computers will continuously send information to your server until it’s already full and could no longer work on the legit requests. The worst it can do is to shut down your server completely, causing you to go offline until you wipe out the botnets creating zombie computers. Consequently, your business will see huge losses from being offline.
All these three attacks are frauds that aim to take information from you or spread malware to your computer by tricking you to open a link that leads to a dummy website. This dummy website may look like the original one but when you check the URL, you are being redirected to a suspicious page.
Hackers make it look so real that you are being redirected without you knowing. Sometimes, they take over a website that gets a lot of visitors and plants a virus so that all of its guests will be automatically redirected to their malicious page.
Connecting to public Wi-Fi is no longer safe. Hackers set up a public network near parks, restaurants, hotels, or even at the malls and from there, they steal information of those who connect to it. If you happened to connect a company laptop while on a trip to this kind of network, then your data in unprotected folders, as well as your business and financial accounts, are at risk.
Social Engineering is almost similar to spoofing in the sense that they trick internet goers, but the difference is they pose as a system administrator and urge you to change your password by following the link they sent to you.
This has been an issue of many banks this year. There are those who send emails that look legit with logos, numbers, and names that won’t even make you think that it’s a fake. They can tell you that they are receiving the email to warn them about a hack that just happened in their system so you are prompted to change your password. This is how they steal your identity and your money from your account.
This technique is already being used to hack an organization’s system too.
Standing Up to the Threat
Although cyber threats have grown on such a large scale this year and the methods have changed, some of our traditional ways of preventing cybercrimes are still proven effective. That includes using strong passwords on all folders in your local drives, installing an antivirus and making sure that it’s updated, and having a firewall.
The newer tools and strategies serve as backups to further strengthen your IT security. Here’s a simple plan to level up your IT security:
Thanks to the efforts of IT specialists as well as innovators and software developers, these cyber threats face stronger opponents.
Continue using antivirus but move beyond it too
Antivirus software still has a vital role in IT security. Along with the firewall, your antivirus is more of a preventive measure.
Every malware that successfully goes through your firewall should be blocked by your antivirus. It should be able to determine the threats that are trying to enter your computer and wipe it off before it grows stronger.
Hence, you should invest on paid antiviruses because they are always more accurate at detecting threats and more effective at cleaning malware.
Take one of the latest methods of IT Security
Organizations just won’t let hackers win the battle. Of course, they came up with other solutions to stop any threat from causing damage to their assets.
Some of the latest security techniques used today include:
- Multiple authentications
- Biometrics access
- Hardware authentication
- Encryption and tokenization
- Cloud Security
- Deep Learning
- Behaviour Analytics
If you’re a small business that can’t afford biometrics or hardware authentication technology, you can always resort to multiple authentications which is hard to beat by hackers.
No matter how smart a hacker is, there is always something he can’t still online. That is hardware that’s in your possession. You can use multiple authentication processes that would require a password, code verification and hardware authentication like an ID or a QR on your cellphone to access a file or a network.
Keep everyone in your organization informed
Planning is always useless if you don’t educate your whole team about your IT security process. Conduct training and carry out SOPs on accessing and using sensitive data.
Apart from that, your IT department should always be up-to-date on the latest cyber threats and how to control or mitigate them so when the danger happens to you, they’ll know what to do.
Define the roles of each member
Not everyone needs access to your sensitive data. For instance, those in the HR department don’t need data used by your IT specialists. That said, keep your files organized and give access to these corresponding resources only to authorized people. This will lessen the chance of inside attackers to inflict harm to your network.
There is now what we call cybersecurity insurance. In recent years, it has grown popular and many companies are now taking advantage of it to protect them against financial risks when they fall victim of a cybercrime.
Cybersecurity insurance won’t actually compensate you for your loss but they will send you damage-limitation specialists to contain and stop further damage.
Keeping your IoT devices safe from cyber threats can be a tedious task but it’s not impossible to be threat-free. Invest in IT and cybersecurity well to protect your assets. As you know, cybercrimes can now be scarier than the crimes committed in the physical world. They can break through your walls silently without you knowing that you are already a victim.