cybersecurity risks

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Nowadays, the biggest priority for businesses is to protect their assets. The global landscape suggests a devastating number of cyber incidents, ranging from major data breaches to newly detected vulnerabilities. Twitter became the latest victim of a data breach, issuing an apology and stating that the client’s personal information might have been compromised. The data potentially put in danger included email addresses, phone numbers, and the last four digits of people’s credit card numbers. 

While the actual impact of the breach is yet to be determined, it is clear that no business is immune to similar accidents. Of course, every company wants to take advantage of the digital world. It enables them to expand their reach, boost sales, and stand ahead of the competition. 

However, with perks come many threats that companies need to evaluate and address before running their businesses at full speed. In the last couple of months, we have seen hundreds of cyberattacks worldwide hitting governments and the private sector. Let’s observe the current landscape and indicate the threats that pose the greatest risks for companies worldwide. 

Data Breaches and Sensitive Information Leaks

Cybersecurity

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One of the major cybersecurity risks is data leaks. Hackers are always on the lookout for weak spots and backdoors in systems to grant them access to data on company servers.

American Medical Technologies (AMT) is one of the reputable healthcare providers in the US. A few days ago, the company came out publicly about the incident that took place a month ago. The cyberattack was serious, and it managed to penetrate through the company’s security layers. The aftermath was devastating. The company announced that the cyberattack affected approximately 50,000 patients. 

The extent of the data leak is enormous. The attackers managed to get their hands-on patient names, state identification numbers, social security numbers. But what’s even more potentially dangerous, attackers now have information about patients’ medical history information, health insurance policy, and medical record numbers. 

The Spike of DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial-of-Service (or DDoS) attacks can bring down your business website and strip your customers and clients of the ability to access and use your online services. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies decided to promote and facilitate remote work, which furthermore exposed them to security threats. 

While there is nothing but good intent behind this practice, it still proved as a step towards creating more cybersecurity risks. All of a sudden, companies have allowed employees to access their business networks from unprotected devices and unsecured network connections. As a result, we saw several DDoS attacks during the first quarter of 2020. In fact, the news tells us that the number of attacks was twice the number than in the first quarter of 2019. 

The latest DDoS attacks of great magnitude include those on the website of the US Department of Health and Human Services and a group of hospitals Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris. Fortunately, the HHS website was able to withstand the attack. The group in hospitals in France was not that lucky. During and following the attack, the hospital workers in the field couldn’t use their business software nor access their business email accounts. 

Ransomware Attacks are Here to Stay

Besides the attacks that result in data leaks and DDoS attacks, ransomware is another type of cybercrime on the rise. The attackers behind this type of attack penetrate the company’s defense systems, encrypt the data on servers, and ask for money to access it. 

The latest victims to fall to ransomware attacks are reputable businesses of all sizes, including Toll Group, CPC Corp, Fresenius, Ruhr University Bochum, and many others. Even Honda, which is known for its good cybersecurity practices, had to stop its operations during the ransomware attack on June 8, 2020. Some of the companies managed to get their data back while the others were unfortunate and lost their data to these malicious attacks. 

There is a Way to Minimize the Cybersecurity Risks

Cybersecurity

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While the list of cyber threats steadily grows, businesses are still left with plenty of options to secure their assets and minimize the risks mentioned above. One of the best tools for the job is a VPN (Virtual Private Network), given that remote work is still in place. 

VPN encrypts the entire communication between a client and a server and makes it impossible for hackers to manipulate the data. With an enabled VPN, remote workers can access company software, servers, and files even from public and unsecured networks. In addition to using it for work, consider getting a personal VPN to protect all your daily communications and browsing. 

Companies should also readdress their security policies and look for other solutions to diversify their approach. The more security layers you have, the harder it is for hackers to access your systems. The solutions include antivirus, anti-malware tools, and firewalls. In case a breach does happen, you should always have a system backup ready. This will allow you to wipe your systems clean and restore your uncorrupted data.