What Are the Biggest Cyber Security Threats & How Can You Avoid Them?

April 5, 2021
Desktop.com Team

With the ever-rising tide of technology and its functionalities, having tight security on all of your information is a must. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, you’ll always be at risk of cyber security threats, so how can you avoid them?

Hackers are getting smart and are sending increasing amounts of viruses and scams that, unfortunately, many people end up falling for. Let's have a look at some of the biggest cyber security threats out there and how you can protect yourself from them.

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Phishing

The most popular threat that people face, especially small businesses, is phishing attacks, with 65% of attacker groups using phishing as the primary infection vector.

A phishing attack is when an attacker pretends to be a trusted contact or a legitimate business, and convinces a user to click and download a malicious link or give them access to personal information. What makes phishing difficult to fight against is the fact that they use social engineering to target people within businesses, rather than using security weaknesses. So how do you fight these attacks off?

The biggest way to deal with phishing attacks is by downloading email gateway securities that prevent these sort of emails from reaching your inbox. This gives you and your business less chance of suspecting to a bad link and putting your information in jeopardy.

Malware

If phishing is the biggest threat to people, malware is the second biggest. Malware is malicious code, like in the form of trojans or viruses, that gain access to your network and steal your data. These can come from insecure websites, spam emails, corrupt download links and more. This can put your business (and customers) at risk for future attacks if your devices aren’t cleaned and repaired.

To protect your computer, you can download malware software, which guards your device from spam links and unprotected websites. These softwares typically do routine checks to make sure your computer is safe, and give you advice and suggestions on what websites to watch out for and what apps or links you should remove to keep your computer safe.

Personal Devices

Employee’s devices are, quite naturally, unlikely to have the same security measures in place than a company-owned device has. Because of that, hackers have an easier time compromising those electronics unless you take some steps to prevent it. If your company allows employees to use their own devices, consider accessing the network through a virtual private network, VPN, and always enable two-factor authentication on all business and personal accounts. As long as you do that, as well as bear in mind the other tips in this article, using your own device for work should be safe and secure!

Weak Passwords

This one should be pretty obvious. For several years now, websites have been encouraging stronger passwords so that way hackers have a harder time accessing your accounts. When your password is predictable, it’s easy for hackers to log onto your different accounts and not just post and delete information from them, but also retrieve data that they can use against you later on. The fix to this issue is pretty simple though.

For starters, you want to be using different passwords for each account. It can be a little bit of a hassle, but your security is far more important than a couple extra passwords. A great tip is to use a password manager to help keep track of your different accounts. The second thing you should be doing is using longer passwords. Did you know that a 12-character password takes 62 trillion times longer to crack than a six-character password? By using longer passwords, you’re ensuring security to your accounts and keeping viruses and hackers at bay.

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Third-Party Risk

Organizations are beginning to work more and more with third-party groups and have more relationships with other businesses. While it’s beneficial for your company, what it ends up doing is spreading your security and information across multiple groups. This can cause hackers to access your information through a different company that has your information.

This can be mitigated by working with your partnerships to ensure security is taken care of on each side. You can also protect  by using a central hub, such as Desktop.com, to keep shared information secure during collaboration.

Desktop.com allows teams to collaborate with each other on projects in a single location without having to sacrifice security or space, and keeps all parties seamlessly involved in a project.

Employees

Phishing, malware, passwords - none of that can be prevented if your employees aren’t trained in protecting their device, which is why they also pose a huge security risk. If they’re not familiar with the risks of malware and other suspicious links or attacks, they can end up putting the whole business at risk for giving away extremely valuable information.

That’s why it’s important to invest in on-going training. The only way employees will continually keep your business safe is if they’re aware of all the different risks and how they should handle them. With employees using their own devices in some businesses, it’s all the more reason why they need to know how to protect their computer and their information.

Security can be a big issue, but if you are informed about safe practices, then your business can be impenetrable! Just follow these steps and your team will be able to optimize their security and you can rest knowing your information is completely safe.

Go ahead and give these tips a try!

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