Cybersecurity for Businesses: The Types of Cybersecurity Threats Companies of All Sizes Face

A variety of cyberthreats place businesses of all sizes and in numerous industries at risk. While it was once possible to get by with a small IT team, greater expertise is now needed for today’s most urgent concerns. Without prompt action, businesses can suffer phishing, malware, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and more.

Today’s greatest cybersecurity threats can lead to compromised data, which, in addition to being extremely costly, may destroy the sense of trust that businesses work so hard to establish with key customers and clients. Comprehensive security is critical for keeping attackers at bay.

What Causes Today’s Most Damaging Security Incidents?

Many factors can be blamed for modern hacking fiascos. Some are easier to address than others. Chief among them:

  • Lack of training, both among IT employees and other staff members who may inadvertently open compromised emails or access unsecured networks.
  • Overworked IT departments, which, even if properly trained, may simply lack the time or resources needed to address emerging threats.
  • Poorly planned IT initiatives, which could include installing new software without proper security settings or adopting updated user controls despite failing to build the necessary foundation.

These concerns are alarmingly common, but if they are prioritized, businesses can dramatically reduce the risk of suffering the most devastating attacks.

Which Cyberthreats Are Most Common – And Most Dangerous?

Cyberthreats can take many forms. Several of the most notable concerns have plagued business owners for years. But while their basic structure has remained fairly stable over time, clever adaptations often allow hackers to target their victims more effectively. Hence, the importance of using comprehensive protocols to shield against the following types of cybersecurity attacks:

Phishing

Phishing involves fraudulent efforts to gain access to sensitive data. The practice is on the rise, and yet, many employees remain completely clueless about this threat and how it can be avoided. According to Proofpoint’s 2020 State of the Phish report, just 49 percent of United States workers can accurately define phishing. Unfortunately, the report also reveals that 65 percent of U.S. organizations suffered phishing attacks in 2019, with many resulting in the significant loss of data, and, in several cases, major financial damage.

Malware

Malware refers to any software that intentionally damages devices, servers, or networks. Common types of malware include:

  • Viruses
  • Worms
  • Trojans
  • Adware
  • Ransomware
  • Spyware

Malware is far more prevalent than most people realize. Chances are, you or someone you know is using an infected device or network at this very moment.

While malware is far from new for businesses and consumers, it has become that much more common with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), which offers numerous opportunities for hackers to target vulnerable devices. Another key trend worth noting is that attackers increasingly prefer to focus on businesses over consumers, as revealed in the Malwarebytes State of Malware report for 2019.

Ransomware

A specific type of malware known to cause major financial damage, ransomware locks down systems and impedes access until the target gives in and pays a hefty ransom. Victims may feel like they have no choice but to pay up – but in doing so, they actually invite the potential for follow-up ransomware attacks. Infection often occurs as a result of phishing, with nearly half of respondents from the aforementioned State of the Phish report referencing ransomware attacks related to 2019 phishing incidents.

Brute Force Attacks

Trial and error may not be the most viable strategy for schoolwork, but in the world of cybercrime, it often pays off in the form of successful brute force attacks. Essentially, these attacks involve guessing passwords and codes until one finally works.

Poor password protection is often to blame for brute force success. Such attacks are far more difficult to carry out when accounts are protected by complex, frequently altered passwords – or better yet, by two-factor authentication.

DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial of service attacks occur when multiple sources flood servers with requests. This destroys the flow of traffic and makes it impossible for businesses to engage with customers or clients.

While DDoS attacks cause significant damage for a variety of businesses, they are especially harmful in eCommerce, where ensuing customer dissatisfaction can ultimately destroy reputations. Even brief attacks can prove devastating, but data from Kaspersky Lab suggests that incidents lasting over an hour are on the rise.

The sheer variety of modern attacks can make even basic cybersecurity protections feel overwhelming. However, awareness is critical. Often, the most lethal attacks can be prevented with simple efforts such as password protection. Other security measures can be implemented by third-party providers, who can also offer training and recommendations personalized based on the needs of modern consumers and businesses.

Working with NerdsToGo – One of the Top Cybersecurity Companies

The sooner you get real about the many cybersecurity threats your business faces, the better. Once you acknowledge your vulnerability, you can take advantage of expert business IT services.

Don’t hesitate to seek help from NerdsToGo. We offer a wide variety of IT solutions for businesses in several industries. Top services include security patches, firewall installation, remote data monitoring, and data backup – and these only scratch the surface.

No matter the nature of your current cybersecurity concerns, you can count on our talented team of Nerds. Contact us today to learn how we can help you implement cybersecurity best practices for businesses or to schedule a cyber risk assessment.