Data today is arguably a business’s most valuable asset. Unfortunately, cyber-criminals are likely to see the latter as a fair game unless you comprehensively protect it. Stakeholders should appreciate that the following reflect vulnerability to cyber attacks every day from the most unexpected remote locations (i.e., outside the USA in most cases.)
A critical starting point is awareness,
- Customer information
- Employee details
- Evaluation reports
- Confidential files relating to strategy and operations
followed by building digital protection barriers that stop viruses and associated malware tossed at our systems in their tracks. This article draws your attention to five of the most dangerous threats to your intellectual property moving into 2022 and beyond.
Have you ever heard of malicious software – malware for short? Ransomware is the worst of this creed that invades by encrypting your data so severely that it’s impossible to decipher. Unless the targeted victim pays a stated ransom, the perpetrators refuse to unlock the code. Generally, it enters the system through emails inadvertently opened by employees.
Your best defense is creating staff awareness to avoid unsolicited internet messages and prepping your protocols to delete or coral anything that even sniffs of danger. Install cutting-edge anti-virus software, update your applications, and establish virtual machine backup for your cloud storage
. Get expertise into your corner to make sure you’ve covered every possible gap.
Keep in mind that many of the threats highlighted here overlap. For example, phishing covers criminal activities focused on accessing vital information under the guise of being a reliable connection. The hackers behind this present themselves faultlessly as your bank, the IRS, a Federal Census organization, your medical provider, or similar.
Logos are immaculate and content in the messages convincing. Sometimes it takes the form of higher management instructing CFOs to authorize payment. Unfortunately, finding the destination account is a fool’s errand leading nowhere once the money’s gone.
Other words associated with the “phishing” term have crept in – “spear-phishing” or “whaling,” for example – but it boils down to the same thing. Aside from acute staff awareness, scam filters and the latest filters primed to detect and erase suspicious messages are primary defense mechanisms under this category.
3. Data Leakage and Insider Threat
Management makes the fatal error of believing that data protection begins and ends in the office – it’s not the case! The undeniable inclusion of smartphones (every adult in the first world has one) and tablets in the digital equation creates potential data leaks left, right, and center.
In the era of Digital Transformation
, you may believe that your files and apps remain within the building’s four walls. Still, staff, vendors, advisors, and facilitators download it in various ways legitimately, and on occasion for devious purposes. Accept that portable storage devices are everywhere in and around the operation. IT pros will tell you to ensure your:
The insider aspect of leakage demands special attention:
- Mobile devices contain and deploy passcode locks.
- IT software can track every device via GPS and remotely wipe the device if lost (or for any other good reason).
- Encryption software embraces data storage on all portable devices.
- The staff stays alert using these methods to pinpoint unusual activity or outside interactions.
You expect your staff to be exceedingly loyal and immune to bribes and competitor lures. Let us put it this way: you should hope that’s the case, but don’t rely on it. Employee actions and intentions, inadvertent or deliberate, can trigger devastating data diversions.
The best way to address this is training and education, alongside making cybersecurity an integral part of the corporate culture. The soundest approach to foil the stealing of information or its leaking from internal sources is to collaborate. In other words, make sure unusual signals don’t go unheeded. It takes only one project member to raise the alarm, and everyone should know that.
This cybersecurity activity covers a broad range of criminal options, from attempting to gain access to bank account data, credit card information, or intellectual property.
Additionally, hackers employ social engineering ruses to trick unwary staff into divulging usernames and passwords as entry into highly personal/confidential arenas. Install network firewalls, define access limitations, create strict “need-to-see” protocols so that data doesn’t become an open freeway for all and sundry into the business.
The five threats highlighted above are the tip of a massive cybersecurity criminal iceberg that grows larger by the day. Every business relying on internet communication, cloud storage, and access to data cannot ignore it. An ostrich mentality with one’s head in the sand spells inevitable disaster.
Don’t hesitate to secure professional advice on a contractual or in-house basis. It will ensure you’re on top of blotting out glaring exposure that hackers and their ilk can spot from a mile away. With our AI and ML powered 24x7x365 managed Security Services Atlas Systems is providing:
- Cyber and Infrastructure Security
- API and Application Security
- Remote Work Security
- DDoS IP Protection