In the digital era, there is no hiding from cyber threats. Reports of data breaches among Australian organisations has risen by a shocking 712% since the Notifiable Data Breach Scheme was introduced in 2018.
Every business is susceptible and at risk. Since there’s no way to completely avoid cybercriminals, your company needs to implement defensive measures and security protocols as soon as possible.
You may be wondering what the risks are, and how to protect your data from being breached. We’ve outlined the five most common types of breaches, and how you can defend against them.
Distributed denial of service (DDOS)
A distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack happens when cybercriminals flood your network with traffic, causing a denial of service for legitimate users. It can be executed from different sources and networks at the same time, making it difficult to stop.
Companies can experience DDOS attacks if they use unsecured networks for their internet services or if their servers are not equipped to handle the high volume of traffic. A potential risk for your business is that DDOS threats are not just limited to being a nuisance or a disruption; they can also be used to extort money out of companies. If you have a website that uses a third-party company to host your site, you could be at risk of experiencing a DDOS attack.
To prevent DDOS attacks from happening in the first place, keep your servers up-to-date with the latest security patches and implement cyber security practices and policies across your company. Another way is to use a network firewall to control who can access the Internet and what data they’re allowed to transmit.
Ransomware is a type of malware that renders your data inaccessible by locking it up with an encryption key. Criminals then demand a ransom to unlock the data.
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of cyber-attacks, and target individuals, small businesses, and even large organisations. In 2021, 80% of Australian businesses reported ransomware attacks – up from 45% in 2020. Once infected, there is no way to guarantee that your data will ever be recovered — even if you pay the ransom.
To protect your business, make sure you have a comprehensive cyber security plan and keep your software and operating systems up-to-date. You should also have an incident response plan in place in case your system becomes compromised.
Phishing is a form of cybercrime where attackers impersonate legitimate people or organisations to gain unauthorised access to data or money. Phishing emails will often ask you to contact them with your login information, bank account details, or other sensitive information. These emails often contain links that, if clicked, will infect your network, or ask you to download an attachment that will then infect your network with a virus.
Phishing emails are difficult to detect, so you should train your employees to always be on high alert, and not click on links or download information from unknown senders.
Poorly secured networks
A poorly secured network allows unwanted access to all of the connected devices. For example, a computer that is left logged in on the internet allows malware to be downloaded by an attacker. This can lead to sensitive information being stolen or the device being compromised entirely, which could expose your data and cause serious problems for your business.
The most important thing you can do to protect your organisation’s network is to keep it secure. If there are any vulnerabilities in the system, you should address them immediately, including making sure that all of your devices are up-to-date with the latest software and firmware updates. This will help keep out any external threats that may have access to your network and reduce the likelihood of them being able to do damage.
Install security software and ensure it is always up-to-date with the latest patches, and implement a strong password policy and multi-factor authentication among your users.
Brute force attacks
A brute force attack is a method of attacking a system by systematically trying all possible passwords or passphrases to gain access. Brute force attacks are commonly used as they are very easy to carry out and usually don’t require much skill. In most cases, these cybercriminals will use software and computers to try different passwords until they find one that works.
You can protect your network against brute force attacks by setting up a strong password policy – at least 12 characters for every password – using multi-factor authentication, and deploying encryption on sensitive areas of your network.
Protect your business against breaches with expert help
Cyber security is a growing concern and challenge for businesses. Protecting your customers and employees’ data is critical, but it’s not always easy. There are many ways your company can be breached, but the good news is you can take steps to prevent it. Implementing an effective cyber security strategy is crucial, but it is not something you can do alone. It requires a collaborative effort from many different departments within your company.
The cyber security specialists at Itopia can implement the security solutions your business needs to protect against cyber threats. Talk to them today and ensure you’re prepared.