If you’re a business owner today, it’s critical you prioritize cybersecurity to protect your company from an increasing wave of cyberattacks. Cybercriminals took advantage of numerous vulnerabilities that emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic, making 2020 the worst year on record for data breaches, According to Security Magazine.
And small businesses are not immune. In fact, according to Accenture, 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% of those businesses are prepared to defend themselves.
Besides the financial costs businesses can incur from being victimized, they also may face irreparable harm to their reputation, ire from their customers, and even legal implications. For those reasons, it’s important to be aware of current threats so you can put the necessary security measures in place to defend your business against cybercrime. Below are some of the top cyberthreats companies face today:
Ninety percent of data breaches are caused by phishing, making it one of the most dangerous cyberthreats businesses face. Scammers capture sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card numbers by sending out emails that appear as if they have been sent by a trusted person or entity. These emails lure users to click on a link or open an attachment containing malicious code, or direct users to fake log-in pages for popular brand sites that look almost identical to the real thing. Companies have lost a whopping $12 billion due to this popular scamming technique.
Malware (malicious software) is software intentionally designed to damage to a computer, server, client, or computer network. Malware is the usually the result of infected downloads, spam emails or from connecting to other infected hardware and include computer viruses, trojans, spyware, ransomware, adware, worms, file-less malware, or hybrid attacks. Malware is one of the costliest types of cyberattack, because it can actually damage your hardware, requiring expensive repairs or replacements.
Ransomware, which is a type of malware that infects and locks down access to a computer, data, or files until a ransom is paid, has become increasingly popular and damaging over the years. In 2018, damages from ransomware were $8 billion, and this year, they are predicted to reach $20 billion. This cyberthreat can be particularly devastating due to the difficulty in recovering affected data. While some victims pay the ransom, there is no guarantee the hacker will actually restore access to the information.
Social engineering is dependent upon human interaction, so protective technology can’t stop it from happening. Attackers use this technique by playing on people’s emotions, sometimes asking for access to an account or sensitive data to help someone in need, or posing as a coworker or boss in an email or text and asking for login credentials to a work system.
Remember too that employees, former employees, vendors, contractors, or other associated parties can also pose a security risk to your business – either intentionally or through carelessness.
A comprehensive cybersecurity plan is vital in ensuring that companies of all sizes protect their assets, reputation, and their customers’ sensitive data. Make sure you have the necessary technology, policies, and training in place to defend your business from the growing surge of cybercrime.