Data security is still not a priority for some businesses. There is a misconception that the sheer enormity of a company will guard it against any risks that may arise due to unwanted breaches. And, even if there is a risk, its impact will be minimal. This is not merely true.
The bigger the volume of data in a business, securing it becomes more of a challenge. In fact, for any business, a minute threat could pose a severe risk which could become fatal if left unattended.
Simply put, data security is a phenomenon that no business can afford to ignore. It is known that a breach, no matter how small, can cost your business millions of dollars. A recent report indicates that the data breach in the United States on average can cost a company around $8 million. As shown in the chart given below.
Data Breach – A Threat to Businesses
The size of the business does not matter for cyber attackers. They would target a small enterprise just as well as a massive conglomerate with equal zeal. Most of the small and medium-sized businesses do not have the cushion to weather the financial catastrophe caused by such an attack. Unfortunately, only a small number of businesses find it necessary to invest in data security. Many do not even bother to hire third parties for this purpose, even though some of them are very good at providing computer support in the USA.
Cyber attackers have become more and more sophisticated. Threats are evolving every day as people with malafide intention keep coming up with novel ways of breaching networks. The numbers, mechanics, and timing of cyber-attacks cannot be predicted. If a business is aware of common types of threats, it may be able to deal with them in a better way.
Cybersecurity Challenges Faced by Businesses
Below, you can find a list of 7 data security challenges faced by businesses.
Phishing is one of the most common data security threats faced by businesses. It is a malware that makes its way into your network through phishing emails. If one of the users makes the mistake of clicking on such an email, it enables the attacker to break into your system and access all the data stored there, including passwords and IDs.
The studies indicate that around 76% of businesses were the victims of phishing attacks last year. Symantec Internet Security Threat Report also revealed that the phishing rate in emails is 1 in 1,846. What’s more alarming is that these attacks are not only limited to emails. Smartphones and SMS are also being used to deliver malware.
This is the most common kind of security threat. The number of total ransom attacks has crossed the 11 billion mark. It is predicted that by the end of 2019, this kind of attack will happen in every 14 seconds.
The nature of a ransom attack is precisely what its name suggests. The attacker would access the data of your business and hold it hostage until you pay an agreed amount. These attackers prefer companies because they have more cash. Their victims are usually those establishments that have minimal data security.
A ransom attack is a financial burden on business and causes loss of prestige. Customers will be reluctant to share their personal data with companies that are known to become victims of data theft.
Bugs in Personal Devices of Employees
Some businesses allow their employees to use their personal devices for working with the company network and software. The arrangement offers a lot of flexibility to the company as well as its employees.
This practice may cause a problem when an employee, whose personal device is affected by malware that’s connected to the company’s server. This poses a security challenge to the business. It also offers a crooked employee an opportunity to steal data from the network.
If an employee’s device is stolen, the data of the business will also be compromised. This risk can be mitigated through implementing strict policies for using personal devices on a company network. All such devices should be installed with firewalls and anti-viruses.
There are millions of apps available on online stores, and contrary to popular belief, all of them are not safe. When you install an unsecured app on your device, it can access all the data stored on the same device. If your smartphone is connected to a network, an attacker can access the network through your phone.
These days, employees connect their smartphones with the company’s network. It will take just a single phone to compromise the entire data of the business.
Businesses should implement policies for making sure that personal smartphones and other mobile devices are secured and free of malware before they allow them to connect to the network. Otherwise, the use of personal smartphones, tablet PCs, and the like should be prohibited.
Several businesses are still reliant on passwords for authentication thereby exposing themselves to unnecessary risk. This happens because companies shy away from letting their employees and workers know what strong passwords should be like. They use common words and phrases as passwords that could be guessed by just about anyone.
There are also ways of boosting your company’s authentication. A two-way process is much more secure and does not solely rely on the password provided by the user.
The best authentication is offered by bio-metric. It takes care of cyber threats to your data. Employees should also be advised to change their passwords regularly.Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)A distributed denial of service happens when a targeted system is bombarded with several systems simultaneously. Despite popular belief that such attacks are obsolete, the fact is that they still occur. In fact, their frequency has almost doubled.
A DDoS attack floods a server with an unprecedented number of requests and emails, all of whom are fake. This slows down your server and affects your quality of service to genuine customers. It can also crash your system resulting in a loss of data, customers and consequently, profits.
Lack of Awareness
Every business needs awareness of cybersecurity at every level of its operations. Employees must be given proper training before they can use the network and company software.
They must have the knowledge and the means of identifying all kinds of possible threats to their own devices, and the company’s assets. Policies should be designed and implemented to the letter.
Senior managers and department heads should be made aware of the threat to their data. These threats are genuine and cannot be mitigated without the help of professionals in the field. Making the investment in training employees is necessary so that anyone with access to a business’s network knows how to cope with cyber-attacks when they occur.