As 2022 is coming to an end and we begin to wind down, this may be the best time for cyber threats to occur. The stark reality is that there are several thousands of cyber threats out there and data breaches happen all the time. It could be a bit overwhelming for the nontechnical person, especially a manager who relies heavily on their IT department to sort out any technical issues. But, there should still be some basic understanding in the managerial level of common threats and what a manager should look out for to protect their business. Fene Osakwe, one of Africa’s most sought-after cybersecurity advisors, shares an informative article on Forbes of the top cyber threats to your business that you can protect yourself from in the coming year.
- Phishing. “Phishing happens when an attacker tricks a victim into opening an email or other electronic message by pretending to be a reliable source with the sole purpose of stealing personal or organizational data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. According to a study by Proofpoint, ‘In 2021 more organizations experienced at least one successful email-based phishing attack than the year before.’ This trend is expected to continue in 2023.”
- Malware. “Malware is the collective name for any software written with malicious intent. Some software variants include viruses, ransomware and spyware. Successful malware threats can cause disruption to a computer system, server or corporate network. It could also lead to leaked private information, attackers gaining unauthorized access to information or systems, or completely depriving users of access to information until the company, or the user in some cases, pays some amount of money to the hackers, at which point access to the data is restored or decrypted. This is generally called a ransomware attack and is presently one of the most popular types of malware attack in the world.”
- Supply Chain Or Third-Party Threat. “Many companies have traditionally spent time and money securing their perimeter and on-premises systems but have given little focus to the security practices of their third parties, who typically have access to private corporate or customer data, systems, procedures or other privileged information. These third parties include vendors, partners, contractors and service providers. Software supply chain attacks grew by more than 300% in 2021 compared to 2020, according to a study by Argon Security, and we have seen this trend continue to increase.”
What should business owners do to protect themselves from – at the very least – these common cyber threats? There’s no sure fire answer to any of these threats, but there are ways to strengthen your security should you ever come across these issues. Cyber training at the very least would be a good place to start for your employees, suggests Osakwe. Your employees could benefit from understanding the common threats and what steps they need to take to protect their work data as well as try to prevent data breaches from happening. While cyber threats aren’t going away any time soon, we can still try to avoid them as best as we can.