4 security threats businesses are most likely to face today
The methods that cybercriminals use to steal money and data from businesses are always changing. To stay one step ahead of the bad guys, businesses need to take the time to learn about the latest threats and take action to protect themselves. Here are 4 of the biggest security threats businesses are currently facing.
1. Spear Phishing
Many organisations are familiar with phishing, which is a method where criminals send emails pretending to be from a trusted organisation to trick people into sending money or revealing passwords or other data. Spear phishing is a particular type of phishing that can be particularly dangerous. Rather than sending out generic messages to thousands of people, spear phishers target specific individuals or departments within an organisation. By impersonating a specific person within the same organisation, spear phishers trick employees into sending money or data.
Spear phishing is so dangerous because the messages appear to come from trusted people: usually individuals with a lot of authority within an organisation, such as the CEO or CFO. To combat this kind of attack, businesses need to train employees to spot spoof emails. For example, employees can check the sender’s address to ensure the email genuinely comes from within the organisation. They can also contact the supposed source of the email to check it is genuine before sending money or sensitive information.
2. Password Phishing
Another dangerous form of phishing is password phishing. These emails ask recipients to log into a service to verify a transaction, update important details or keep their accounts active. When employees click the link in the email, they are taken to a fake replica of the genuine login page, which steals their password when they enter it in the login box.
One way to fight back against password phishing is to use two-factor authentication wherever possible. This method means that scammers can’t log into sensitive services even if they succeed in stealing passwords. Another option is to use biometric data instead of passwords to verify logins. Educating users to never click links in emails, but rather navigate to the login page by typing the address into their browser, can also help.
The creators of malware are getting smarter. Knowing that most people won’t install software unless they trust its source, malware distributors today impersonate trusted websites and services. They trick users into downloading “security” or “antivirus” software that infects their computer or company network. These malicious programs send stolen data back to the criminals or encrypt data on the user’s computers before asking for a ransom to unlock it.
Businesses can protect themselves through anti-malware software. It is also a good idea to invest in training employees to be suspicious whenever an online service asks them to download and install software.
4. Social Media Attacks
Despite years of warnings, many people still use the same passwords for all their accounts. That means that hackers that succeed in stealing passwords for social media logins can end up getting passwords for corporate networks as well.
To protect a company from the effects of social media hacking, companies can force users to create unique passwords for the company network or use another login method, such as biometric information. Implementing two-factor authentication can also provide protection, as it means that a user’s password is not enough on its own to grant access to the company network.