There are a number of different cyber threats that you need to be both aware of, and actively trying to prevent in your workplace. These range from the classic phishing calls and emails, to increasingly sophisticated attacks using tools like Artificial Intelligence to bypass company data security systems.
Luckily, there are a number of effective methods you can employ to reduce the risk of these attacks on your company systems and data.
This is one of the longest-running forms of cybercrime, and hackers are constantly developing new ways to trick people into revealing sensitive information. Social engineering attacks are reliant on human error, as opposed to badly protected systems and software.
Generally in email form, phishing is the attempt to gain valuable personal information such as bank details, credit card information or system passwords. These scams can be very sophisticated, with information, email addresses and company branding all appearing to be authentic.
Phishing attacks are popular with hackers as they are effective, cheap, and easy to do. With a minimal investment of time and effort, these strategies are low risk but can result in high rewards.
The term malware covers all types of malicious software including viruses, spyware, adware and bots. It’s essentially any kind of software created for the purpose of stealing data or damaging devices and systems.
Ransomware, such as the Petya virus, has the ability to freeze or shut down computers – from a personal device to the servers of an entire organisation. Once this occurs, hackers and cybercriminals can extort money from companies or individuals in return for decrypting the virus and allowing access to devices.
While Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are both useful tools in the fight against cyber threats, they can also be used against us in more sophisticated attacks. AI can be used as a weapon to breach security systems as it permits a face or voice to be superimposed over another, and this allows a hacker access to previously protected data.
Endpoints are generally end-user devices like PCs, laptops and mobile devices. With the use of cloud-based systems, SaaS providers and enterprise networks on the increase, cybercriminals have larger attack surfaces and more vectors to choose from when bypassing security systems. It’s important to note that attacks will begin at the endpoint, even if this device isn’t the actual target.
Cyber attacks are costly events for a number of reasons. Aside from the obvious expenses incurred when repairing your systems and recovering data, you may well be hit with fines and legal costs. On top of this, the time spent rectifying the issue will cause a drop in overall employee productivity, it’s highly likely you will lose customers, and the damage to your company reputation may be irreparable. Recent research shows that cybercrime costs the Australian economy over a billion dollars annually.
Unfortunately, many companies have experienced the negative effects of serious cyber attacks. The good news is there are a number of ways you can prevent these, including:
It’s vitally important that you have effective data security programs and policies in place to protect your business from cyber threats. This means your company data is secure, along with any sensitive information relating to or belonging to customers and clients.
Take a look at our Go1 Information and Data Security pathway. You'll find courses covering everything you need to keep your systems and information protected, from email etiquette and how to handle sensitive data, to guarding against identity theft, phishing and malware attacks.