Hardly a month goes by without news of a major cybersecurity incident affecting thousands of people. And if you keep up with security blogs, you may think that there are just way too many threats to wrap your head around. So, what are the most important security threats you need to prepare for?
Malicious software, such as Trojans, worms, and ransomware, has always been a serious concern for users because new vulnerabilities and variants keep getting discovered.
Take ransomware, for instance. Back in 2017, a fundamental flaw in Windows operating systems allowed self-propagating ransomware WannaCry to plague business networks in 150 countries. Today, there’s a new generation of ransomware, including GandCrab and SamSam, which are even more effective at exploiting weaknesses in outdated software.
What’s worse, there are more malware strains yet to be developed. But no matter how advanced malware threats get, running cutting-edge firewalls and anti-malware, and regularly updating your software are vital. You also need to deploy robust firewalls and threat prevention systems to block potential malware attacks.
Whether it’s because of a cyberattack, ransomware, human error, or disaster, data loss can greatly impact your company’s productivity and bottom line. So unless you want to spend countless hours redoing all the work you lost, backing up your data on an external hard drive and in the cloud is the best thing you can do.
Malware attacks may grab the headlines, but online scams are by far a bigger threat. Most scams are delivered via fraudulent emails (AKA phishing) that dupe you into giving up personal information or downloading malware. Common examples include messages that urge you to check your bank activity by clicking on a link and ads that offer large amounts of cash if you complete a “free” survey.
If you’re thinking there’s no way you’ll fall for such cheap tricks, think again. Scammers prey on a target’s trust by masquerading as a manager, technician, or bank teller. They’ll even design their email to look like the genuine article to increase their chances of success.
To protect yourself against such threats, verify any suspicious emails by contacting the institution or individual directly over the phone. Most companies never ask for personal information via email, so be skeptical of every message, link, or website you encounter. Staying up to date on the latest scams making the rounds can also go a long way in preventing phishing attacks.
The most state-of-the-art cybersecurity framework is useless if you’re constantly putting your systems at risk. Terrible security habits like recycling weak passwords, using the free Wi-Fi in public spaces, and leaving data-bearing devices unattended, give hackers an easy way to infiltrate your systems, which is why you need to be more careful.
At the very least, this means setting long and unique passwords (i.e., never use your last name or birthday as a code ever again) and using a virtual private network (VPN) when connected to public Wi-Fi. You should also enable multifactor authentication to add another layer of security on top of your passwords and prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Finally, consider mobile device management software to not only track your smartphones, but to also wipe them remotely in case one is lost or stolen.
There’s a lot that goes into preparing against the most common security threats, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Red Key Solutions offers simple tricks to keep your systems safe. We also provide a wide array of cybersecurity solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses in New York, so call us today.