It’s almost impossible to be in business today without being connected to the internet in some way. It’s changed how we do things in almost every way.
But this change has brought new security challenges, too. The FBI Cybercrime Report shows internet crime at an all-time high.
You need to keep up with what’s going on in internet security so you can protect your business from new threats.
Below are seven IT security threats you need to be on the lookout for.
Ransomware is the new kid on the block. It hasn’t been around for very long since it is essentially blackmail.
It took off when cryptocurrency became a thing. It’s easier for the attackers to stay anonymous when asking for payment since there aren’t many cryptocurrencies that have payments you can track.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts all your files. It usually starts with one computer that downloads a file. After that computer is compromised, the malware spreads across the network to anything it finds.
You’ll get a popup on your computers giving instructions for sending payment. If you pay up, the attackers will provide you with a password to decrypt your data.
This entire situation does have a simple fix, though.
All you need to do is back up your data. If you get infected, then run a restore to get your files back.
2. Phishing Scams
Phishing scams have been around for a long time. It’s a scam that doesn’t require access to any of your business hardware.
It works mostly by email. Your employee might receive an email saying that there is some problem with one of their accounts. They need to log in to fix the problem.
Instead of going to the correct website, a phishing email will send your employee to a site on their own server. Once there, they can capture the login information your employee enters.
This information gives the attacker access to the website they are trying to get into.
If the victim uses the same or similar passwords for other things, it can also compromise other accounts you have.
It’s less common, but this scam can also happen over the phone. Make sure you vet any phone calls that ask for your account information.
3. Unpatched Devices
There isn’t a piece of perfect software out there. Developers can’t know every security problem when they release their products.
Over time, hackers will find these problems. That’s why it’s essential to keep all the devices in your business up-to-date.
Make sure you have scheduled updates that keep all your hardware and software running the latest versions.
If you don’t stay up-to-date, hackers can make use of exploits to gain access to your computer systems.
4. BYOD Policies
Our devices have advanced a lot in the past few years. We’re essentially carrying around miniature computers in our pockets.
This also means that your staff will be bringing their own devices into work and connecting to your WiFi. These personal devices represent a risk to your network.
You have a hard time controlling what happens on personal devices. You never know if there is a virus lurking on a phone waiting to spread.
USB drives are another problem. A common method for introducing malware to a company is leaving USB drives laying in the parking lot.
The attacker is expecting that someone will pick up the drive and plug it into their work computer to see what’s on it.
When they do this, a script runs when the computer sees the drive and infects it with malware.
5. Weak Passwords
Passwords are hard to remember. To help with this, people use things that are important to them when making their passwords.
This practice is one of the worst things you can do. If an attacker can learn these things about your staff, then they have a better chance of breaking into their accounts.
Train your staff to use complex passwords wherever possible. They should include one lower case letter, one upper case letter, one special character, and have at least eight characters in their password.
Another option is to use short, memorable phrases as a password.
If your staff needs access to a lot of accounts, then try a password manager. They can generate complex passwords and autofill login forms.
Using this software means you don’t need to remember anything but the master password to the password manager.
Have you ever gotten an email from someone you don’t know with a picture attached?
That isn’t something you want to download. Unfortunately, a lot of people do. This mistake leads to a lot of malware infections.
When you have malware on your computer, it has access to all your files. It can read any private documents, log your keystrokes, and send your information back to an attacker.
To prevent this, you need to have a robust security system installed on your computers. This software can help detect and remove malware from your computers.
It doesn’t matter how secure your business is if you have employees that don’t know how to handle security. Employees are still considered the weakest link when it comes to company security.
You need to train your employees on best practices when they are at work. This means investing in training material for your workers to follow.
Putting security policies in place for your workers to use can also help. If you don’t have any, then they are going to go about their day doing their own thing.
When they have rules to follow, you can help stop a lot of the problems that come with an uninformed staff.
You can also hire an outside company to handle your training and support. Click here to learn more about that.
Don’t Ignore These IT Security Threats
While the internet has made our lives easier, it has also presented us with much more risk. Your connection to the world makes you an easy target for people who want to take advantage of your business.
Make sure you stay on top of these IT security threats, so you don’t fall prey to an attacker.
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