Common cyber security threats your business should be aware of


The nature of cyber security is complex, so with the constant challenges that present as a small business, staying across everything can be difficult. It can be easy to de-prioritise potential cyber security threats if they aren't directly impacting you, but a lack of understanding of current threats and the strategies to minimise them puts your business at risk.

Luckily, the first step isn’t so challenging. With awareness of the current cyber security landscape, you are better positioned to defend your business, data and people. Discover the top security threats you and your staff should be aware of.  

4 cyber security threats to keep an eye out for

By understanding the security threats you’re most likely to face, you can stay aware and prepared, while knowing what to do to protect your business better.

1. Phishing

Phishing is one of the most common types of cyber attacks. This is when you are sent an email or text from a sinister source masquerading as someone you know and trust. As an attack method, phishing attempts are so popular because of how much simpler it is to trick someone into clicking a link over breaking through a computer’s defences. Luckily though, they are simple to prevent.

How can you defend against phishing?

  • Validate any communications from a trusted organisation (e.g. bank or supplier) through a trusted contact method.
  • Confirm details in the message against the official website or phone number. Avoid contact details or links within the message itself.
  • Educate your staff on the risk so they know what to look for and can help prevent the attack.

2. Ransomware

When attackers use ransomware, they flood your systems with malicious software that prohibits you from accessing your systems and files until a ransom is paid. Using the power of encryption, ransomware will take your files hostage, impacting the continuity of your operations since you can’t access critical documents, spreadsheets, photos and videos, and other important data. An infected device can also spread the ransomware to others on the network.  

How can you defend against ransomware?

  • Back up your important data frequently.
  • Establish automatic updates for your operating systems, software and apps.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication where you can.
  • Assess the security of your secure devices (including your servers) and other services that use the internet.

3. Personal devices

In the modern workplace, it is becoming more common for employees to use their personal devices (like laptops, tablets, and smartphones) to access company information and applications. While this is great for convenience, it increases the risks of viruses, hacking, data leaks, and other breaches. Essentially, any device accessing your data becomes an access point for hackers to target.  

How can you defend your personal devices?

  • Implement controls on which apps can access your data
  • Ensure company data is deleted from devices during offboarding.
  • Utilise security solutions that help protect your devices against threats.

4. Sensitive data

Your data isn’t the only thing on the move. With the rise of remote and hybrid working, devices are in motion more often. That makes it easier for things to get lost or left behind, putting your sensitive company information at risk. Imagine a laptop gets stolen, or a phone is left in a taxi. What happens to the business data or customer records the devices hold?

How can you defend your sensitive data?

  • Implement access controls for digital files and folders.
  • Prohibit password sharing between staff.
  • If an employee leaves or you switch providers, remove access, delete accounts, and reset passwords.

Optimise your organisation's cyber defences  

With so many other responsibilities on your plate, handling IT is a big job for small or medium-sized business leaders. Luckily, there are security solutions that can help. When implemented, you can significantly reduce the chances and impacts of common cyberattacks that target your business.

And when your security responsibilities are handled, you have the freedom to devote your attention to growth, innovation, and customer service.

Get your cyber security sorted

Find out if your small business is appropriately protected with a complimentary cyber security audit. Register today for an examination of your IT infrastructure and assessment of your vulnerabilities, so you can implement cyber security strategies and solutions that bolster your defences and reduce your risk of compromise.

Register today.

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