How to protect your business from online security threats in 2019

 In IT Support, Security

This year has been a particularly big year for data breaches. Facebook had one of the biggest data breaches with more than 87 million records compromised. It’s likely that 2019 will be just as challenging for businesses, as cybercriminals and their technology become more sophisticated.

So, what threats can you expect in 2019, and how can you protect yourself?

 

1. Ransomware is still a threat

Ransomware continues to be a major threat. Protection from ransomware is two-fold. Firstly, employees should be taught not to open suspicious attachments from unknown sources, all files should be scanned by an anti-virus program, and all software should be updated regularly. Also, you should always have backups that are stored on an external hard-drive or in the cloud.

Unfortunately, many employees don’t listen and businesses don’t prepare themselves. In 2016, it was estimated there was a ransomware attack against a business every 40 seconds.

If you’re a victim of an attack, don’t pay, and tell staff not to pay either. According to an Intermedia study, 59% of employees who are a victim of ransomware will personally pay the ransom. In 20% of cases where the ransom is paid, the stolen data is not recovered.

 

2. More sophisticated phishing emails

Phishing is still one of the top online security threats coming into 2019. While users are now becoming more aware of the typical attack, like the ‘Nigerian Prince’ or the ‘inheritance scam’, criminals are making phishing emails more convincing.

Criminals are improving their impersonation skills and with the help of social engineering, messages are getting more relevant and interesting. Therefore, phishing messages are becoming harder to spot, even to those who are used to these types of scams.

Train your staff to identify potentially malicious emails by ensuring all correspondence is from a trusted sender. If in doubt, don’t open it.

 

3. Fileless attacks

A new trend is developing in which malware is not installed on the victim’s device. Instead, criminals use trusted programs already installed on the victim’s machines to initiate an attack. As these attacks aren’t on the hard drive, they’re harder to detect and stop.

There’s only one way to protect your business from this, and it’s to ensure all installed programs are regularly updated. Some trusted programs will issue updates several times a month. Don’t wait to install updates; make sure they’re installed when issued.

Don’t leave your business open to online security threats

More than half of all malware attacks are against small businesses. Not protecting your business is a risk and could be very costly. If you want help protecting your business from malware and other online security threats, contact our team of cybersecurity experts.

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