According to the Australian Government, cybercrime is rising, costing businesses an average of $276,323 for each breach. The rate of cybercrime doesn’t appear to be slowing, so companies must be aware of security risks and know what they can do to better protect themselves over the coming year.
Covid has forced many employees into a remote working model, heightening the risk of endpoint threats. When employees work on-site, their endpoint devices are protected from external cyberattacks because they are under the protection of the closed network and established firewall.
Many employees work without any network perimeter security at home, meaning a critical layer of the cybersecurity defence has been lost – something that has not gone unnoticed by cybercriminals. Cybercriminals can take advantage of unsuitably secured VPNs, cloud-based services that don’t have two-factor authentication, and unpatched remote computers to illegally access off-network systems without complete security.
CLOUD SECURITY RISKS
This past year has also seen businesses move their critical data to the cloud en masse to ensure business continuity throughout the pandemic. Companies must be aware of their cloud security configurations to ensure their data remains secure.
Misconfiguration of cloud security features is often a common cause of breaches, which is likely to increase with the growing reliance on and use of cloud services to support remote employees. So, while migration to the cloud may be a necessary move in the current climate, common cloud service issues, such as misconfiguration, could heighten security risks for your business.
Credential theft, or identity theft, is when a malicious actor steals a victim’s identity to pose as the victim online to gain access to all their accounts – both professional and private. It allows the criminal to reset passwords, prevent the account from being accessed by the victim, download private data, gain access to other computers on the network, and wipe data and backups completely.
Phishing scams are still the most inexpensive and efficient way to access a victim’s data. Still, there are other ways to access data. For example, it is not unheard of in corporate credential attacks for attackers to search social media sites to find contact information of users whose credentials will allow them access to critical data and information.
Ransomware attacks are one of the most common cyberattacks right now. Ransomware is a form of malware which blocks access to or encrypts the victim’s files. The cybercriminal then demands payment from the victim to restore access to the compromised files. Critical business data is now the hostage, and criminals leverage a business’s need for it to obtain financial gain.
Often, it is not just the financial payout which hurts the victim. Company reputations can also be damaged if the data being held hostage is leaked or compromised in any way. The malware needed to carry out this attack can be unknowingly downloaded through email attachments, social media links, downloadable applications, or by visiting malicious websites – all online activities which become less secure with remote endpoints.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Cybersecurity is important for every sized business. A business has two primary choices to prevent cyberattacks: invest in cybersecurity on-site or outsource to an MSP. Either way, a business needs to invest in maintaining the security of their systems and data.
Often, small businesses believe that they are unlikely victims, but cyberattacks have become more sophisticated. Cybercriminals see value where you may not. You may think that the size of your operations does not warrant a full-sized security system. Still, without one, cybercriminals can steal your identity and use it to access other companies. Protection prevents this by making it more difficult for hackers to access your systems. Still, there are important actions that can thwart infiltration:
- Pay attention to your company’s cyber practices: educate employees, particularly remote workers, about the importance of cybersecurity
- Back-up everything: critical data should be backed up regularly to enable prompt recovery and access if needed
- Update your software regularly
If you need assistance with your current security and threat management, contact the experts at Linktech Australia to see how they can help you.