Businesses are becoming aware that cyber-attacks cost businesses billions of dollars yearly due to cyber security threats and revealing an immense amount of personal information.
The Top 10 Cyber Security Threats
#1. Social Engineering
Social engineering attacks make use of the social interaction of others to get access to essential data. The root of all attacks is deceit.
Cybercriminals deceive and manipulate their targets into taking specific actions, like not allowing security measures to be accessed or divulging sensitive information.
Even the most secure cyber security tools can’t stop an attack using social engineering since the victim lets hackers into the system.
Researchers say that social engineering attacks are on the rise, and that’s why we’ve classified them as a top risk.
#2. Third-Party Exposure
Many retailers rely on third-party companies to provide services like processing payments. They usually believe that a third party’s responsibility for a breach does not apply to them. However, the fact is that having a third-party vendor does not exempt them from responsibility for data breaches.
A third party could put a third party at risk, even if the company doesn’t directly handle personal data, such as the numbers on credit cards.
Incorrect handling of data can expose the personal data of millions of individuals at risk to hackers, as was evident in the recent Audi/Volkswagon cyber attack.
Although the breach was initiated through a third-party company, the one that signed the contract with the third-party vendor is legally required to notify customers and regulators if there’s a breach in their data.
The penalties and fines can be hefty, ranging from the tens of thousands to millions of dollars according to the situation.
#3. Patch Management
Many attacks begin with insecure software. Because of this, they cannot keep up-to-date with patches for software, which leaves businesses at risk of security breaches to their information.
Once attackers know that a software flaw exists and exploit it, they can launch a cyberattack. Two major cyber attacks discovered in May 2018 highlight this pattern in the field of cyber security.
The attacks utilized a significant flaw in the Windows operating system known as Eternal Blue. It is also important to note that Microsoft had issued a patch to fix this Eternal Blue vulnerability two months prior.
Companies that didn’t upgrade their software were vulnerable. Many millions of dollars went missing because of a minor glitch in the editing software.
#4. Cloud Vulnerabilities
The more we depend on cloud-based data storage, the greater the chance of a significant data breach. Cloud-based services are susceptible to a range of cyber-attacks.
It includes accounts hijacking and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, which block businesses from accessing their information.
Many companies think they’re protected because they are using cloud security software. However, technology is only a tiny part of the equation. Since no technology can remove vulnerabilities, a comprehensive strategy is required for adequate security.
Insurance is integral to this protection as part of an extensive cyber risk management program.
#5. Ransomware (and Ransomware-as-a-Service)
Ransomware is a severe cyber-security threat. They affect your network and keep your computer and data in limbo until the ransom is paid.
The immediate costs incurred by the ransom are just the beginning of an iceberg. The financial losses resulting from lost efficiency and failure of data are typically the most devastating to businesses.
Such attacks are the reason 60% of small businesses fail within six months after an attack. Ransomware is one of the top 10 cyber-attacks and is one of the most popular ways to target companies by attackers.
This isn’t going to change anytime soon. According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, ransomware-related attacks have increased worldwide.
Additionally, ransomware is now available to less sophisticated hackers in the form of ready-made kits they can buy, known as Ransomware-as-a-Service.
It is targeted mainly at small-sized businesses because of their generally weak security measures for cyber attacks. This has led to more attacks and lower costs, as hackers seek quick cash rewards from their attacks.
The ease of executing these attacks and the sheer number of hackers pose a massive threat to small enterprises.
#6. Confusion between Compliance and Protection
Just meeting the requirements for data compliance isn’t the same as constant and reliable security.
For instance, many businesses are required to comply with the needs of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) to pass the annual review. However, this isn’t always representative of the typical standards of protection.
Based on Verizon’s PCI Compliance Report, four out of five businesses were not in compliance with their interim assessments. They were the exact businesses that previously met the standards for compliance.
The companies that were certified PCI DSS compliant still suffered from security breaches affecting their networks even weeks after approval.
They have discovered that meeting legal requirements does not mean having sufficient cyber security.
#7. Insufficient employee training
A study conducted by a Stanford University professor found that employee errors account for 88% of all incidents of data breaches.
The most prevalent cyber security risk that employees are liable for is the threat of phishing. As attacks become more sophisticated and sophisticated, many employees cannot recognize an email that is a scam.
Furthermore, some employees are guilty of unsafe cyber security practices using the same passwords for home and work computers. The solution is to train employees.
Every cyber risk management strategy must take into account human vulnerability and take steps to ensure that all employees are following proper protocols.
Only this, when paired with a solid control system, will start to offer adequate protection against cyber-attacks.
#8. Inadequate Cyber Risk Management Controls
Businesses often overlook the most powerful tools for preventing cyber-attacks, including multi-factor authentication (MFA), endpoint protection, and secure email services.
This is a significant error since these safeguards effectively reduce the risks of threats like phishing or social engineering.
This opens the door to cyber security risks and compromises their ability to obtain full cyber insurance. Due to the escalating rate of attacks in recent times, getting new cyber insurance plans or renewals won’t be the same as in the past.
Carriers are now asking their clients to sign up for additional security before providing them insurance coverage.
#9. Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) connects devices across the globe. This allows many devices to store data, transmit, and even receive information.
Due to its ease of use, numerous businesses and individuals benefit from this technological advancement. However, the aspect that makes them easy also makes them vulnerable.
Hackers could use internet connectivity as a means to gain access to data. As businesses increasingly depend heavily on IoT devices, experts predict that this is likely to be among the significant cyber threats of the next few years.
#10. Hardware that is out of date
The majority of cyber security threats come from software. The speed with which software updates are released could cause a problem for equipment to stay up.
This results in risks that could put businesses’ information at risk. When hardware becomes outdated, many devices cannot update with the most current patches or security measures.
Appliances based on obsolete software are more vulnerable to cyber attacks, resulting in a highly vulnerable security risk.
It is crucial to be aware of this and react swiftly when devices are outdated. Similar to ensuring that your software is up-to-date and up-to-date, you must do identical with your hardware.