Given the huge number of smart device users in the digital ecosystem, they’ve become targets for malicious individuals. Cyber threats, such as online scams, flood attacks, cross-site scripting and spoofing attacks have kept IT professionals on their toes for years. The global economy loses $30 million per minute due to these online criminal activities. Without proper and immediate intervention, the actual revenue loss will be much higher.
No one is safe against these cybercriminals. Individuals and business are prime targets for them. Either, they hijack personal devices and use them as platforms for anonymity or penetrate company servers to sabotage enterprises. Whatever their scheme is, it’s vital to prioritise online security, along with network security penetration testing.
Here are recommendations on how businesses can protect themselves and their data online.
Online Vigilance is Key
Cybercriminals are both patient and vigilant. They will go the extra mile to understand their targets better. They use a variety of infiltration techniques, such as disguising themselves as employees sending “harmless” email to colleagues. Once they’ve breached the firewall, they’re in. Below are some examples of why businesses need to be vigilant online:
Botnets – Think of botnets as a group of active online devices sending a coordinated attack on a specific target (usually a computer network or server). They are commonly used to steal personal data via spamming or infecting a device with malware.
Phishing – It’s often used to “encourage” a target to reveal sensitive information, such as bank details or personal password. Examples of phishing are emails with a “sense of urgency” or malicious links to credit card login pages.
Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MitM) – This is a form of online eavesdropping, which hackers use to guise themselves as the other party. It works by altering a conversation or inserting themselves in the middle of it to fool a recipient that they are still talking to a trusted source. MitM is used to steal data or financial transactions in real-time.
How to Improve Online Security
Improving online security is mandatory to protect a company’s digital assets. Precaution is critical, and here are some countermeasures your IT security specialists can do:
Filter All Emails – Malware and phishing attacks start with a simple email. Install or update antivirus software to help filter emails. It’s also recommended that companies hold talks or seminars for employees to remind them about these threats. They are the first layer of defence against these basic forms of online attacks. Empower them with the knowledge to protect themselves, digitally, at all times.
Regular System Updates – Software and hardware manufacturers regularly publish network and system updates. It’s the simplest way to keep a network, server and device safe from cyber threats. Make sure that your IT administrators install these updates regularly.
Encourage Password Security – Passwords are the weakest links in any security layer. Most people use one password for all the websites they visit. Encouraging employees to have a unique password for each website they visit helps secure a company’s network and its devices.
As the government, businesses and specialists race to protect themselves against these cyber threats, everyone must practice vigilance. Cybercriminals will continue to evolve their tactics and use more sophisticated threats to target our vulnerabilities. It’s time that we take a stand and work together to achieve safe and resilient cyberspace.