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The Most Dangerous Online Threats Businesses Should Prepare For

by Mic Johnson

With every business resorting to online operations today, the threat of working across digitized platforms has increased by multifold. In today’s high-tech and data-driven world, every business is susceptible to cybersecurity threats that can result in financial loss, data breach, and a loss of credibility. To cope with such incidents, you must be aware of the online threats that most companies are exposed to today.

Here are a few online threats that your business must be prepared for.

1.     Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware attacks are one of the most common online threats that most businesses are exposed to. Hackers retrieve your data, encrypt it, and get back to you with a ransom demand. In most cases, you must provide the demanded cash amount. Most companies that have fallen into this trap in the past never got their data back. If your computer system is outdated, you are highly susceptible to a ransomware attack. In extreme cases, such attacks can even put you out of business, which is why you must be extra careful.

2.     Cyberstalking and Hacking

Cyberstalking and hacking are other common online threats that victimize major businesses. However, with time, hackers realize that smaller companies can be targeted due to poor cyber management. At times, cyber stalkers and hackers can go to lengths to retrieve confidential data, resulting in a data breach. Some of the most common cyberstalking methods and tricks include crawling into confidential meeting rooms, websites, social networking sites, instant messenger, and interactive portals through surveillance. To avoid cyber stalking and hacking, try to keep information to yourself and share it with your employees when you meet face-to-face.

3.     Insider Threats

At times, your employees, former partners, phony associates, or business contactors can leak confidential data online, which can lead to a major financial and critical loss. If you are too careless or ignorant, you may overlook such phony employees who can access extremely confidential data and use it against you. Such employees often use malice to demand a cash amount in return. Do not give your employees access to every account, especially those that are not needed. Educate your organization about security awareness and encourage reporting upon noticing any suspicious activity.

4.     Unwanted or Scam Emails

You may get several unwanted or scam emails on your official email address, which can be from hackers who send viruses to access your device. Upon opening a hostile link, a virus may infiltrate your device, which can result in a data breach. Some emails alert you of such scam emails by flashing a warning sign. In some cases, you may also be directed to a fishy website where you will be asked to feed your login credentials. Beware of such sites and do not enter your details unless the site is verified. To protect your data and avoid falling to such schemes, make sure that your software is updated to the latest version. If you feel that the email is even slightly fishy, delete it right away.

5.     Use of Weak Passwords

Needless to say, the use of weak passwords gives rise to data breaches. Hackers can easily crack weak passwords across various accounts that are interlinked. Every cloud-based service is configured with different accounts, which contain important data related to your company’s financial performance, account details, and confidential proposals. 

Educate your employees about the use and threat of using weak passwords or using the same password over and over again. The passwords used shouldn’t be shared across multiple channels too. You can take professional help from companies that adhere to Multi-Factor Authentication technologies, as advised by the consultants from Netconsulting.co.uk, that suggest strong passwords and multiple-step authentication. This adds layers of protection around sensitive data and reduces the chances of data breaches.

6.     Phishing Attacks

Many confuse phishing with hacking, which leads to a more laid back attitude and keeps them from taking stricter measures. While hacking is gaining access to sensitive information that is intended to protect from others, phishing is attacking a trusted source to squeeze out confidential data by baiting the user and forcing them to surrender. The sensitive information is often related to personal identity and financial data such as name, passport number, credit card details, or important passwords that protect company data. With time, phishing attacks are becoming increasingly common. In fact, they have grown by a whopping 65% in two years.

As a business owner, you must also ensure that valuable information is not overshared across various platforms as it can lead to data breaches. You must stay ‘cyber aware’ to prevent such malicious acts and protect your company’s financial status and integrity. Hire professional services that provide extra protection to your systems and teach you ways to be extra careful.

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