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Introduction

Recent estimates on cyberattacks targeted at businesses do not look very promising if you are on the enterprise side of things. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, the global cost of cybercrime will grow by 15 percent per year reaching $10.5 trillion USD annually by 2025, a steep increase from just $3 trillion USD in 2015. Accenture’s Cost of Cybercrime Study reports that 43% of cyberattacks are now targeted at small businesses. Despite this only 14% of businesses are actually prepared to defend themselves. In this article, we will try and enumerate the most commonly overlooked cyber security risks and how businesses can defend themselves from such risks. Don’t take a chance on the security of your business and conduct a thorough Cybersecurity Risk Assessment today with IT Support Vermont.

Top 3 Commonly Overlooked Cybersecurity Risk

Shadow IT

Shadow IT continues to be a problem for most companies. Put simply, this refers to the use of unauthorized hardware and software on company assets – mostly without the knowledge of the IT department or IT security providers. This kind of technology misuse is actually quite rampant in companies and sometimes, employees and even entire departments may be blithely unaware of how they are endangering the security of the entire company network. The kind of software in use may include cloud services or applications that employees actually leverage with the good intention of getting better results or improving productivity than the current technological capacities of the department/ company. They could also simply be trying to overcome the shortcomings or inconvenience of the provided software. However, there are many risks attached to using software that’s not been vetted by the IT teams. They could have a vulnerability or a security loophole The risk of using unauthorized software is that it may have a vulnerability that could lead to an attack on a business’s network or systems. Similarly, if employees use unauthorized file sharing platforms, it makes it possible for customer data to be vulnerable to a data breach. An example of shadow IT hardware may include employees using personal laptops or smartphones to access company data or networks. The risk of introducing this hardware to a company network is that it may be infected with malware that could spread to other devices on the network.

Social Media Phishing

Phishing attacks have become the most prevalent form of cyberattacks that are targeted at businesses. These are social engineering attacks that are used to manipulate users or employees into revealing sensitive information or taking actions that could potentially harm the organization. This kind of attack can take the form of an email that convincingly appears to be from a highly trusted source (a boss or a colleague or an organization the user frequently deals with) that manipulate them into revealing sensitive information or steals their login credentials through spoofed websites and most commonly, spreads malware through malicious attachments and links.

Insider Threats

Insider threats are becoming increasingly common at organizations as churn rates keep inching upwards. Even with low churn rates, all it takes is for one disgruntled employee to decide that s/he wants to disrupt or harm the business in some way or just be careless. This is generally a person with adequate and legitimate access to company systems and data. They can decide to share their credentials with malicious sources or third parties, either maliciously or unintentionally, or install malware, steal data, publish sensitive information publicly and cause damage to the organization. Employees can even be manipulated into performing such activities. The only way to prevent insider threats from happening in the first place it’s to deploy identity and access management (IAM) solutions and follow the principle of least privilege access. IT Outsourcing Vermont offers comprehensive Cybersecurity Risk Management services.

Top Tools to Stay Safe from Cyber Attacks

Antivirus or Endpoint Security

Getting the right antivirus or endpoint security solution for your business is absolutely critical to its survival. Unfortunately, it is quite common for small to midsize businesses to often keep using a product that’s not quite the right fit, forget to renew a subscription, or/ and to keep their solutions updated. Always make sure to guarantee the security of your endpoints from viruses and malware.

Efficient backups

Regular backups are essentially your best defense against cyberattacks. It is only through ensuring the security of your backups with redundancy (on-premise, offsite, and cloud backups) and regularly checking their availability that any business can gain the peace of mind that they need in dealing with a barrage of cyberattacks on a regular basis. This means that irrespective of whether the hackers manage to breach your defenses, you always have the insurance of keeping your business running with the latest backups available on your servers at a moment’s notice. This will help your business avoid critical service disruptions, downtimes, productivity losses and instead gain and maintain customer loyalty.

Strong security policies and employee training

One of the best defenses you can have against any form of cyber-attack is to have strong security policies in place and enforce them diligently, irrespective of whether you have active security threats or not. Always remember that your employees are potentially the weakest link in your cyber defense chain. But with adequate employee training, they could also become your best assets in spotting red flags early. These need to be implemented in conjunction as without adequate security policies and protocols in place, your employees simply won’t know how to respond in case of emergencies. It is important for organizations to understand that security training is never ‘once and done. It is an ongoing process and your employees will need to be reminded frequently of their critical role in ensuring the security of the company network and all company assets. They will also need to be taught updated tips and tricks depending on the latest trends in cyber security and the nature of the threats that emerge. Local businesses can take the help of Cybersecurity And Risk Management offered by Managed IT Services Vermont.

Steve Loyer

With over 25 years of sales and service experience in network and network security solutions, Steve has earned technical and sales certificates from Microsoft, Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Citrix, Sonicwall, Symantec, McAfee, Barracuda and American Power Conversion. Steve graduated from Vermont Technical College with a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technology.