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Cyber Security Threats: How to Stay One Step Ahead

Cyber Security Threats: How to Stay One Step Ahead

7th February 2024

Cyberthreats are evolving at an alarming rate, and in a digital landscape, safeguarding your business from the danger of cyber attacks is becoming increasingly important.

SMEs constitute 81% of UK businesses affected by cyber security attacks. Additionally, 97% of businesses falling victim to such attacks could have safeguarded themselves with a contemporary and comprehensive cyber security solution.

In this blog, we dive into the risks of poor cyber security measures, exploring strategies to stay ahead of the game.


Malware and anti-virus solutions

Short for malicious software, malware is a broad term that encompasses different types of software designed to gain unauthorised access to a computer system and cause disruption.

Malware can come in the form of a malicious website, email attachment or a dodgy software, and once it is inside a computer system, it can steal sensitive information and corrupt important files. For businesses, this can significantly disrupt your operations.

So what can you do to prevent malware attacks?

Staying ahead involves maintaining up-to-date software and employing reputable antivirus solutions to detect and neutralise these threats.


Phishing and regularly training employees

Phishing is a technique which involves the hacker trying to impersonate a trustworthy person, such as a bank employee, in an attempt to steal sensitive and personal information, such as passwords and financial details.

There are many techniques to phishing, but some forms include fake emails, messages, websites and phone calls. Cyber attackers may use emotional manipulation or urgency to coerce individuals into providing confidential information.

To stay one step ahead, employees should undergo regular training to recognise phishing attempts, and organisations should implement strong email filtering systems to identify and block such fraudulent messages.


Breaches and multi-factor authentication

Multi-factor authentication stands as an additional layer of protection beyond traditional password security. By requiring users to provide multiple forms of identification such as a password and a temporary code sent to their mobile phone or email, MFA decreases the risk of unauthorised access.

In the face of cyber threats, including phishing and password-related breaches, MFA acts as a deterrent. Even if one layer of authentication is compromised, the second or third factor serves as a defence, mitigating the potential fallout of a security breach.


Hacking and maintaining strong passwords

It may sound obvious, but weak passwords pose a significant threat to the cybersecurity of your business. Passwords should be complex, with a range of characters, numbers and capital letters. Simple passwords can put organisations at risk of unauthorised access to personal accounts, corporate networks, or sensitive data.

Should passwords be easily predictable or reused across various logins within the company, a cyber attacker may exploit such vulnerabilities to access sensitive information and jeopardise operational integrity.

To enhance your organisation's security, it is imperative to employ intricate passwords and ensure that each login is unique across different platforms.

Read our blog on disaster recovery planning for small businesses.


Insider threats and access controls

Often overlooked, insider threats involve individuals within an organisation exploiting their access to various logins and information across the company. Although this could be intentional or intentional, it is important to mitigate the risk of an employee, business partner or other stakeholders stealing sensitive data or introducing malware to computer systems.

To mitigate this threat, organisations should implement access controls and educate employees about the risks of compromising data. Organisations should also conduct background checks during the hiring process to ensure employees are trustworthy. This could be as simple as asking for a reference.


Unpatched software and regularly update software

Ignoring software updates doesn’t just mean you’re missing out on the latest features; unpatched software represents a vulnerability in a system that cybercriminals can exploit. Software developers regularly release updates to address security flaws and enhance system performance.

Neglecting to apply these updates leaves systems open to exploitation by cyber threats. Staying one step ahead involves implementing a robust patch management system to ensure all software and operating systems are regularly updated, minimising the risk of security breaches.


Man-in-the-middle attacks and secure Wi-Fi

One common cyber threat that preys on unsecured Wi-Fi networks is known as "Man-in-the-Middle" (MitM) attacks. In these attacks, malicious actors exploit the lack of encryption and security measures on unsecured Wi-Fi connections to intercept the communication between a user and a website or online service.

The attacker positions themselves between the user and the intended destination, allowing them to eavesdrop on sensitive information, such as login credentials, personal data, or financial details.

Utilising secure Wi-Fi practices, such as encryption and strong authentication mechanisms, is essential in mitigating the risks associated with these types of cyber threats.


Contact Host My Office for secure cyber security

Contact Host My Office for robust cybersecurity solutions, including secure broadband, 24/7 IT support, data backup solutions, and expert consulting. Our services ensure a secure and reliable environment for your business, addressing potential threats and providing comprehensive support.

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