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What are the cybersecurity risks affecting your business this year?

Published 18 Feb 2021 by Ellice Eadie, CANDDi
Read this in about 3 minutes

Keeping your company and employees safe is every business owner’s priority. Although this is becoming more and more challenging as the number of business disruptions is on the rise, with cybersecurity risks being top of the list.

This comes as no surprise as the pandemic has forced many organisations to move to a remote working setting. This has resulted in most of us seeing an increased demand for video calling, cloud applications, and network resources.

Whilst there are so many benefits to this, such as the flexibility and ease of sharing work online, the cyber world leaves many businesses susceptible to risk.

With the sad reality that cyber criminals are set to make a profit out of these hard times, it’s crucial you ensure your business is prepared for the risks, and threats to your cyber safety as we continue to navigate through 2021.


Network exposure

Unfortunately, using any network that’s connected to the internet is exposed to cyber threats. This is regardless of whether we’re working from the office or at home.

However, when we’re in the comfort of our own home, we’re instantly more vulnerable as we don’t have the security protections higher-tech office systems afford us.

Without firewalls and blacklisted IP addresses, your network can be at risk to cyber criminals looking to compromise your internet infrastructure. This is particularly prevalent as organisations continue to expand their internet presence to accommodate an increase in business operations.

With this in mind, when was the last time you did a cyber security check?

It’s hardly surprising that outdated systems are at risk, but when you’ve got to-do lists as long as your arm, IT solutions can sometimes fall through the cracks.

To combat your chances of security breaches, consider these best practices for your remote network:

  1. Perform regular vulnerability scanning on all devices. The quicker you spot a problem, the easier it is to fix.
  2. Implement strict password controls. It goes without saying really, but avoid anything too personal and don’t write them down in your notes, that’s a disaster waiting to happen!
  3. Always use two-factor authentication. There are plenty of apps to help with this nowadays, CANDDi has just started using the Google Authentication app to make sure we stay safe.

Social engineering

Social engineering is the latest and probably sneakiest cyber security trend. It involves infiltrating a business network on a human level, acquiring sensitive information that otherwise could not be accessed.

Why would this happen? Well because cyber criminals have realised that the weakest link when it comes to security is the human being. Unfortunately, we can’t install antivirus software into our brain…

Whilst we’re all careful of what information we share online, social engineering works as the criminals gain trust with their victims, ready to use information against them.

80% of all hacking attempts are based on social engineering, and with most of us working remotely, it’s easier for hackers to isolate certain members of a company to access the information they need.

While there’s no firewall fix for social engineering, it’s important to continue to reinforce cyber safety from home. Employees must be educated on cyber security best practices to reduce the threat at surface level.

Obviously this can be hard when the most common tactics are phishing and other fraudulent communications, but by training your employees to spot the early signs of illegitimate exchanges.

It’s more about keeping your wits about you with this one.

Exploiting your existing systems

The oldest trick in the book. Cyber criminals have long used system administration tools to worm their way into your network.

This is because cyber criminals identify gaps not just in applications, but in the flow of your business process. Social engineering stems from this, as attacking your business process and what keeps them moving requires inside knowledge of your existing systems.

They often begin with a compromised system on your network, where cyber criminals can sneakily observe your company’s process and start to pull at the weak links.

Attacks on your existing systems are often discrete, and when your employees are disbanded at home, your business might not pick up on them as quickly as they need to.

As IT systems become increasingly interconnected in 2021 and beyond, exploitation of system administration tools will rise accordingly.

It’s pretty much impossible to manage your company’s IT infrastructure without admin tools. So the only way you can proactively prevent your devices from becoming infected is through employee training and up-to-date antivirus software.

Unfortunately, hackers are playing on the uncertainty of the pandemic as it continues to play out, so all we can do is remain vigilant both with our IT knowledge and systems.

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