When running a business, a part of it is often exposed to certain kinds of cyber security risks. Even simple business operations done using the internet can make you a target for cyber criminals from any part of the globe.
These hackers will typically go to great lengths to convince you that their request or special offer is authentic. That’s why it’s important for any company, regardless of industry, to be aware of the usual malware and online scams you may encounter, and what to do once you are targeted.
Common Cyber Security Threats Businesses Face
1. Invoice Scam via Email
In this scam, cyber criminals pretend to be real suppliers letting you know about payment information changes. You might fail to realize it was all a fake until your business starts to receive complaints from legitimate suppliers that payments didn’t go through.
This risk can be mitigated simply by being aware of the potential scam. Be sure to have checks in place so you can pay the correct suppliers, and make sure that suppliers verify all major invoices using contact details you’ve exchanged before processing payment.
Malware is short for malicious software. This type of cyber security threat spreads spyware, viruses, worms, and Trojans via bogus websites, infected files, emails, and pop-up ads. It installs software onto your computer which is then used by hackers to access your work files. They could even use any sensitive information to authorize purchases using accounts in your name.
3. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
In this type of attack, the server is flooded with requests coming from various sources. This overwhelms the server to the point of slowing down or completely crashing. Once this happens, the system can no longer be used effectively until the interactions have been canceled and blocked permanently.
Ransomware is notorious for being one of the most damaging and sophisticated cyber threats online. A type of malware, ransomware puts your system on lock-down once it’s been opened, encrypting the device so no one can use it anymore. The affected server or computer will then stay locked until a huge ransom is paid.
What’s worse is that some hackers don’t follow through on the unlocking that they promise, causing more problems for the business they’ve attacked.
With phishing, fake messages try to trick you into giving away your financial or personal information. There are messages that look very genuine, complete with branding and logos that actually link to authentic-looking sites.
Businesses receive phishing emails commonly through text message, social media, email, or phone. You or any member of your staff should never respond to unknown messages asking for personal details or click on questionable links. Inform your employees about this scam so they won’t fall into the trap of phishing,
Similar to phishing, pharming criminals depend on a fake website and aim to steal personal information. Online banking and e-commerce sites have become popular targets of pharming. In this common scam, hackers threaten your cyber security by putting malicious code on your device. This code then leads you to a fake version of a real website.