Today, the cyber threat is more potent than ever. The technology is continuously advancing, and hackers are getting smarter every day. Security software that was useful yesterday may not work any longer.
Today, a cyber-attack takes place every 39 seconds. Most of these attacks are against small businesses that are less secure and easy to crack into.
According to Cybint solutions, in 2018 alone, hackers stole over half a billion personal records from different websites. Not even big tech companies are secured form these attacks. Yahoo created a $117.5 million settlement fund pay $100 to users whose information was stolen during the attacks in 2012 and 2016.
To understand how hackers attack, we need to understand what they want. Most hackers are a bunch of computer programmers trying their hands on easy cash. We call them “rookies.”
These hackers mostly target small businesses. By finding loopholes on their websites, they inject virus that makes the websites vulnerable.
Other hackers try to reach out to the individual to scam them. It is the most ubiquitous hacking technique. The emails you get from the king of Mozambique trying to make you a partner in this wealth is a “phishing technique” these hackers use.
Then there are organized groups of hackers that are backed by the government to target enemy states. They hack into certain entities to steal classified information from it. For example, Israel used this tactic to attack Iran’s missile program.
In today’s age, no business is too small or too insignificant for hackers to not hack into. They are after everything. Therefore, whether you’re a local business, a giant conglomerate, or even a sports league, you need to stay one step ahead of the hackers all the time.
Here, we are offering techniques that can help you secure your online business entity.
Get Advanced Security
First of all, get advanced security. It means that you do a complete software and site audit every one month or so. Don’t allow your staff to install unverified software. Only your IT staff should be allowed to install software on your systems. This will keep all the systems attached to the main hub secure.
Also, add some type of security layer such as an internet security software that routinely scans all the systems for any sort of vulnerabilities.
Stay aware and secure
Next, make sure that your staff is aware of the cybersecurity threats that exist and how to tackle them. They should be aware of phishing schemes and tactics that can compromise your company and customers’ data.
Staffers, especially those who do not have an IT degree, are usually not diligent when dealing with suspicious links online. So, it is better to make your staff aware of these threats by routinely educating them.
According to Futurism, over 70% of hackers target small businesses. It is because the security features on their website are not very stringent. A few advanced security threats that you need to be aware of include:
- AI Fuzzing: Now, AI-enabled bots are available that keep sending random anonymous software to servers just to test their resistance and crashing point. On a bigger level, these AI fuzzing techniques can lead to rampant DDoS attacks.
- Cloud Vulnerabilities: Already, over 70% of companies are using cloud storage for most of their services. Amazon has the biggest share of the cloud market. As the reliance on cloud services will increase, they will be more prone to cyber-attacks. Hackers can find loopholes in company cloud applications and use them to gain entry and steal information.
- Machine learning poisoning: Machine learning algorithms can easily turn rogue if hackers inject poison (a code that harms the system) in them. Most companies use machine learning programs. So, companies must remain aware of their possibilities.
- Smart Contract Manipulation: With Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies on the rise, smart contracts are becoming mainstream. But what if someone controls the blockchain these cryptocurrencies use? They can then manipulate all the data at once, creating chaos in the financial sector.
- Deep Fake: The advanced version of phishing is already here. Deep fake uses computer vision to create lookalike bots that can mimic humans and create an alternate version of what they said.
Solidify your presence
Security and awareness is everything when it comes to cyber threats. Are your applications secure? Do you have “two-factor authentication (2FA)” enabled on all systems and applications? Do you have mobile notifications enabled for systems when someone logs into them? These are some things that you need to measure.
Microsoft and Google now offer the ‘Authenticator’ app. This app can be used with any application your company uses. The app sends a code on your smartphone that is only accessible through the app receiver. It ensures maximum 2FA security of all applications.
Backup & security policy
Does your company have a security and backup policy? If not, it is time to create one. Most companies are unaware of a backup or security policy. They mostly rely on their hosting company for all the backups.
It poses a serious risk if the hosting company’s security is compromised. It is important that you also have your own Data Recovery (DR) site available in times of need, and having a strong backup and security policy ensures that.
In case of a hacking attempt, your company won’t have to request data from the hosting service. If it gets delayed, it may hurt your business.
Get external help
With so many security threats, there are only a few things you can do. So it is also important that you make external site audits possible. Top anti-virus softwares like Norton, AVG internet security, and Kaspersky also offer their help in system and site auditing.
You can also hire third-party penetration services to test the vulnerabilities that exist in your system/software/applications.
Encrypt data regularly
While transferring information, make sure you encrypt all the data that is being shared through applications. For example, if you are sharing passwords through Skype or email services, use a software service like Passpack. It provides the tools to securely organize and store passwords with strong encryption and administrative controls.
Similarly, if you are sharing files within the organization using your email service, then make sure that the data is available in a secure format. At least a password layer will ensure that the data becomes useless in the wrong hands.
Cyber Security Insurance
Cybersecurity insurance makes sure that you are duly compensated for the damage that occurred due to a hacking attack. Anyone can become a target of hacks. It is important that you are aware, secure, and insured.
When it comes to cyber-security, it is better to be pro-active than reactive. Today, websites and e-commerce stores have more information about an individual than anyone else. If this information gets into the wrong hand, it can put the life of that individual in grave peril.