The threat of cyber security affects businesses of all sizes and industry, from the largest corporations to the smallest corner stores. As we move further into the age of internet and cloud computing, our business processes become more efficient than ever before. However, the trade-off is that we leave ourselves more vulnerable to attacks from hackers.
In this article, we’re going to be addressing some of the commonest cyber security vulnerabilities you’ll find in businesses all over the world. By being aware of these, you’ll be able to put the proper countermeasures in place.
Malware is basically software that’s been designed to let hackers gain unauthorized access or corrupt data in a system. There are three main types of malware:
- Ransomware – this kind of malware essentially restricts the owner of the computer from accessing data by encrypting it. A key is needed to decrypt the data, which the hacker refuses to hand over until a ransom is paid. Hence the name ‘ransomware’.
- Worms – worms are basically viruses, meaning that it can self-replicate and jump onto another computer by a variety of methods, including via email.
- Trojans – Trojans mask themselves as legitimate programs, convincing users to install them on their computers. Once installed, the malware then begins to wreak havoc.
It’s best to figure out just how susceptible your business’s IT infrastructure is to malware by working with a reliable cyber security agency. Fortunately, when it comes to network layer penetration testing Australia has plenty of companies that are excellent at it.
A lot of us consider updates annoying as they take sometimes take a lot of time to run. However, updates usually consider fixes that your system desperately needs, including patches that take care of gaps in the security. As a result, un-updated software are always more vulnerable to being hacked than patched ones.
The best solution to this is to run updates as soon as possible. Companies could arrange one day of the week where the IT department scans all softwares for available updates and installs them at once.
Internet of Things devices refer to those with the capability of connecting to the internet. This includes machines like printers, scanners, refrigerators and even coffee machines that are Wi-Fi capable. These devices can be easily hacked by cyber terrorists and kept under control to carry out attacks in the future.
The best countermeasure to this is to carry out routine wireless penetration testing to check the vulnerability of your Wi-Fi and other wireless technology that provide internet around the workplace.
Social engineering is a method of hacking where hackers pose as trusted contact and retrieves sensitive information from unsuspecting employees or get them to download malware. Typically this attack comes in the form of an email supposedly addressed from either a vendor that works with the company or another employee.
For instance, the hacker can pose as someone from the IT department and send an email notifying an employee of suspicious activity from his/her account. The email might include a link for password reset which actually prompts malware to be downloaded onto the computer.
There are different ways you can deal with these form of attacks. Most importantly, employees have to be given proper training in cyber security and made aware of the nature of social engineering. Proper protocol has to be set into place for dealing with such attempts. In addition, you can try installing email virus detection tools and restricting access at different employee levels.
And that’s three weak spots you’ll find in a lot of companies. Being aware of your company’s cyber security vulnerabilities is the first step to countering hacking attempts.