Cyberthreats that can affect your business in 2019

Aug 12 · 7 min read
Photo by Victor Garcia on Unsplash

You all probably think we’re just trying to scare you every day. God, no! By publishing so many terrifying posts, we want to provide you all the information you need to keep safe when surfing the Internet — as a private person, as well as a business. For today, we planned some education on cyberthreats you should be aware of as a business owner.

Beware of cybercriminals!

First of all, you need to know who can attack you. If your company servers are not secure enough, basically everyone can. But there are certain groups of people most likely to hack your data, and those are:

  • Organized crime groups
  • Your competitors
  • Private Hackers
  • Employees (former or current)
  • Terrorists (if you’re a huge corporation — eg. Julian Assange vs NASA’s servers)
  • Foreign governments (eg. North Korea)
You never know who’s planning to ‘visit’ your company servers… Image source: Reuters/KCNA

2019’s most ‘popular’ cyberthreats to prepare for

Put your diapers on, cause the following threats are really scary. And yes, you really have to read about them to stay safe from cybercriminals.

1. Data Breach under the GDPR

93% of successful data breaches occur in less than one minute. Yet, 80% of businesses take weeks to realize a breach occurred.

GDPR has made a lot of business panicking. For a huge part of them, it has completely transformed the way they stored, processed and secured sensitive data. The GDPR violation fines circle around €20 million, and that’s not the only bad thing that could happen to your company if you decide to ignore the law — your reputation can also be endangered.

How to prevent the Data Breach in your company?

First, you need a deep understanding of what data exactly you work with, where do you store it and how it is flowing in and out of your company’s network.

Then you should make sure you followed every step to keep the safest possible. That means:

  • All basic security updates are introduced on your PC
  • Passwords are continuously utilized
  • All files are backed up
  • The firewall is up to date
  • You use the account with administrator benefits only WHEN NECESSARY and have created the constrained account to use on a daily basis
  • User awareness — all of the employees are aware of threats and ways of counteract

2. Insider Threat

65% of security incidents are related to employees.

Internal cyber attacks are way more dangerous than external ones and ignoring that reality would be at your peril.

A typical external attack is not so easy to plan — before anything happens, hackers need to do things like fingerprinting your network, researching information about your company, socially engineer valuable data from your employees, etc. And internal don’t, that’s why they already have advantages that external hackers lack. Plus access to your building and devices.

How to prevent an insider attack?

First of all — don’t get obsessed that everyone is trying to harm your business. Treat your employees the way you want to be treated by people, and everything should be okay.

The second thing is EDUCATION. All of your employees should be aware of the dangers and able to spot them at the very beginning, also they should have advanced knowledge on how to handle sensitive data.

3. Phishing

76% of businesses reported being a victim of a phishing attack in the last year

Although this hacking tactic is basically archaic now, good old phishing is still popular these days and people still easily become its victims.

Targets are usually contacted by email or text message by someone posing as a legitimate company or individual to lure your employees into providing sensitive data. The information is used to access the most important company accounts, which — in most cases — results in a financial loss.

To prevent this kind of hacker attack, make sure that:

  • Your company uses spam filters
  • The browser settings are changed to prevent fraudulent websites from opening
  • You never use the same password for multiple accounts
  • You use a CAPTCHA system for added security of your website
  • You provided the security awareness training to employees

4. Spoofing — Ransomware Malware

There are 30,000 Spoofing Attacks Daily

When it comes to spoofing, the mechanism is similar, but hackers send emails that appear to come from a known source, so they are likely to be open and acted upon. Those malicious emails can contain additional threats like viruses, that are perfectly able to cause significant computer damages by triggering important files deletion or getting remote access, and other unexpected activities.

To keep safe from spoofing emails, prepare everything like you were preventing phishing — it’s very similar.

5. Social media accounts hostile takeover

Social media hackers steal 44 records per second

Social media attacks are the new black of hacking companies. People usually are not expecting scams in that part of the Internet, so they are less wary of a potential attack and they don’t see any warning signs.

The best way to keep your social media safe is to train your employees to recognize the threat in the first place. You should provide them a comprehensive social media cybersecurity training.

The second thing is updating the passwords regularly, and making sure they are not easy to hack.

You should also eliminate admin access to your accounts to as few people as possible.

6. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

The cost of a DDoS attack averages between $20,000-$40,000. PER HOUR.

DDoS is a cyberattack in which multiple computer systems target the server, website or other company network resources in order to cause a denial of service for its users.

To be honest, preventing a DDoS attack is practically impossible, however, you can always minimize its consequences by implementing some core information security practices, that include looking for and resolving any denial of service-related issues, and using network security control services. Add some trustful patch management, user awareness, and proactive network monitoring practices and you’re OK.

GITHUB DDoS attack, February 2018

7. Brute Force Attack

Hacked passwords caused 81% data breaches in 2018

Brute Force, also known as Password Attack is a cryptographic hack that usually consumes a lot of time because it relies on guessing possible combinations of the targeted password until discovering it. Goals of a brute force attack include harvesting data to sell to third parties, redirecting domains to sites with malicious content, website defacing, sending phishing links or spreading fake content as your company, etc.

Fortunately, you can easily improve your safety in that matter — you just have to make sure that:

  • Your employees utilize strong passwords
  • Only a limited number of login attempts is enabled
  • There’s a two-factor authentication enabled
  • Your employees are educated in cyberthreats and ways of preventing them

8. Internet of Things (IoT) or Algorithm Manipulation

48% of businesses are unable to detect if any of their IoT devices are impacted by a security breach

The first wave of IoT attacks arrived in 2016, so it’s a pretty fresh type of hacking. But don’t feel too safe yet — it’s doubly dangerous since hackers are able to attack it in both ways — physically and virtually. Yikes!

One of the big IoT security risks is that companies behind these devices don’t fully patch them, because if ignoring security issues, they can release the hardware quickly.

As we said, IoT devices can be attacked in two ways, which are:

👉 Physical Tampering

It’s when someone uses another device (like a charger, power bank, etc.) to hack yours. To prevent those situations in your company you should:

  • Ensure your device has no exposed ports or connectors of any kind
  • Implement locks to isolate your IoT devices from not authorized people
  • As much as possible, plan for your product to be installed outside normal reach (for example, in a secure room or on a tall ceiling).

👉Cybersecurity Attacks

IoT cybersecurity practices should be applied to all layers of the IoT stack — from embedded software all the way to apps. It’s crucial to make sure security is consistent across the full stack because in most cases its different layers are developed by different engineers.

The security of IoT devices has many reflections, ranging from encryption, identity management, authentication & authorization, etc., so the best way is to implement security practices step by step, one layer after another.


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