Cyber attacks and data breaches continue to be a huge concern for individuals and business owners – for good reason, too. In 2021, it’s estimated that one in every three households had home computers infected with malware or other malicious software. When it comes to businesses, a growing number report falling victim to some type of cyber attack each year. With the sophistication of these attacks improving each year as well, it’s important for responsible households (and business owners) to keep updated on the types of attacks that exist and how to best protect themselves.
What are the Most Common Types of Cyber Security Issues?
Have you ever clicked on an email advertisement from your favorite retailer, expecting to navigate to their website but somehow landed on another? If so, you may have fallen victim to a phishing scheme. Phishing is the act of an imposter falsely representing an authentic brand or company, often tricking users into sharing personal or financial information by completing a transaction. In some cases, phishing attacks are so convincing that users are persuaded into downloading files that can contain harmful viruses or malware. While phishing most often occurs by email, attackers sometimes use text messaging and social media efforts as well.
Password attacks are another common cyber threat. While cyber attackers use multiple means to hack a password, those that are weak are most vulnerable. In fact, 61% of data breaches last year were caused by weak passwords. With technology and AI constantly improving, ensuring all of your devices and accounts are fully protected with a strong password is critical. We also recommend enabling two-factor authentication whenever possible. With this, a compromised password is less likely to lead to full account access for the attacker.
Malware, and all of its subcategories, cause millions of dollars of damage annually for businesses. From corrupted or encrypted data to malicious programming designed to destroy hardware to data and files held for ransom, malware continues to be a growing threat for business owners.
What are the Most Common Types of Malware?
Malware is a general term used to describe programs or applications designed with the intent to damage hardware or software. Within the landscape of malware, several variations exist – each posing various risks to technology and its users. Viruses, for example, infect programs and stored data and files. As its name suggests, viruses spread from program to program and even from system to system. Along the way, viruses often corrupt, delete, or encrypt data – making it unusable for owners. Viruses are generally attached to a file, and when a user downloads that file, they are let out to wreak havoc.
Ransomware is unique in nature as it goes beyond simply accessing your devices, networks, or files. With this type of malware, cyber attackers demand a fee that must be paid before unlocking or returning what was hacked. Ransomware attacks are relatively common, with more than 4,000 ransomware attacks occurring daily since the start of 2016.
When it comes to hacking password-protected accounts, many cyber attackers rely on spyware – a type of malware used to “spy” on a user as they go about their regular computer tasks, logging keystrokes, and gaining visibility to various usernames and passwords.
How Do I Choose a Strong Password for my Online Accounts?
A smart first step to better protecting your devices and data is ensuring that all accounts have strong passwords. Choosing a strong password has gotten easier in recent years, as most browsers carry the ability to automatically generate secure passwords that meet any requirements from a particular website, such as the required use of uppercase letters and symbols. If left to create your password, following a few simple rules will result in a strong option difficult for cyber hackers to crack.
- Use unique passwords for all sites/accounts. Do not reuse the same passwords for multiple sites.
- Don’t use common passwords, such as “password” or “1234.”
- Incorporate all character types – lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters (or symbols).
- Don’t use easily discoverable personal information, such as your birthdate or address.
What Can My Business Do to Better Protect Against Cyber Attacks?
When running a business, it is not just your own information and data you must protect. Companies often store and transmit customer and employee information via the internet and digital devices. With so many stakeholders at play, companies should prioritize cybersecurity to protect everyone as well as the business as a whole. Large companies sometimes create entire teams to ensure this protection. However, most small and mid-sized businesses don’t have that expertise in-house.
In these cases, we suggest partnering with local IT experts to ensure your business is well protected. Kustura Technologies offers an array of cybersecurity solutions designed to fit businesses of all sizes. We’ve created these solutions to protect your data (files, emails) and all network communication. Our plans don’t stop when business hours close. Protection runs around the clock with 24/7 network monitoring. We store your data in our secure, private data center, and we offer secure email services to protect communications and information sent that way.
Above all, our cybersecurity solutions offer business owners peace of mind when it comes to protecting themselves and their employees and staff. If you’re unsure whether you are adequately protected, a security audit is a great place to start. We can work with you to identify areas of security concern, offer solutions to mitigate these, and even train your team on preventative security measures they can take daily. Contact us today to get better protected!
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