2021 saw higher cyber threats than any other year to date. Even with the advanced knowledge experts have on cybercrime, the new developments in preventative tactics-hacking schemes have become more difficult to detect in advance. With the increased attention on cyber, most people are paying more attention to vulnerabilities in their personal and professional lives. We commonly associate cyber fraud with things like social security numbers, email schemes, and fake websites. Though these areas are highly infiltrated with cyber security risks, there are other areas people should be directing their attention to. Hackers and professional cybercriminals are aware of the increased protection and attention to common risks and are putting their efforts elsewhere as a response. Being aware of surprising cyber threats that your business could face can help you implement better practices and protect your business.
Using Public Cloud for Data Storage
The use of cloud software increased by 53% in 2021 and is clearly becoming the dominant storage method. Cloud software is considered a “multi-tenant” environment where large data is shared between multiple users and typically owned by a larger organization. In a perfect world, each individual file of data remains separate from others, but in reality, a threat to one file on the cloud can be a threat to all. Storing data on a public cloud leaves the protection of your data in the hands of a third-party organization. Though most cloud companies have robust backup processes and protection policies, businesses have no control or knowledge of whether or not these are strictly followed. Your business could fall victim to a large-scale cloud outage, or a cloud-based cybercrime event.
The high risk of cloud-based cybercrime may come as a surprise due to the volumes of high-profile companies using them, but they have been the cause of some record-breaking cyber crimes. Cloud crimes have even caused immense damage to some of the world's biggest companies, like Yahoo and Facebook. If you want to prevent this kind of vulnerability, make sure you understand the cloud software protection policies. Additionally, considering a private cloud if you feel the risk to the public is too high is always an option.
Utilizing Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation is one of the fast-growing tech implementations across multiple industries. Everything from healthcare, information technology, and the auto industry is using RPA to improve their processes and simplify their workflow. RPA uses bots to automatically process tedious data and routine tasks in a quick and dependable way. The benefits are undeniable when implemented in the right way, but the risks should be considered as well. The two main cyber risks associated with RPA are data leakage and fraud. Since AI and bot technologies are handling sensitive data, and large amounts of it, strong security measures need to be in place in order to prevent any loss of data. Unfortunately, because the process becomes so simplified in the grand scheme of business, many people fail to perform routine security checks and data analysis to ensure privacy has been maintained. This allows vulnerabilities to grow within the systems and leaves room for hackers to infiltrate private data. If RPA seems like the best route for your business, there are ways to mitigate the risk and enlist additional protective measures. Restricting access to your RPA’s and regularly evaluating logs and scripts will help protect against cyber vulnerabilities associated with RPA.
Old and Unattended Devices
Let’s face it, technology is constantly changing, and most businesses are always trying to stay on top of the latest tech updates. From new smartphones to the latest laptops, a lot of companies move through new devices often. This can be really beneficial for using state-of-the-art software, but it can be risky if you aren’t following procedures for discarding old devices. Most work phones and computers have highly sensitive data, including emails, documents, and personally identifiable information. Hackers target old phones and unattended devices to steal data and potentially trade it within larger cyberhacking schemes. When you switch to a new device, you should always wipe the old one clean of any data as soon as possible. Additionally, if there are any tech-related devices that aren't being used much anymore, like an old computer, you don’t want to just leave them hanging around. Even if it doesn't seem important to your business anymore, it still might have important information on it. Whether someone steals that information by physically stealing the device, or hacking in through outdated software flaws, old devices are a much bigger risk than people may realize!
Public Wi-Fi Networks
In the world of remote working, it can be a challenge to ensure employees are always using their personal, secure wifi. Workdays from a coffee shop or a local shopping center could be a breach of your cyber security protection. While we all need to get out of our home office every once in a while, nonsecure wifi can allow hackers to access, view, and steal data within the network. Additionally, hackers can download malware onto devices through a public wifi network. This may be an invisible download, or a phishing scheme intended to look like a computer update or notification. Whatever the way hackers intend to infiltrate remote systems, public wifi networks are going to make it much easier. If you have to use a public network, use a VPN and turn off your data sharing from your system preferences. This will make your use of the public network as private and discreet as possible to ward off cybercrime.
Learn More About Cyber Protection with ECBM
Implementing best cyber security practices can ensure you’re taking the best steps in protecting your business from hacking, but there should always be an extra level of protection in case it happens. Cyber Insurance can make you feel safe knowing that in the event your data is attacked, your business won’t suffer from long-term damage. If you’re curious about the different options for cyber coverage, and how it can protect your business, speak to one of our expert agents.