There’s nothing like an impending midnight hack to give you sleepless nights. Although the hardware and software that drives modern businesses has enabled massive jumps in productivity while driving down costs, there’s still a lot to consider to ensure your whole IT infrastructure doesn’t find itself a victim of hacking.
If a hack does occur, your whole company, from the showroom floor to the boardroom, could eat itself from the inside out. That’s why it’s imperative to see cybersecurity as another division in your workplace, rather than just a simple IT issue. But what are the biggest threats to your business? Whether it’s small or large, Management Today tracked 10 threats that could cripple you and your business:
1. Network infiltration
The basis for many high-profile attacks, it involves exploiting weaknesses in software, systems, hardware or staff to gain privileged access to servers and workstations. There are many ways to hack your network and cyber-security experts will tell you that it’s not a matter of if you get hacked – but when.
Notable for being the one cyber-attack that goes out of its way to advertise itself, ransomware only hides for as long as it takes to encrypt your files. Then it launches a big banner proclaiming your new status as its victim.
And get this:
Ransomware creators are noted for their excellent “customer” service. Their business model relies on teaching the victim how to do something that they probably haven’t done before: purchase bitcoins. They often include tutorials and even videos detailing each step.
3. Trojan horses
This is a class of attack in which a harmful payload is hidden inside another ‘beneficial’ program. Once downloaded, they will often ask for administrator rights on your device, enslave your machine and open a connection to the internet and attempt to connect to a command and control server.
Dressed up as an email from a trustworthy source, it can appear to come from someone the person knows such as a friend or colleague or a bank or government agency and attacks your staff by luring them into giving away passwords and other sensitive information.
5. Zero-day vulnerabilities
All software packages are thought to have vulnerabilities, and responsible developers patch them as quickly as they can once they become aware of them. However:
Malicious researchers, sometimes called black hats, don’t disclose vulnerabilities when they discover them because hidden vulnerabilities are valuable. Zero-days – so-called because developers have zero days to respond to them – are traded by criminal groups and even nation states for up to half a million dollars in some cases. Having a professional on your side, one who can detect and prevent threats in a timely manner is increasingly imperative to your online lifestyle – both at work and as an individual.