By R2 Unified Technologies
Cybersecurity continues to be a big concern for organizations of all stripes, from small non-profits to large government offices and multinational enterprises. Criminals constantly look for openings in systems, hardware, and software that allow them to launch attacks for profit, business disruption, or just to cause mayhem.
Fighting ongoing security issues in today’s business world requires constant vigilance and a willingness to invest in technology capable of keeping up with evolving cybersecurity risks. Below you will find the top 10 security threats challenging security teams.
1. Increase in Remote Work
The COVID-19 pandemic shifted the way many companies approached business. Workers found themselves working from home at a greater rate than ever before. As the world continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19, many organizations continue to embrace the benefits of a fully remote or hybrid workforce.
The expansion means IT teams must tackle the challenge of tracking and securing multiple endpoints. It’s difficult to track which employees may use unsecured Wi-Fi or leave their workstations unattended. At-home workers get exposed to more cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
2. The Use of Mobile Devices
Increased remote work opportunities also meant allowing workers to use their devices to connect to business networks. The drawback to that is exposure to more security risks, increasing the chances of a virus or other malicious software making its way into company systems.
Many hackers have taken advantage of business mobile device use by adapting their tactics. There are Trojans like FlyTrap and MasterFred geared toward capturing user credentials entered on a mobile device into external social media networks. Bad actors also send phishing SMS messages disguised as coming from another company user, attempting to trick the recipient into sending back valuable information.
3. Increased Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware involves hackers gaining access to an organization’s systems or networks, locking them, and demanding payment before unlocking. Getting ransomware into a company is as easy as sending a phishing email with an infected download that gets clicked on by an unsuspecting user.
The threat of ransomware only increased throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Anyone from a small county utility to a large enterprise may fall victim to a ransomware attack. Because it can be hard to trace the source of the attack, many organizations end up paying off the hacker to regain access to their systems.
4. IoT Attacks
With companies relying on more advanced technology to conduct business, hackers have more vulnerabilities to exploit. Using unsecured IoT devices in warehouses to keep the floor organized could cause a company to fall victim to a cyberattack.
Everything from cameras to thermostats becomes an endpoint a bad actor could exploit to get into a company’s network. Because those devices have a unique IP address, it's essential that companies understand the intent of the devices, what information they collect, and how the IoT device transmits information.
5. Lack of Security Controls
Weak security controls, misconfigurations, and poorly enforced security practices give hackers an opening to cause irreparable harm. Hackers look for ways to exploit public-facing applications and gain credentials to valid accounts to access a business’s networks. Some of the most common techniques used by cybercriminals include:
- Unpatched software
- Users not forced to use multi-factor authentication (MFA)
- Use of default login and password configurations
- Lack of controls around virtual private networks
- No strong password policies
- No detection or blocking of phishing attempts
6. Higher Use of Malware
Malware attacks continue to rise, leading to high-profile breaches on major companies like Colonial Pipeline and Micros
oft. More needs to be done to reinforce critical U.S. infrastructure from cyberattacks.
Successful malware attacks can lead to identity theft, hackers gaining control of an organization’s computer, or the use of viruses to disrupt a company’s ability to do business. With so many people using the internet for business and personal purposes, there’s a need for companies to become more proactive when it comes to security protection.
7. Supply Chain Vulnerabilities
The importance of a functional supply chain became more apparent thanks to COVID-19-inflicted disruptions in 2021 and 2022. The impacts extended around the globe, with ships stuck in ports around the world and retailers unable to access goods for customers to purchase.
A December 2020 attack on the company SolarWinds exposed how vulnerable supply chain companies were to threat actors. Hackers will likely continue to target supply chains as they aim to amplify their attacks’ impact.
8. Attacks on Cloud Services
Cloud attacks typically go after off-service platforms designated for hosting, computing, or storing data. That includes delivery models like software-as-a-service (SaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS). Most cloud attacks come about because of poor configuration or lapses in an organization’s security updates.
Weak passwords can lead to compromised user accounts by those who work with cloud services. Application programming interfaces (APIs) used to connect with and interact with cloud computing services may also become an attack vector.
9. Phishing Scams
Hackers often send malicious emails designed to trick the recipient into downloading an attachment infected with a virus or malware. Bad actors may go after a single important individual or send emails to multiple people within an organization, hoping someone will bite. Most phishing attempts are made to capture personal information or steal credentials.
10. Database Exposure
Databases provide hackers with a goldmine of valuable data. They often contain consumer contact information, identity records like social security numbers, or financial data. In the wrong person’s hands, that information may end up sold to black market internet sites or used in social engineering attempts. You don’t want to leave openings that allow cybercriminals to make off with information from organization databases before you realize what’s happening.
Reinforce Your Security Posture the Right Way
R2 Unified Technologies partners with organizations looking to safeguard themselves from ongoing cybersecurity threats. Find out how we can elevate your security protections by setting up a consultation.