The Importance of Cybersecurity Awareness
The average cost of a data breach in 2021 was $4.24 million. A cybersecurity first mindset is crucial to protect your business from this kind of disaster. Keep reading to learn what you can do to keep your cybersecurity awareness high.
Between ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and social engineering threats, businesses face greater cybersecurity risks than ever before. Not only do data breaches cost more than ever, they’re happening more frequently—in fact, security breaches have increased 67% since 2014.
A cyberattack can absolutely crush a business, and most small to medium-sized businesses are unprepared for this event. Only 50% of U.S. businesses have a cybersecurity plan in place. Don’t leave cybersecurity up to chance, start taking a cybersecurity first mindset today.
What Does it Mean to Have a Cybersecurity First Mindset?
A cybersecurity first mindset is crucial to keeping your business safe in the modern age. This means staying on top of cybersecurity trends, forming a cybersecurity framework and plan, and studying how you can defend against the latest cybersecurity threats.
The right mindset can make or break your business, as 60% of small to medium sized businesses close within 6 months of falling victim to a cyberattack. Change how your business approaches your cybersecurity now to avoid disaster later.
Why is Having a Cybersecurity First Mindset Important?
Cybersecurity awareness is important because the technological landscape is constantly changing. Cybersecurity best practices quickly become dated because hackers are constantly probing for ways to subvert the latest strategies. As soon as your business is secure from one type of threat, cybercriminals find a dozen other weaknesses they can exploit in your business. Top cybersecurity threats of today include:
Social engineering attacks have been one of the largest trends in cyberattacks in 2022. 85% of data breaches are caused by human error, and social engineering attacks aim to take advantage of this fact.
Social engineering attacks involve tricking users into making security mistakes or giving away sensitive information. Social engineering attacks are extremely effective because they gather personal information about the victim that gives them a false sense of security.
A common type of social engineering is a spear phishing scam. A spear phishing scam tailors messages around private details of the potential victims, like characteristics, job position, or their personal contacts. For example, a spear phishing scammer may impersonate an organization’s IT consultant and then send phishing emails formatted exactly how the organization’s IT consultant would. These attacks are elaborate and extremely effective.
If a social engineering attack is conducted successfully, it could lead to hackers gaining access to your organization’s internal structure. Once cybercriminals are in your organization, they have free reign. They can:
- Steal or delete data
- Destroy internal structures
- Corrupt files
- Obtain trade secrets
- Swipe your financial information
Good cybersecurity awareness is key to avoiding social engineering attacks.
Remote Worker Mobile Device Vulnerabilities
The shift toward remote and hybrid work environments has led to a huge increase in employees using their mobile devices for work purposes. This trend hasn’t slipped past cybercriminals, who are developing strategies to target mobile device users. In fact, 46% of companies experienced a cyberattack involving a malicious mobile app in 2021.
Your employees’ personal phone security affects your business. Cybercriminals that get access to your employees’ devices can use them to then tap into your business functions. This is why we always recommend practicing the principle of least privilege. The principle of least privilege restricts process and application access only to people that need them. This restricted access means that a hacker who accesses an employee account will have severely limited access.
Cryptojacking is a burgeoning form of cyberattack with very low cybersecurity awareness. In some industries, cryptojacking attacks have risen as much as 269% in this year alone. These attacks hijack the processing power of your devices to run cryptomining scripts in the background of your device. These scripts mine cryptocurrency with the intent of generating income for the cybercriminals.
You may be wondering why cryptojacking is a serious threat if it doesn’t directly harm your data. Cryptojacking attacks are extremely taxing on your device’s operating system, which will slow your performance to a crawl, leading to the slowing of your business processes as a whole.
Our Cybersecurity Tips for a Cybersecurity First Mindset:
Follow these steps to avoid security threats and ensure that your business is maintaining excellent cybersecurity standards:
Follow Cybersecurity Trends
Cyberattacks are constantly developing. Research the latest cyberthreats and stay informed on how to defend against them. Investigate what layers of security you can incorporate to protect and prevent new cyberattacks.
The vast majority of cyberattacks are a result of human error. Train your employees on cybersecurity best practices to prevent those mistakes from happening. Start by teaching your employees about the most common cyberattacks and how they can identify and avoid them.
Then, have them comply with cybersecurity best practices, like:
- Enabling multi-factor authentication
- Regularly changing their passwords
- Limiting access to work software to work devices.
Software updates are often designed as a response to cyberthreats. Make sure that you’re regularly updating all of your software to keep your devices secure. We highly recommend implementing automatic updates when possible to avoid the problem of employees ignoring update requests.
Partner With a Cybersecurity Provider
If staying on top of cybersecurity awareness by yourself sounds intimidating, consider partnering with a dedicated cybersecurity provider. A cybersecurity provider takes care of cybersecurity awareness for you, letting you focus on your core business processes.
If you’re interested in cybersecurity services, Virtual-Q brings enterprise-class security, computing, support, and disaster recovery to any business for a flat monthly cost. Whether you’re concerned with meeting compliance or guaranteeing your company’s future, Virtual-Q is here to help.
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