Of all the cybersecurity threats out there for your business to contend with, there are going to be a few of them that are just more likely to impact you than others. That’s just a statistical reality. Fortunately, these threats can be addressed, so let’s discuss how you can do so.
It should be seen as no surprise that phishing—a form of social engineering that uses subterfuge to extract data, credentials, and other important information from its targets—is a serious threat. Not only can it be carried out through a variety of communication methods, there is no shortage of tactics that phishers can use to trick their targets. This flexibility makes it all the more challenging for businesses to resist phishing attacks.
Challenging, however, is much different than impossible. A critical aspect of protecting your business from phishing is simple awareness. Ensuring your team is knowledgeable of the risks that phishing poses and trained to mitigate the risk of this attack vector is critical.
On a closely related note, ransomware has continued to be a serious threat that no business can overlook, either in terms of its severity or its popularity. By locking a business out of its data (or even its entire network) and demanding a payment for its return and/or the cybercriminal not leaking it, this particular form of malware has been utilized to great effect over the past few years to take advantage of businesses to the tune of millions upon millions of dollars.
So, how is ransomware so closely related to phishing? It’s simple: because ransomware needs to gain access to a business’ resources in order to encrypt them, phishing attacks are commonly used by cybercriminals to get this access. Therefore, understanding the dangers of phishing becomes even more important, as does knowing how to address ransomware properly (here’s a hint: make sure you have a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery strategy prepared).
Taking a step back from ransomware for a brief moment, let’s consider all the other examples of malware out there that can and do impact businesses of all shapes and sizes. Viruses and other nasty malicious software (which is where the term malware comes from) can have a variety of influences on a business and its processes. As a result, it is important to have every defense in place to minimize the chance of malware being able to have this influence. Things like firewalls, antivirus software, and good old-fashioned employee training and awareness will go a long way toward this goal.
Unfortunately, it can sometimes be your team members that are the most direct cause of your cybersecurity challenges—intentionally or not. Regardless of their intentions or motivations, it is important that you have the safeguards in place that can minimize the risk that your insiders pose. Things like access controls and permissions based on the rule of least privilege are all invaluable to this goal. While you want to be able to trust your team members, of course, trusting them doesn’t mean you need to leave yourself vulnerable.
Finally, we need to address the issues that are so common amongst passwords and the habits people have gotten into where they are concerned. Too many of them are woefully inadequate, unfortunately, meaning that anything protected by them really isn’t.
For this reason, it is critically important that you reinforce the importance of sufficient passwords with your team, ideally while giving them the resources to assist them in using them, like a password manager.
One Up Solutions Northwest can help you resolve all of the above, so make sure you reach out to us to take advantage of our expertise. Give us a call at (503) 278-5011 to learn more.