What’s the Best Way To Protect Against Cybersecurity Threats And Attacks
Cybercrime is more lucrative than you could ever imagine. According to industry estimates, the costs of a successful cybersecurity attack could reach USD$6 trillion this year. Additionally, the average price for a data breach is pegged at USD$ 3.86 million, with phishing attacks capable of stealing USD$ 17,700 worth of data per minute. (1)
Due to the costs and irreparable damages involved, individuals and business organizations can’t afford to let their guard down when it comes to cybersecurity. Structures and policies that promote robust cybersecurity measures are paramount in keeping threats and attacks at bay.
In this post, you’ll find the best ways to protect yourself and your organization from data breaches and other forms of cyberattacks.
Examples of cybersecurity threats and attacks
Cybersecurity threats refer to all forms of attacks that can jeopardize digital data. Cybercriminals are working vigorously to identify and exploit security vulnerabilities to gain access to sensitive and personal information. A successful attack lets hackers access all forms of data that can disrupt business operations and illegally obtain an individual or organization’s financial information. As high as 86% of cyberattacks launched are financially driven. (1)
Cyberattacks can take many forms, but these are among the most common threats that users have to watch out for:
- Malware: Short for ‘malicious software,’ it infects the hardware and software after an unsuspecting user clicks on a link or attachment containing viruses, spyware, and ransomware. Once activated, your computer may crash and all your information transmitted to the cybercriminal through spyware.
- Emotet: This is one of the most destructive forms of malware that bugs the banking industry, inflicting the costliest damages.
- Denial of Service (DoS): This form of cyberattack renders your computer system useless and is often used before a malware infection.
- Man in the middle: Hackers disrupt computer traffic and get data by installing malware and gaining access to your data. They do this by ‘inserting’ themselves in between the visitor and the network.
- Phishing: Most of these attacks rely on fake emails designed to gather log-in information and financial details to steal the contents of a victim’s bank accounts.
- SQL injection: Hackers target servers using a structured query language (SQL) to inject malicious codes to extract information.
- Password attacks: By hacking into a password database, cybercriminals can get hold of your sensitive personal information. (2)
What’s the best protection for cybersecurity threats and attacks?
There’s no one solution to make cybersecurity work. However, the best form of protection is to strengthen measures to identify cyberattacks, protect the systems and networks, and respond well in the event of a breach. However, here are some things you can do to protect yourself from cyberattacks:
1. Taking a proactive approach
As with the medical world, prevention is better than cure when it comes to cybersecurity. A user’s first line of defense is composed of both hardware and software solutions and users who are fully aware of cybersecurity matters, which include the following:
- Using strong passwords and frequently changing them are good practices to make it harder for hackers to get through.
- Regularly updating software reduces the risk of breaches as each update comes with security patches that strengthen vulnerabilities.
- Using a virtual private network (VPN) while out of office encrypts business and personal data transmission, so cybercriminals can’t read and use them.
- Setting up firewalls makes it harder for hackers to get through the network and internal systems.
- Installing malware and spyware protection to shield the system from unauthorized attempts at obtaining log-in and password details.
- Keeping your social media profile private. Some hackers scour through an individual’s social media accounts to get sensitive information. Remind your staff to avoid revealing personal and business information and to think before they post.
- Training employees to become more conscious of cybersecurity. Creating a cybersecurity culture in the organization is vital in your fight against cybersecurity risks. Hackers often exploit human vulnerabilities too when carrying out malicious attacks. (1) (3)
2. Developing cybersecurity business policies
Organizations can further strengthen their cybersecurity resiliency by institutionalizing standards and policies that cover the following functions:
- Risk management: Businesses must perform regular cybersecurity risk assessments to identify potential and emerging threats. Periodic evaluations also help a company develop strategies to ward off attacks effectively. Similarly, entities must review and amend procedures to safeguard and mitigate damages triggered by a cyberattack.
- IT-use policies: Business assets and information technology (IT) resources are considerable investments, and they need to be protected at all costs. Apart from identifying cyberthreats promptly, entities must protect their resources from malicious attacks by placing certain restrictions on their use in-office or via remote access.
- User account management: Protecting sensitive data could mean limiting access to persons responsible for handling and updating information. Setting data access rights prevents the information from being passed around inadvertently. It likewise underlines accountability among team members accountable for data management.
- Data management procedures: Besides prioritizing user account management, businesses also need to focus on data security, including proper backup and recovery. These two elements are crucial in cyberattacks that wipe out information and in natural disasters inflicting massive damage. (1) (3)
Maintaining robust cybersecurity measures hinge on each individual and business organizations, internally and externally. Entities can develop and implement their own IT policies and upgrade their hardware and software, often with the help of third-party cybersecurity professionals.
High-quality and reliable external IT support can help businesses improve their defenses against all types of online threats, risks, and attacks. This is not something your company should skimp on in the digital age.
- “How to Prevent Cyberattacks: Top Ways to Protect Yourself”, Source: https://online.maryville.edu/blog/how-to-prevent-cyberk-attacks/
- “7 Types of Cybersecurity Threats”, Source: https://onlinedegrees.und.edu/blog/types-of-cyber-security-threats/
- “Cybersecurity Is Critical for all Organizations – Large and Small”, Source: https://www.ifac.org/knowledge-gateway/preparing-future-ready-professionals/discussion/cybersecurity-critical-all-organizations-large-and-small