Cybercrime is on the rise. Every business, regardless of size, is more at risk than ever, evidenced by recent Talk Talk, Ashley Madison and Dropbox breaches. When it comes to WannaCry and Petya, one successful attack can cause havoc.
Businesses must protect themselves. You never know where the next attack may come from. There are many unforeseen ways that hackers can target your business.
#1 – Device loss leads to business cost
Commuting during peak times, it’s easy for your employees’ devices to be stolen or lost. If the device in question is unsecure this can lead to a serious data breach, especially if the device has access to your cloud servers, corporate applications and business emails.
#2 – Phoning it in, the trojan horse in your pocket
Malware has infected your employee’s corporate device. This particular strain, allows hackers to access device accounts. They are running an advertising fraud scheme, which automatically purchases apps earning them more than £240,000 a month. Unfortunately, the company gave employees access to their app store account, granting the hackers free reign over their purchasing accounts.
#3 – Light fingers aren’t just good for typing
More than 250,000 laptops and smartphones are lost or stolen every year. In the year to February 2014, the number of stolen devices such as laptops, smartphones and tablets in the UK was 290,651. Even this inherently physical crime can constitute a breach of cyber security.
In January 2017, payment processing firm GoCardless were the victims of theft. The thieves made off with 19 laptops. The devices were not encrypted and contained customer personal data – everything needed for phishing scams or even identity theft.
#4 – Mobile payment, the contactless curse
With more and more retailers accepting contactless payments, even for small amounts, tap and pay card purchases are easier than ever before. But, when employees pay using their device, there’s a chance of data theft or installation of malicious software by a third-party.
#5 – Malicious Wi-Fi Hotspots
When your employee is out and about on a business trip or remote working, they are at risk of infection. Although each café, train station or public library they work from has Wi-Fi available, this doesn’t mean their hotspot is secure. Malware has now infected your employee’s device, resulting in a costly data leak. The Wi-Fi might have been free, but it was an expensive outing for your business.
#6 – An app a day takes your revenue away
Apps provide the software that makes employees more effective on their device. However, your employee doesn’t realise that not all apps are legitimate. They bought a mobile game on the app store, not knowing that malicious code followed the download onto their device.
#7 – Curse of the Competitor
Your most valuable sales representative one day decides to call it quits, announcing that they’re joining your closest competitor. They hand back their laptop and the keys to the company car, but they own the smartphone that contains corporate documents, notes from CRM and the contact details of your prospects. Not only is your data now unsecure, it’s in the hands of your rivals. Job hopping isn’t a new trend either, with Deloitte’s 2017 survey revealing that 44% of Millennials, if given the choice, expect to leave their current employers in the next two years.
#8 – Phishing for vulnerabilities
During their lunch hour, your employee likes to check their personal email. They smile as they see an email offer from their favourite online shop. They click the link to take advantage of the amazing offer not knowing they have given access to your servers and data to phishing scammers. It just goes to show, one of the biggest security risks to a business are the employees themselves.
#9 – Putting all your eggs in the wrong basket
For ease, your employees have a common practice of using unauthorised storage platforms, like Dropbox. When corporate data is moved off the premises it becomes vulnerable, proven by Dropbox’s recent hack that saw 68 million people have their details leaked. This is a more common problem than you would think, with 87 percent of senior managers admitting to regularly uploading files to a personal email or cloud account.
#10 – Curiosity killed the computer
Your employee finds an unknown USB stick in the office and don’t know who it belongs to. Thinking they might find a clue as to the owner, they plug it in to their computer. Suddenly, everything shuts down. The USB stick is infected and will infect any device it gets plugged into. They now have access to all data and information on your servers. Protecting your business from malicious USB sticks sounds obvious, but one in ten businesses do not have a security strategy for situations like this.”
Keeping the pace keeps files safe
Keeping up with recent EU regulations goes a long way to ensuring your business is secure against cyber threats. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25th May 2018. This regulation affects UK businesses, even after Brexit. This is because it applies to any business that offers goods and services to EU countries. If you want to keep doing business, you need to be secure.
The GDPR strengthens and harmonises data protections laws, ensuring the safety of EU citizens from privacy and data breaches. It is important that you be aware of the compliance requirements and reporting obligations that your business may need to meet. GDPR fines can be up to either €20 million or four percent of your global annual turnover, whichever is higher.
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