9 Top Cyber Security Risks for Businesses

A host of new and evolving cyber security threats is keeping businesses and the information security industry on high alert. A survey conducted by the World Economic Forum shows that cyber attacks are the number one concern for executives in Europe and other developed nations. Today, cyber terrorists don’t just hack emails.

They can take down entire websites, steal sensitive information or corrupt entire databases with just a click of a button. From healthcare institutions to government facilities and online stores, no business industry is exempted from this challenge.

Now more than ever, it is important to be proactive in understanding the cyber security risks we face and also learn how to protect our businesses – large or small.

Here are the top cyber security risks for business today.

Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks use deception to exploit social interactions to gain access to valuable data. The criminals behind these attacks manipulate employees or associates into disclosing sensitive information or bypassing security measures. Social engineering attacks are on the rise and unfortunately, even the best cyber security systems cannot reliably stop them. The best defence is to educate your employees on the importance of following laid out protocols and to always be on the lookout for out of the ordinary conversations.

Third-Party Exposure

Many retailers use third parties for services such as payment processing. Unfortunately, using a third party vendor does not absolve you from the responsibility of a data breach on the vendor. Even if an attack originates from a third party, you are still liable and are legally required to notify regulators and your clients not to mention that the fines and penalties are very steep.

Patch Management

This is how many attacks start – outdated software. If you are not up to date with software patches, your company is severely vulnerable to any number of information security breaches. Attackers are actively looking for software vulnerabilities they can attack.

Cloud Vulnerabilities

Cloud services are now an essential tool for businesses of all sizes. However, this reliance on cloud services exposes businesses to a wide range of cyber-attacks including denial of service attacks (DoS) and account hijacking. No technology is completely safe from vulnerabilities and so a holistic approach is important in protecting organisations – including taking up insurance as a part of a cyber-risk management plan.

Ransomware

These attacks infect your network and hold your computer systems and data hostage until a ransom is paid. On top of the ransom, the business loses productivity and its brand image is severely damaged. Attacks like these have put 60% of companies out of business within six months of the attack. Mistaking Compliance for Protection

Meeting the adequate legal data compliance standards is not a substitute for robust cyber protection. It is not enough to meet the legal standards. Take proactive steps towards protecting your data as pertains to your operations. Legal guidelines are not tailored to specific operations and thereby are not sufficient.

Mobile Security Threats

Although mobile technology is a valuable technology, it can also expose you to potential cyber security breaches. Many organisations are now facing such breaches with most of them coming from malicious Wi-Fi and malware.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Policies

Cloud services have allowed businesses to cut down on capital investments and to adopt solutions like the bring your own device trend. While this has been shown to increase convenience, flexibility, productivity and even morale, it also leaves businesses exposed to cyber security breaches. This is because personal devices can be easier to hack than company devices thereby giving attackers an opening to compromise data and breach networks. It is therefore important for you to review these policies and ensure that all your employees are adequately trained to minimise this risk.

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT uses the internet to connect devices from all over the world. This allows for a network of devices that can send, receive and store data which gives individuals and businesses a lot of convenience. However, hackers can exploit this internet connectivity to steal data.

Outdated Hardware

Not all cyber security threats result from software. As hardware becomes obsolete it cannot support newer and more secure security measures which puts company data at risk. Therefore, it is important to monitor your devices and replace or upgrade devices that are out of date.

Additional Measures You can take to Protect Your Business from Cyber Security Threats

  • Identify risks related to cyber security
  • Establish cyber security governance
  • Develop oversight procedures, policies and processes
  • Identify and mitigate risks associated with remote access and funds transfer
  • Define and address risks associated with third parties and vendors
  • Have the ability to detect unauthorised activity

Cyber security threats are not slowing down. In any case, they are only becoming more complex and devastating. It is therefore imperative that business have to take active steps in protecting their data and networks through holistic measures anchored by a cyber-risk management plan. At AdEPT, we help businesses deploy a wide range of security measures including firewalls, end point security, BYOD policies and even cloud security policies and to make cyber security measures as intuitive as possible. We also deploy behavioural analytics and industrial grade encryption to protect you but we strive to make sure that all processes are and intuitive. Contact us today to learn more about our cyber security services.

Written by Sami Malik

Marketing Campaigns Manager