While the internet brings convenience, it also makes your digital devices vulnerable to cyber security threats and risks. Cyberattacks could result in reputational and financial damage, regulatory penalties, business disruptions, and lawsuits. Fortunately, there are various preventative measures you can take to protect your organization against cyberattacks. Read on for five cybersecurity threats you should be aware of and how to prevent them.
Phishing refers to the process of trying to get confidential information by pretending to be a legitimate enquirer. Hackers or cybercriminals use various forms of communication, including emails, to reach unsuspecting individuals. The emails often contain suspicious links, which lead to the installation of malware and access to sensitive information once clicked.
To protect your personal and business data, you should be wary of official emails that request disclosure of personal data. Other practical phishing prevention tips include:
- Updating IT equipment
- Investing in relevant security software
- Verifying the legitimacy of suspicious emails and calls by contacting the companies before responding
- Not clicking links when unsure of the authenticity of a message
Malware threats are the most common forms of cyberattacks. Malware refers to malicious software installed in your systems when you click suspicious emails or links. It can self-replicate, obtain private information, limit your access to vital components of your system, and damage your units. To prevent a malware attack, you should:
- Install anti-malware software
- Backup crucial data and files in an offline location
- Conduct regular system inspections and maintenance
- Download software and files from trusted sources
3. Denial of service attacks
A denial of service, also known as Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), is a cyberattack method whereby hackers flood networks, systems, and servers with user traffic. This limits the servers or system’s ability to handle legit requests, and the hosting website could shut down or become unusable for some time. To prevent denial of service attacks, you should identify suspicious traffic and halt access. You could also hire experienced IT professionals to ascertain that your cybersecurity software is in place.
4. Password theft
No matter how secure your password is, unwanted third parties often find ways to guess or steal it, giving them access to sensitive data. There are various ways you could protect your password from theft, including:
- Implementing multi-factor authentication
- Using unique and robust password combinations with at least ten characters
- Using passwordless authentication, including fingerprints and facial recognition
- Investing in a password manager
Ransomware is a type of malware in which a cybercriminal encrypts or locks your data preventing access. The cybercriminal then threatens to publish sensitive data or permanently block access unless they are paid a certain fee anonymously through crypto. To avoid paying hefty ransom fees, you should:
- Install and update an antivirus software
- Backup crucial files and information
- Avoid opening or downloading files or applications from unknown sources
- Contact the relevant authority in case of a security breach
Thanks to the advancements in technology, cybercriminals are developing new and sophisticated ways to access confidential information. Familiarize yourself with the various cybersecurity threats, including phishing scams, malware, ransomware, password theft, and DDOS, and how to prevent them to protect your business.