The ease of using digital assets to manage a business speeds up processes and allows for more opportunities than ever. The downside of that is that hackers, spammers, and other bad actors also leverage these opportunities.
Your company faces digital threats from multiple directions, so it’s important to ensure you have a plan in place to address growing cyber threats.
Today, some of the biggest cyber threats are in the form of ransomware, socially engineered attacks, and zero-day exploits. All of these types of attacks could hurt profits, leak personal or customer information, or cause other problems in your business if you don’t have adequate security to protect against them.
In 2020, for example, research from the FBI shows that the cost of cybercrime topped $2.7 billion. To prevent your business from becoming another unwilling victim to these growing threats, you need to update your cybersecurity to guard against these specific attacks.
Ransomware attacks involve the disabling of computers or related system networks until a specific amount of money has been paid. They may begin with a cyber criminal sending a phishing message or getting access to your systems through another means; then once they’ve gained access, they will encrypt your data so it’s inaccessible.
The number of ransomware attacks targeting businesses in all industries is on the rise. In fact, major beef supplier JBS paid $11 million in a recent ransomware attack in June 2021. The Colonial Pipeline hack is another high-profile attack caused by ransomware that had far-reaching repercussions.
The damage costs associated with ransomware are expected to top $20 billion in 2021.
Socially Engineered Attacks
You’ve probably heard of phishing, where a scammer tries to make their email request look as authentic as possible to deceive you into giving up valuable login or financial information. This is the hallmark of socially engineered attacks, which rely on human nature rather than technology to carry out fraud.
Socially engineered attacks rely on human error, and they often utilize specific information about a person to manipulate them. For example, an attacker may learn the email addresses of employees of a specific company and then message them under the guise of their employer, or a hacker could look at your social media to learn about your interests and then email you pretending to be an organization you’re familiar with.
Once human trust has been used to access a system or share information, cybercriminals use the data they get to access confidential details, to get the person in question to download malware, or to get someone to send them money.
Some of the most common types of these attacks include strategies like:
- Spear phishing, which uses specific information about an individual in a phishing attack
- Scareware, in which the recipient is led to take action based on threats or fake claims
- Pretexting, such as pretending to be a government or bank official before asking for information
- Baiting, like leaving a flash drive filled with malware in a public place
Zero-day exploits take advantage of vulnerabilities in software that are undiscovered by developers, or that have been discovered but not yet fixed. The “zero-day” part of their name comes from the fact that when these vulnerabilities are discovered, they’re already causing a risk, and so the developers have zero days to fix them before they can be exploited.
What makes zero-day exploits problematic as cyber threats is that by their very nature, most people are not aware there’s a problem until the risk has already been present for some time. By the time the attack is discovered, the vulnerability may have already been used for weeks or months to steal information or otherwise disrupt systems.
A recent series of six zero-day exploits from Microsoft was uncovered after hackers had already been using the vulnerabilities to carry out attacks. Adding new software features or making updates could expose users to risks when those options first come out, making these some of the hardest cyber threats to prevent.
Protect Your Business from Cyber Threats
Tolar Systems can help you protect your business from growing cyber threats. As a business owner, you can’t neglect the importance of optimizing your security to protect against emerging technologies.
Don’t spend your time trying to stay ahead of the trends. Instead, partner with a specialized cybersecurity team that will help you protect your company not just today but well into the future as strategies evolve and as new cyber threats emerge.
Contact Tolar Systems for a free consultation to learn how we can optimize your security for the best protection against these cyber threats.