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The Top Three Cyber Security Threats Facing your Business and How to Avoid Them

How tight are your business’s cyber security measures? From phishing to ransomware, cyber security threats have evolved rapidly over the last few years, making use of the same technology you probably use to keep your business safe within the cyber security landscape. Knowing which cyber security threats have hit organisations the hardest in the past, and understanding the measures you can take to avoid hacking attacks in the first place, will help your business avoid making the same mistakes when disaster strikes.

Fending off phishing 

One of the most frequent traps businesses fall into, phishing occurs when hackers pose as a fake contact in order to gain your team’s trust, before using your personal data and sensitive information to their advantage. Nearly all of us have been targeted by phishing at some point in time – ever had an email that seems like it could be from your bank, but feels a little off? While some phishing attempts can be easy to spot thanks to spelling mistakes, unofficial email addresses and pixelated logos, hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated in their methods, even going as far as creating fake emails from CEOs to their employees. Handing over sensitive information to the hackers in this way can be devastating for your business, breaching your GDPR compliance and damaging your business’s credibility.

However, there are several ways to keep your business under wraps from phishing attacks. Most importantly, training your team to recognise the signs of unsafe emails and calls will dramatically reduce the number of phishing incidents you come up against. Reminding your team to watch out for unexpected emails, to regularly update their spyware, and to be suspicious of anyone asking for sensitive information are all simple ways you can make sure cyber security is at the forefront of your whole team’s mind.

Staying aware of ransomware 

Remember the wide scale repercussions of the Wanna Cry attack in 2017? Infiltrating a number of high profile organisations, this ransomware worm caused widespread disruption, most notably within the NHS. The enormous impact of this attack shows just how serious the threat of ransomware can be – it’s been reported that Wanna Cry cost the NHS £92 million, with over 19,000 appointments undergoing forced cancellation.

Ransomware is a form of malicious software that infects a computer network, before encrypting files on individual hard drives to make them impossible to access. In the case of the Wanna Cry attack, the ransomware then demanded a ransom payment in bitcoin in order to decrypt the files once more.

Despite the huge negative impact of the Wanna Cry attack, this form of ransomware has made clear the importance of data security within the wider public sphere. A strong encryption program is key to making sure the hackers can’t infiltrate your software; making sure only you have the password to your data, encryption slows down the hackers’ attempt to break in, giving you time to troubleshoot the attack before it becomes a more serious issue.  As well as this, making sure your systems are protected with the latest updates, strong passwords and extensive back up and disaster recovery programs is key to avoiding data loss in the first place, saving you the trouble of dealing with the ramifications of ransomware.

Keeping an eye on your wider network

Did you know the biggest cyber security threat to businesses comes not from outsider threats, but mistakes on the inside of your organisation? Similarly to phishing, a lack of staff awareness when it comes to data security protocols can cause huge issues further down the line. Incidents of data leakage, such as laptops containing sensitive information being left in public, or storage devices being stolen, have created new challenges for cyber security strategists. As flexible working becomes the norm, more and more of the UK workforce are working in cafes, from home or on the commute. This means that rather than focusing your network security strategy within a singular area, it’s crucial that every tablet, mobile phone and laptop being used for work purposes is protected. Taking even the most simple steps to secure your devices will help stop the hackers in their tracks. Placing password codes on your phones, turning off GPS and location tracking, never connecting to unsecure Wifi spots and encrypting every one of your devices will help make sure you and your sensitive information is never caught off guard.

For a expert insights on cyber threats for 2020 and how to combat them, read our Top 20 Cyber Threats for 2020 guide.

Concerned your cyber security isn’t quite up to scratch? Our friendly team of dedicated engineers will be there to help you find the most fail-safe security solutions for your business, no matter how unusual your requirements. Give us a call to chat about developing your network security strategy today.


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