In today’s modern world, people have become accustomed to using online platforms for various everyday activities, such as searching for information, communicating with friends, shopping, and even connecting with their chosen brands. The digital footprint left behind by Internet users has created a wealth of data and information that can be valuable for daily use but dangerous in the wrong hands.
Businesses, in particular, need to be vigilant when it comes to cybersecurity and hacking. Without proper cybersecurity measures in place, your company can become an easy target for malicious actors that want to seize your confidential or sensitive data and use it for their own gain.
In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of cybersecurity for businesses. Then, we’ll delve into the different ways hackers can breach your data and what you can do to prevent these attempts.
Why Should Businesses Pay Attention to Cybersecurity and Hacking?
Cyber crime happens a lot more often than many people believe. According to a recent study, about 13 million U.S. consumers reported being victims of fraud and identity theft, resulting in losses of nearly $17 billion. However, individuals are not the only ones being targeted by cyber criminals.
Even large, well-established businesses have fallen prey to data breaches and leaks. In 2014, eBay, the leading eCommerce site, had their data stolen by cyber criminals. It was one of the biggest breaches in history, with over 145 million compromised user records containing sensitive information such as passwords, email addresses, and birth dates.
Companies of all sizes should take steps to safeguard their data. Cybersecurity breaches can disrupt your operations, compromise the safety of your workers and customers, negatively influence your business reputation, and affect your bottom line.
What Is Hacking in Cybersecurity?
Before we discuss the different ways businesses can protect their data, let’s first clarify the terms “cybersecurity” and “hacking.”
What Is the Difference Between Cybersecurity and Hacking?
Hacking refers to the different methods used by cyber criminals to bypass security measures and steal money, identities, or sensitive information from individuals or organizations. Cyber attackers hack digital platforms to gain access to confidential accounts and records, use data for fraudulent purposes, or sell information to buyers on the dark web.
Cybersecurity, on the other hand, is a catch-all term referring to the safety measures put in place to defend devices from hackers, spammers, and other cyber criminals. It can include identity management and data security, network security, cloud security, application and mobile security, and business continuity planning.
How Do Hackers Steal Information?
According to a 2021 Verizon report, 61% of security breaches happen because hackers use stolen credentials, and 95% of organizations experience between 637 million and 3.3 billion hacking attempts every year. Here are just some of the methods hackers use to steal your password and login information:
Phishing attacks happen when cyber criminals message their target through email or text and prompt them to click on a link controlled by the attackers and enter their credentials or login information. The link may often be designed to look like the login page of a real site you use, and the attackers will count on you not verifying the authenticity of the link.
Social engineering can come in many shapes and forms, but the common thread is that hackers use a variety of methods to manipulate people into giving them sensitive information.
The hacker may call you on the phone pretending to be a representative from your bank and asking for your financial information. They could send a seemingly innocent email pretending to be one of your friends and asking you to download a picture or video, but the link instead downloads malware into your device.
Some social engineering schemes may also include baiting you with something they know you want. For instance, you may find a social media message telling you that you’ve won a cash prize or a high-ticket item and you’ll have to provide your address or banking information to claim it.
Keylogging is another technique used by hackers to steal information. It involves downloading software that records every keystroke made by the individual.
The software can be downloaded onto the target’s device through malware or external hard drives like USB sticks. Hackers can then use the information recorded by the software to steal passwords, confidential data, and other information.
Unauthorized Password Resetting
Most websites and apps have mechanisms in place that allow users to reset their passwords. Although these reset functions are helpful for everyday people who may have simply forgotten their passwords, hackers can also use them to access and assume control of accounts by exploiting vulnerabilities in the system.
Cybersecurity Basics: What Can Businesses Do to Safeguard Their Data?
Now that you have a deeper understanding of the ins and outs of cybersecurity and hacking, let’s talk about the ways you can protect your confidential data and information. Here are a few tips businesses can follow:
1. Educate Your Workers on Cybersecurity
As discussed in previous sections, hackers often steal information by using social engineering and phishing tactics, and a majority of data breaches happen because of identity theft or stolen credentials. As such, it’s essential for businesses to make sure that their employees are aware of these techniques and know how to spot (and avoid) a cyber attack.
To safeguard your data even further, teach your employees about the importance of picking strong, uncommon passwords and using multi-factor authentication for their business accounts. Ideally, your workers should undergo regular security training exercises to stay updated on the newest hacking schemes or the latest cybersecurity technologies.
2. Perform Comprehensive Background Checks on Your Employees
Sometimes, hackers can come from within an organization. Since they work in your company, they will likely have unfettered access to your processes, networks, and systems.
To protect your assets and prevent this situation from happening, make sure to perform comprehensive background reviews on every new hire, checking for criminal histories or other suspicious activity.
3. Make Sure Your Company Networks and Devices Have Antivirus Software
Hackers often use viruses or malware to gain control over a user’s device. In addition to training your workers to spot phishing and social engineering scams, add a necessary layer of protection by investing in a solid firewall and antivirus software.
Remember to regularly update your software patches to maintain their effectiveness in the long run. In addition, make sure your IT team has included Distributed denial of service (DDoS) safety capabilities to avoid degrading your servers and systems.
4. Establish a Solid Business Continuity Plan in Case of Breaches
Although the goal of investing in cybersecurity is to prevent attacks, having a continuity plan in case these fail is also essential. In the event that a hacker succeeds at breaching your networks and stealing your data, you can quickly bounce back, identify the problem, and safeguard your business from future attacks if you have the right protocols in place.
Utilizing data infringement detection technology can help you expose and stop a breach as it is happening. Also, investing in cyber insurance can be helpful for recouping expenses after a data breach.
5. Consult With Cybersecurity Professionals
The best way to make sure your business is protected from cyber attacks is by working with cybersecurity experts. The right provider can test your system, uncover security vulnerabilities, evaluate risks, and help you create a detailed and comprehensive cybersecurity plan that addresses your specific needs.
Partner with About IT and Protect Your Business
Are you ready to safeguard your business from hackers? Get in touch with the best cybersecurity experts at About IT.
We offer end-to-end cybersecurity solutions, from phishing awareness training to cybersecurity incident response. Work with our team of IT professionals, and you can have peace of mind knowing that your network security is in good hands.
Contact us today, and let us help you fortify your cybersecurity measures and safeguard your valuable data and information!