The top companies of generations ago didn’t have to worry about cybersecurity because the internet didn’t exist yet. Because it’s so prevalent in our society now, criminals turn to the online realm to wage war against victims — and often target entire organizations in the process.
It’s essential for business leaders to be aware of potential cybersecurity threats to enterprises and know how to reduce them.
- Disgruntled Former Employees
Individuals who become upset after terminations, being laid off or getting denied an opportunity for promotion are all people who could use their insider knowledge to put a company’s data at risk after they leave the organization.
Factors that motivate malicious insiders include greed, thrill-seeking and the desire to get revenge after a perceived wrongful action.
Companies can reduce the malicious insider risk by immediately deactivating credentials after people leave the company and carefully monitoring any sensitive material, including encouraging people not to print out or take home confidential documents.
- Attacks From International Hackers
It’s crucial for companies not to have a solely domestic mindset when thinking about cybersecurity. Whereas government agencies usually have the resources to deal with cybercriminals from other countries and prevent their attacks, the same is not often true for entities at the enterprise level, making potential attacks particularly costly.
A 2014 attack at Sony that was reportedly launched by state-sponsored hackers from North Korea and resulted in the loss of substantial amounts of data — plus over 47,000 social security numbers — swiped from computers.
The cybersecurity team at a business must realize the organization is not out of reach of international attackers. They should keep that in mind when securing their networks and monitoring for threats. It’s also necessary to immediately begin communicating with law enforcement officials after a suspected attack to tap into their resources.
- Staff Mistakes
Untrained and careless staff members also cause a significant percentage of cybersecurity incidents. Data collected in 2016 found that 57 percent of security issues in the government sector happened due to human error, producing 14 percent of the system downtime in those situations.
Sometimes, training itself isn’t adequate, especially if employees don’t realize their roles in keeping an enterprise safe from threats. All-encompassing training that evolves as new threats arrive is instrumental in minimizing risks due to staff mistakes.
It’s also useful to consider having cybersecurity experts speak to your teams to help solidify learned concepts and give staff members the opportunity to ask questions.
- Unsecured Devices Brought From Home
BYOD workplaces that involve employees bringing gadgets like laptops and tablets from home into the enterprise environment can save companies money and allow people to work on devices that they know well and feel comfortable using. However, these devices are also vulnerable to hackers, especially if not properly secured.
One way to cut down on the risk to an enterprise is to write and uphold a BYOD policy that spells out how employees should handle their devices, whether or not they’re at work.
For example, keeping all software up-to-date, avoiding connecting to public Wi-Fi networks and locking down computer interfaces with passwords can all cut down on security risks on portable devices, regardless of where people are when using them.
The IT team at an organization should also adopt a practice of periodically checking BYOD devices to ensure they comply with the policy.
- Outdated or Nonexistent Cybersecurity Practices
Statistics indicate there are 59 records lost every second. Whether due to insufficient internal practices alone or successful hacking attempts from cybercriminals that target organizations, that number suggests companies are not doing enough to lock down their data.
A survey of over 4,000 organizations found that seven out of 10 were not prepared for cyberattacks. In some cases, that might mean the enterprise has not updated its security strategies for several years. However, perhaps they have never formally incorporated cybersecurity efforts into business operations.
Carrying out a security audit is an excellent activity that allows business leaders to see where their companies stand and pinpoint the most glaring shortcomings. The insights gleaned enable enterprises to get a strong start when addressing cybersecurity from the ground up or to edit current practices so that they more adequately meet emerging needs.
Stay Vigilant to Avoid Catastrophes
This list details some of the most substantial threats to modern enterprises.
Fortunately, it also addresses how to make those risks less prominent. Business executives cannot afford to assume hackers won’t target them.
They must be aware of the daunting possibilities and rely on skilled cybersecurity experts — and the workplace at large — to keep costly and stressful threats minimized.