Cyberattacks are on the rise, and despite what you may have heard, they aren’t just an issue for large companies. Small companies are targets, too. In fact, a recent study discovered that 43 percent of cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses while only 14 percent of companies are prepared to defend themselves. And the cost of being unprepared can be detrimental for a business of any size with costs ranging from $200,000 to millions depending on the size and type of attack.
This is why it’s important for business leaders to educate themselves regarding the latest hacker trends and find ways to protect their businesses. Interested in learning more? Here are three new ways hackers are causing disruptions for businesses of all sizes in 2022.
Phishing is a way in which cybercriminals attempt to trick people into providing sensitive information such as login credentials, personal information or banking and credit card details. And while the concept of phishing is not new, the methods by which cybercriminals are phishing is constantly evolving. As a result, terms such as “vishing” (voice phishing) and “smishing” (SMS phishing) have become more well-known nomenclature.
The best line of defense businesses may have against phishing, vishing and smishing attempts is to put safeguards into place such as spam filters on e-mail servers and setting up browsers to prevent users from opening fraudulent websites. Businesses should also educate their employees about what to look out for and encourage them to report all suspicious links, attachments, voicemails and text messages.
Ransomware Attacks and Settlements
How much is your company’s sensitive information worth to you and how much would you be willing to pay to prevent it from being leaked? Haven’t considered these questions before? Chances are that a cybercriminal out there already has.
Ransomware attacks aim to either expose or block your access to your company’s most vital information and then — you guessed it — hold it for ransom. Companies are then forced to pay ransomware settlements to protect or gain access back to their own information. And these settlements can cost millions of dollars. Obviously, being forced to pay ransomware settlements is something every company would like to avoid. Luckily, companies exist whose main focus is to detect, prevent and safeguard your company from ransomware attacks.
Another emerging form of disruption at the hands of hackers comes in the form of cryptojacking. Cryptojacking occurs when cybercriminals use ransomware-like tactics to take over employee computers, servers and more to mine cryptocurrencies on their behalf. And while this cyber scam might not be as well known as phishing, so far there have been an average of over 15 million cryptojacking incidents per month in 2022 alone, so it’s definitely worth taking note of.
Not only is the crypto mined often used for nefarious activities, but infected computers and networks will slow down in performance and can also cause huge spikes in electricity costs. Plus, a criminal will see that your company’s security is lackluster, meaning they are likely to launch other malware and ransomware attacks on your system, too. (And don’t forget that being forced to pay ransomware settlements could cost the company millions.)
As technology continues to advance, so will the ways in which hackers find ways to cause disruption for businesses in 2022 and beyond. From phishing to smishing, ransomware to cyptojacking, businesses and their leaders need to stay ever vigilant in understanding hacker trends, educating their employees and relying on the expertise of other companies whose purpose is to help safeguard and prevent these incidents from happening. Of course, the first step in all of this is to take action and do everything possible to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.