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More than half of American companies have experienced a cyber attack that took an average of 68.9 days to solve.

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing in response to new threats, which are on a steady rise. But both new and old cybersecurity risks threaten your operations and your profits.

If you’re a business owner, the best way to contain cyber threats is to create a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. And any successful strategy involves being aware of the latest online threats to your business.

Keep reading to learn about what the biggest threats are in the coming year.

The Biggest Cyber Threats in 2019

The biggest cyber threats of 2019 are both new and old. Ransomware and bad passwords remain two of the top cybersecurity risks. New to the list is software subversion and smartphones.

Find out more about how these threats affect your business below.

Software Subversion

Exploiting flaws in software has long been a tactic used by cybercriminals. When you don’t perform regular software updates that contains patches for open security holes, hackers can easily gain access to your system. But software now poses an entirely new threat alongside the old.

The software we develop and use is becoming more dynamic and complex. Hackers use third-party applications and services as a way into your networks. By corrupting third-party software, they gain access to your network.

There have even been cases where developers are specifically targeted in cyber attacks. The aim in these cases is to hinder software development processes.

Smartphones

Think those smartphones you give out to your sales team are completely safe? Think again. These pose a major risk to your cybersecurity.

When employees lose a company-issued work device, and the device isn’t properly secured, the information stored on the phone is free to anybody who picks up the phone. Worse yet, if that device is connected to your network and it falls into the wrong hands, your data could be in a world of trouble.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a cyber attack that involves getting malware onto your network. An attacker often sends phishing emails that, once opened, download the malware onto your system. After it’s been downloaded, the malware encrypts your data and renders it inaccessible – and useless – to any of your users.

That’s when the ransom part of ransomware comes into play.

After all of your data has been encrypted, you’ll receive a message asking for a ransom in return for the safe return of your data. Of course, paying that ransom doesn’t mean the attacked will provide the encryption key. 

Cryptojacking

More businesses are using cryptocurrency as the standard for all of their transactions. As a result, there have been more attacks on those companies. And as the trend toward conducting business using cryptocurrency continues in 2019, these cyber threats are also expected to increase.

Cryptojacking is also called Cryptominin malware. Attackers use high-powered computers to mine cryptocurrency as well as initial access and drive-by scripts methods. Then they quietly steal resources in the background.

Bad Passwords

Believe it or not, bad passwords have a huge impact on your level of security. Attackers can easily guess passwords when you don’t have a standard password policy that ensures all of your passwords are strong.

Passwords should contain a unique combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. They should never be repeated or stored on your network. And people who don’t need access to key data and confidential information, shouldn’t.

Employees

Insiders with malicious intent account for 27% of all the cyber attacks on businesses. But even insiders who aren’t acting maliciously pose a huge threat to the security of your business.

While there isn’t much you can do about an employee intentionally misusing their credentials, many cyber attacks originate from an employee making a little mistake with big consequences. When employees visit unsecured websites, fall for phishing emails, bring confidential information home, or store work-related data on their personal devices, your cybersecurity is at risk.

What Can You Do To Protect Your Business?

You’re already taking the most important step in protecting your business by educating yourself on the latest cyber threats. But there are additional steps you can take to ensure you’re doing the most to promote data security in 2019.

  1. To remove the threat posed by personal devices, create a bring-your-own-device policy. This policy should address how personal devices can be used at work. If you allow employees to access your network from their personal device, ensure that they’ve instituted a pin code to protect anybody from getting into a lost phone.
  2. Limit employee access to your data. As we mentioned, nobody should have access to data that they don’t need. Employees should only have access to the resources they need to complete their daily tasks to minimize the chance for a breach.
  3. Complete your software updates as they arise. This minimizes the chance that any flaws are exploited by an attacker.
  4. You should also perform regular backups. In the case your data is ever compromised or stolen, you’ll minimize the damage if you have access to those records somewhere else.
  5. Use a virus and/or malware software. This scanning software will tell you what’s a potential threat before it’s ever opened.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to provide training to your employees. Your employees are your first line of defense against cyber threats. When they’re trained on what to look for and where your potential weaknesses are, they know what they need to do to reduce the risks.

Is Your Business Safe?

Protecting your business from cyber threats is an increasingly important aspect of everyday operations. In order to protect your data, your business, and your profits, you need a cybersecurity strategy. The best strategies are constantly updated according to the newest threats – and knowing the top threats in 2019 will help you design a successful plan.

If you haven’t implemented a strategy for dealing with the biggest cybersecurity threats, you should start the process now. Check out our services for more on what we can do for you.

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