Cyber attacks could lead to large financial losses and irreparable reputational damage. 55% of British firms reported a cyber-attack in 2019 and 98% of these attacks relied on social engineering.

As the threat and security landscape evolves, people are the biggest risk to your businesses safety. This article outlines evolving forms of attack which are likely to become prevalent in 2020 and 3 simple ways you can protect your business.

What we learned from 2019

Defence mechanisms continue to improve, and the profitability of traditional ransomware attacks is decreasing. This has prompted a shift towards non-traditional attacks which are most likely to be targeted at senior managers and high-profile executives.

  • Firstly, Email attacks are still the number one threat with phishing becoming increasingly sophisticated
  • Secondly, Data loss from unencrypted devices (subject to GDPR fines)
  • Thirdly, Data breaches through poor security networks

From high-risk to cyber-secure: What can you do to mitigate the risks?

1. Increase the security of your IT systems

UK Government figures show around a third of UK businesses suffered an IT security breach or attack in the past 12 months.

There is an easy way for your organisation to ramp up your security in response to this increasing threat: implement two-factor authentication.

Access has traditionally been managed and authenticated through the use of usernames and passwords, but there is significant evidence this is no longer adequate.  Two-factor authentication offers a way to strengthen the security around who has access to organisational systems and data.

By improving the way you access your IT systems, you can strengthen the security of your business, making it harder for hackers to access your IT  networks.

2. Outsmart cyber criminals

Hacks aren’t always easy to spot. Sometimes, they can occur without ever being noticed. In some cases you might need outside help to know something is wrong.

There is so much for business users to be aware of in today’s technology landscape. Ongoing threat of cyber attack means you need to be constantly vigilant against possible hacks.

As cyber criminals develop ever-more sophisticated methods for attacking businesses, you might wonder if there’s any way to see an attack coming. But the good news is that there are services available which can reveal if your private data has ever been compromised.

Dark Web Monitoring services can show you if you’ve been breached. Giving you awareness in real-time, you can find out if your sensitive data is available for sale on the Dark Web.

By finding out if any of your employee or customer emails and passwords have been compromised, you can get ahead of the risks related to a potential breach.

Protecting your company and client data can save you a lot of headaches when dealing with a data breach. Costly and potentially damaging to your reputation, the risks of breaches can be mitigated by taking the right steps.

3. Cyber Security Awareness Training

98% of attacks rely on social engineering.

Social engineering aims to influence your actions through deceit and manipulation in order to gain access to your computer system. These can be through e-mails, phone calls and texts, and increase the sense of urgency of a matter and trust in a supposedly official sender.

The threat landscape is ever evolving, with hackers constantly creating new types of ransomware or finding new weaknesses to exploit. Security experts are adept at responding to the threats and helping protect organisations large and small.

Human error is our biggest vulnerability when facing cyber crime. Therefore, adopting and encouraging behavioural change is the best form of defence in this area.

Whether with malicious intent or not, there are many ways employees can threaten your business:

  • Lack of security awareness
  • Data breaches
  • Falling for E-mail scams
  • Uploading work documents to personal cloud storage systems
  • Installing web applications without consultation
  • Sharing login credentials
  • Weak passwords and infrequent password updates

Training yourself and your employees is the best defence for mitigating the risk of a cyber-attack. We recommend Cyber Security Awareness Training to be integrated into every day working life, increasing your team’s knowledge of potential threats. Therefore, the overall threat risk is reduced.

Don’t wait to be attacked, act now to protect yourself and your business!

Unsure how? Get in touch by filling out our contact form.

We offer IT support and advisory services designed to help keep your business cyber secure.