When you started a business, you probably thought the only real threats would be a competitor or economic downturn. But unfortunately, you have to look deeper than that. Almost everything we do takes place online now, which comes with its own set of rules and consequences.

Cyber threats are becoming increasingly common and businesses, especially small businesses, need to be prepared. In this guide, we will discuss four of the top cyber threats facing your company and provide practical tips on how you can prevent them.

Cyber Threat #1: Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks remain one of the most prevalent and deceptive cyber threats faced by businesses. In a phishing attack, cybercriminals masquerade as legitimate entities to trick individuals into providing sensitive information such as passwords, credit card numbers, or login credentials. These attacks often come in the form of fraudulent emails, messages, or websites designed to appear authentic.

Consequences of Falling Victim to Phishing:

  • Data breaches: Sensitive information could be divulged to malicious actors.
  • Financial loss: Phishing attacks often lead to fraudulent activities that can drain your financial resources.
  • Reputational damage: Once the trust of your customer is lost, it takes time to rebuild and is often very expensive, if not impossible.

Mitigation Strategies:

  • Employee Training: Educate employees about the signs of phishing attacks and how to recognize suspicious emails or messages. 
  • Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Require multiple forms of verification for accessing sensitive data or systems, adding an extra layer of security.
  • Use Email Filtering Software: Deploy advanced email filtering software to detect and block phishing attempts before they reach employees’ inboxes.

Cyber Threat #2: Ransomware

Ransomware is a malicious software designed to encrypt files or systems, rendering them inaccessible until a ransom is paid. Cybercriminals often deploy ransomware through phishing emails, malicious attachments, or exploiting vulnerabilities in software or networks. Once infected, businesses face the daunting task of either paying the ransom or losing access to critical data.

Impact of Ransomware Attacks:

  • Operational Disruption: A ransomware attack can bring your business to a standstill, which impacts productivity and customer services.
  • Financial Extortion: Paying the ransom is no guarantee that data will be decrypted. In the meantime, it can cost you a pretty penny.

Mitigation Strategies:

  • Regular Data Backups: Maintain regular backups of all essential data and systems to mitigate the impact of a ransomware attack.
  • Keep Software Updated: Ensure that all software and systems are up-to-date with the latest security patches to prevent vulnerabilities exploited by ransomware.
  • Network Segmentation: Segment your network to limit the spread of ransomware in case of an infection, and isolate critical systems from the rest of the network.

Cyber Threat #3: Insider Threats

While external threats often grab headlines, insider threats pose a significant risk to businesses as well. An insider threat occurs when current or former employees, contractors, or partners misuse their access privileges to steal sensitive information, sabotage systems, or compromise security from within the organization.

Risks Associated with Insider Threats:

  • Data Theft: This could be for personal gain or, worse, to sell your vital information on the dark web.
  • Sabotage: Whether by design or negligence, the consequences can be just as severe as a malicious external attack.

Mitigation Strategies:

  • Role-Based Access Controls: Limiting access to data on a need-to-know basis can mitigate the potential damage from an insider gone rogue.
  • Behavioral Monitoring: Consistent scrutiny can detect unusual activities and preempt any harm being done, whether it’s intentional or the result of employee negligence.
  • Exit Procedures: Develop comprehensive exit procedures to revoke access rights promptly when employees leave the organization to prevent potential insider threats.

Cyber Threat #4: DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks aim to disrupt online services by overwhelming them with a flood of traffic from multiple sources. These attacks can cripple websites, online platforms, or network infrastructure.

Consequences of a DDoS Attack:

  • Service Interruption: These attacks can render your online services inaccessible to customers, which leads to dissatisfaction and potentially lost business.
  • Looming Threats: DDoS attacks are often a precursor to more malicious breaches, as they use the diversion to infiltrate your networks undetected.

Mitigation Strategies:

  • DDoS Protection Services: Invest in DDoS protection services offered by specialized providers to detect and mitigate attacks in real-time.
  • Scalable Infrastructure: Build scalable infrastructure capable of handling sudden spikes in traffic to mitigate the impact of DDoS attacks.
  • Incident Response Plan: Develop a comprehensive incident response plan to minimize downtime and restore services quickly in the event of a DDoS attack.

Face These Threats With Hummingbird.Tech

At Hummingbird.Tech, we understand that businesses like yours are under constant threat from cybercriminals. That’s why we offer comprehensive managed IT services in Oklahoma to protect you from these threats and keep your business running smoothly.

Schedule a free consultation with us to learn more and see if we’d be a good fit for your managed IT services in Oklahoma!