Cyber crime will cost the world $6 trillion in damages per year by 2021. It will be more profitable than the global trade of all illegal drugs combined. As it becomes more lucrative for cyber criminals, the intensity and planning of attacks will go up.
Current cyber security issues need extreme vigilance. Read on for 3 of the most common cyber threats and what you can do to protect yourself from these malicious attacks.
76% of surveyed organization experienced phishing attacks in 2017. We’ve all seen those emails come in. Whether from a purported wealthy businessman looking to offer you a risk-free investment or a Nigerian Prince who will pay for his liberation.
Phishing is a form of theft con artists use to try to gain confidential information such as credit card numbers and passwords.
How can these cyber security threats be prevented? The best way is to educate your employees. Hold frequent, mandatory training sessions.
Learning to identify phishing emails is your best line of defense.
Make a procedure for employees to follow if they come across suspicious links or emails. Remind staff that they should never provide personal information via email. No reputable company asks for this information by email.
2. Spear Phishing
Spear phishing, as the name implies, is targeted phishing. The malicious email looks like it comes from a friend, co-worker or business you often work with.
The average cost of a phishing attack is $1.6 million for a medium-sized organization. Spear phishing can be prevented by user vigilance.
It can be extremely difficult to spot a fake email from the CEO. Scammers use the correct email signature, logo and even try to impersonate the person’s tone of voice. Remind your employees that if a request seems out of the ordinary, they should check with the sender (preferably by phone).
Train your staff to always take a moment to double check links before clicking. If you hover over an email link the website address will appear. If the URL is to an unknown destination, don’t click.
Ransomware is a kind of software that holds your data hostage until you pay money (or ransom) to regain access.
Top hackers encrypt your data so you cannot access it. The main way that these criminals install this malicious software is through links and email attachments.
You should always have a current disaster recovery plan. This should include backing up your data regularly and securing your backups.
Protect yourself by only downloading software from trusted sites. Ensure that patches and updates are installed for your OS, all software, and firmware. This includes Adobe Flash and web browser updates.
Make sure that anti-virus and anti-malware scans are frequently done. These preventative measures must always be up-to-date.
Another thing you can to protect yourself from cyber security threats is to disable macro scripts for emailed files. You may want to use Office Viewer software to open files instead of Word, Excel and so on.
It’s wise to place restrictions in common ransomware locations such as temporary folders.
Final Thoughts on Cyber Threats
Cyber threats are becoming more prevalent and are increasingly more difficult to fight against.
With the right tools, training, and strategy in place, you can keep your users and your company safe.
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