When successful, cyberattacks cost an average of $4.45 million, which represents a 15% increase over a three-year period.
Not only this, but some types of digital attacks have doubled in frequency, so business owners are now facing a higher number of threats that cost more money than ever before.
Thus, it’s essential to know what types of cyberattacks can produce the most damage in order to prepare against them.
Here are five threats that can ruin your company.
1. Ransomware and Other Types of Malware
Malware refers to software platforms designed to steal data or otherwise abuse your devices.
Ransomware is a common type of malware that locks you out of your computer or device, refusing to provide you access until a ransom is paid to the perpetrator.
Moreover, malware can also:
- Steal your data: some malware is designed to scan your computer for name, address, credit card details, and other sensitive information.
- Show unwanted content: attacks such as SQL injections (more on this later!) also result in your customers seeing unwanted content.
- Produce irreparable damage to your devices: many types of malware can produce irreparable damage to smartphones, servers, and other business devices.
2. Data Breaches and Leaks
A data breach occurs when a criminal gains access to sensitive information in your system.
Once this occurs, it’s also possible for criminals to leak these details online and further compromise the data of the people affected. Which, in turn, can give your company a bad reputation and deter new customers from joining.
Criminals use many different methods to breach security systems and leak the information they gain, with phishing scams being close to the top of the list.
3. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
A distributed denial of service or DDoS attack happens when the perpetrator overloads the target’s system, which causes disruptions and prevents real customers from accessing the platform.
For instance, if you own an e-commerce store, a DDoS attacker may overload your servers by sending a huge number of bot-controlled users to your site, causing it to crash.
This disruption means that real customers can’t access your store, which causes damage in the form of loss sales.
4. Brute Force Attacks
During this attack, cybercriminals attempt to use a combination of passwords to break into your system.
In these cases, cybercriminals may use a combination of passwords obtained via social engineering and common phrases that are used as passcodes.
5. SQL Injections
Before analyzing this type of attack, it’s important to note that SQL is a language that can be used to execute commands and fulfill other practical purposes.
That said, this language also produces an exploitable weakness that results in SQL injection attacks.
In short, this allows criminals to monitor and manipulate data on your app and website, which can lead to all types of attacks on your customers.
Granted this may take months or even years to come to fruition, but criminals have no real deterrent unless you have a monitoring system in place.
Tips to Protect Your Business from Cyberattacks
While any of the six attacks above can disrupt your business beyond repair, there are also steps you can take to combat these threats.
One of the basic, yet most effective methods is to follow solid password best practices. This includes choosing unique, strong passwords for every platform and avoiding sharing these credentials with anyone.
Not only this, but you should also:
- Secure your network: from a solid architecture to maintaining all software up to date, you need to take the necessary steps to secure your network and prevent criminals from intercepting your messages or exploiting a known weakness.
- Train your team members: never assume that all employees have the same knowledge. Instead, you should conduct training sessions where you educate your team about the different threats, their impact, and where they come from.
- Encrypt your connection: if you encrypt your connection, criminals can’t monitor your activity on either laptops or smartphones. This is a simple process — simply learn what is a VPN for iPhone, and you should be able to make the right choice.
- Keep Abreast of Security Threats: The threat landscape is constantly evolving. Encourage your team to stay updated on the latest security threats, trends, and attack techniques. Subscribe to security news outlets, attend cybersecurity conferences, and participate in online forums to stay informed about emerging threats and best practices.
- Create and implement security policies: create or revise your security policy, inform your team what changes you expect to see, and periodically check that everyone is following the new regulations.
- Collaborate with Cybersecurity Experts: Consider partnering with cybersecurity experts or consulting firms that specialize in threat intelligence and incident response. Their expertise can provide valuable insights, help you stay ahead of evolving threats, and assist in crafting a comprehensive security strategy.
- Filter emails: like your network firewall, you should also create a filter for your emails and ensure that suspicious messages are flagged and removed from your team inboxes automatically.
- Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA): Multi-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide multiple forms of verification before granting access. This could include something the user knows (password), something the user has (smartphone or token), or something the user is (biometric data like fingerprint or facial recognition). MFA significantly reduces the risk of unauthorized access even if passwords are compromised.
- Conduct Regular Security Audits and Penetration Testing: Periodically conduct thorough security audits of your network, systems, and applications. Additionally, hire ethical hackers to perform penetration testing to identify vulnerabilities that malicious actors could exploit. This proactive approach helps you stay ahead of potential threats and weaknesses in your security infrastructure.
To Wrap Up
Cyberattacks cost millions on average, and a single breach may be enough to compromise your entire organization.
While ransomware, data leaks, DDoS, and the other attacks listed above can be fatal for your company, there are also best practices you can implement to protect your digital assets.
It’s tough for a company to overcome a successful attack, so follow as many best practices as possible to help protect your brand.