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Keep It Locked Down: Top Cybersecurity Threats in 2019 and Beyond

Vallery Henings

September 9, 2019 (modified on October 7, 2019)

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By 2021, it’s expected that online crime will cost the world $6 trillion. With almost half of cyber attacks targeting small businesses, your company is most likely not safe from these threats.

While technology is constantly evolving, there are a few cybersecurity problems that’ll always be an issue. In this article, we’ll discuss the top cybersecurity threats in 2019 and beyond.

Phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering, which doesn’t rely on hacking, but rather, duping victims.┬áThe fraudsters don’t try to infiltrate your system; instead, they put together something intricate to masquerade as a person or company you trust.

masks

For example, you may receive an email from “Netflix” saying your password’s been compromised, so you need to log in to reset and change your password. In the email is a button that conveniently leads you to Netflix’s homepage.

Except it isn’t Netflix’s homepage, nor is it a genuine email from the company. If you look carefully, the sender name and email address will look slightly different from the actual ones, as will the homepage address.

Scammers are now applying to phish to other media, such as SMS and voicemail. The best way to avoid falling victim to such efforts is to type in the web address yourself and log in through there. If it’s an SMS or voicemail, then you should get the official phone number of the company and call them to double-check on their requests.

Ransomware

As the name suggests, ransomware is where the cybercriminal holds your device hostage until you pay the ransom. But this is the best-case scenario. Often, victims will pay the ransom (usually in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, as they’re untraceable), and they still don’t regain access to their computers.

Ransomware

Ransomware can be particularly devastating in two ways. First, the criminals demand you pay a high value in Bitcoins, which can impact the financial welfare of your company. Second, if you don’t have any backups of your data, you risk losing everything if the scammer doesn’t restore access.

A good way to render ransomware ineffective is to backup your data regularly. Should you accidentally click on something that leads to ransomware on your computer, you won’t have to give in to the cyber criminal’s demand. All you have to do is restore your data from a backup.

Cryptojacking

Cryptocurrency is making headlines as a groundbreaking type of currency. The value has been consistently shooting up ever since its popularity exploded back in the early 2010s.

People are rewarded for “mining” cryptocurrencies, but it requires a huge amount of computer resources. As a result, cryptojacking is rising in popularity.

Cryptomining

Cryptojacking is when a fraudster hijacks your computer’s resources to help them mine cryptocurrencies. This may occur on either your home or work computer or both.

When this happens, it can severely impact the performance of your devices. Not to mention it can also waste precious time when your IT department tries to track down the source of this problem.

Seeing as a lot of cryptojacking happens through phishing, you can better protect your company with good digital hygiene practices.

IoT Attacks

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects all sorts of technology together. While this can be convenient and advantageous, it also provides an easy entryway for criminal infiltration.

Think about it: not only does the IoT involve your computer and router, but it also includes things like smartwatches, cars, home security systems, household appliances, webcams, and more. All a cybercriminal has to do is breach one thing, and they get full access to your personal things.

Smartwatch

Obviously, the best way to fend off IoT attacks is to limit your devices that are connected. But in many business applications, that’s not possible.

If this is the case for your company, then you’ll want to ensure there are good anti-virus programs in place, as well as good digital hygiene and workplace awareness.

How to Safeguard Your Company

Getting proper cybersecurity training in your workplace can be highly beneficial. As the very least, you need a robust anti-virus program for all devices in your business, including smartphones and tablets. Cybercriminals have expanded their reach past computers and now target these devices, especially since people spend so much time on them.

Also, consider hiring a cybersecurity officer who can keep your office up-to-date about new threats. They can also administer phishing tests to keep your workers on their toes.

Security Officer

Another thing to consider is utilizing managed IT services. For a flat monthly fee, a third-party company can manage, maintain, and support your IT infrastructure around the clock.

By using these services, you won’t have to worry about compliance and security. You’ll work with professionals who understand all laws and regulations, as well as current cybersecurity threats. They’ll bring both their knowledge and technology to the table, plus respond promptly to any questions or concerns your employees may have.

Fend Off These Cyber Security Threats with Proper Protection

These cybersecurity threats may seem daunting, but with the proper protection, you can safeguard your business and sensitive data.

Make sure both you and your employees practice good digital hygiene and have plenty of workplace awareness about anything that may seem suspicious. Again, you can also run phishing tests so everyone knows how conscious they are of threats and how they’d look like in real life.

The most important thing to cybersecurity is vigilance, as many threats nowadays are of the social engineering variety. With good workplace awareness, you can easily avoid these threats and fend off anything these criminals throw at you.

For more information about websites and running one, please check out our other blogs.