As the digital world grows and evolves, so do cybersecurity threats and attacks that you face as an online business owner. With cyber-criminals devising more sophisticated methods to infiltrate your system and steal highly-sensitive data, it can be challenging to secure your business from all sides. The good news is there are some excellent ways to keep your business and your customers protected against cyber-attacks. In this post, we’ll cover these four cybersecurity threats you should know and protect against to keep your business’ and customers’ interests protected.
1. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)
A DDoS attack crashes your network or server by flooding them with unwanted traffic. This makes it impossible for your website and its services to stop working. An attack like this can cause downtime that might cost your business sales opportunities and crash your website to the point that your business ceases to exist. If that’s not serious enough, there is the risk of your private data being breached since DDoS attacks are also used by cybercriminals to extort money and information from their victims.
However, there is a solution to help you stop this kind of attack in its tracks, and that is by adopting a cyber kill chain model in your cybersecurity strategy. This preventive measure helps you make a complete and detailed assessment of your security to identify your weak spots. Think of it as getting inside the mind of a hacker, where you take a “first-person view” of the steps to carry out a cyber attack. With a cyber kill chain, you can see the layout and process of a successful cyber attack from start to finish and identify the stage where a potential threat is most likely to occur. Doing a preventive assessment through a cyber kill chain helps you reinforce your cyber security strategies, secure your business from all corners, and get the peace of mind to run your business smoothly.
2. Internet of Things Device Attacks
Internet of Things (IoT) technologies (like software, networks, devices, etc.) can make the operational functions of your business more quick and efficient. However, just like the essential need for cybersecurity measures for your e-commerce platform, you also need to secure the devices connected to your network. Your IoT devices collect and store data, which makes them excellent entry points for hackers to steal highly sensitive data of your business and customers. For instance, if left unprotected by a secure password, any document you print or scan on your network-connected printer can be intercepted by hackers. There is also the threat of hackers taking control over your IoT devices, such as smart locks and security cameras, to gain unauthorized access to your home or offices.
To secure your IoT devices from attacks, here are a few cybersecurity measures you can use:
– Segment your network. It’s always a good security practice to segment your network and keep the network connected to your IoT devices separate from your other business networks.
This helps you contain potential security breaches in case a hacker gains access to your network, and you can limit the hacker’s movement across your other networks.
– Avoid using weak and easy-to-guess Wi-Fi network passwords. You need to create complex and unique passwords using a combination of numbers, letters, and special characters.
You can use online tools to help you check if your password is strong and unique.
– Regularly update your software. Software updates may include security patches, so it’s crucial for you to install updates regularly. Doing so helps keep your IoT devices secure and address potential IoT device security flaws.
3. Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks
There are three key players for a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack to work: the victim, the person on the other end of the communication line, and the “man in the middle” who intercepts the communication between the victim and the other person. For example, you might receive an email that looks like it’s from your bank, asking you to log into your account and confirm your personal information. Once you click on the link in your email, you’ll be taken to your bank’s supposed website, where you enter your account information.
In this scenario, the attacker sent you a legitimate-looking email and website, so you don’t hesitate to enter your account details. It’s one way for hackers to steal your sensitive information without you realizing that you handed the information willingly.
Here are some other types of MitM attacks:
– Stealing browser cookies. Using browser cookies on your e-commerce website lets you store your customers’ personal information from their previous sessions.
By hijacking these browser cookies, cybercriminals can gain access to your customers’ login credentials, credit card information, and other sensitive data.
– SSL hijacking. This happens when a cybercriminal uses a secure server and computer to intercept information that goes between a server to your computer.
– Wi-Fi eavesdropping. Hackers set up Wi-Fi connections with names that sound similar to legitimate or nearby businesses, and once an unsuspecting user connects to the fake Wi-Fi network, hackers track the user’s online activity and intercept sensitive information.
With that said, there are several things you can do to help protect your business and customers from a MitM attack:
– Ensure your website has HTTPS instead of HTTP. Having an SSL certificate encrypts the data that is transferred between your website and your visitors’ browsers. This helps protect your business data and your customers’ sensitive information at the same time.
– Avoid connecting directly to public networks. Use a VPN to encrypt your internet connection and protect the private data that you receive and send.
– Be wary of emails from unknown sources. Cybercriminals can send you phishing emails asking you to update your login credentials. Instead of clicking on the link within the potential phishing email, manually type in the website address on your browser.
4. Mobile Malware
Mobile devices are widely used in business processes now. Since almost everyone has a smartphone, anyone in your business can become a victim of mobile malware. For instance, if your employees have company-issued mobile phones, any of their devices can be infected with malware, and sensitive information belonging to your and your customers can be stolen. This makes it crucial for you to secure sensitive data by having mobile device controls and privacy policies for your business in place.
Here are some other protection measures you can use to protect your business from mobile malware.
– Install mobile security software. Use mobile security software from trusted providers and install regular updates.
– Use a firewall. Your mobile phone might not come with a firewall, so as an added protection, you can install a mobile firewall to help secure your online privacy.
– Download apps from official digital stores. Apple and Google Play verify the apps they sell, but third-party app stores might not always do this. Downloading apps from official digital stores can reduce security risks and chances of malware infection.
– Read the fine print. Before installing a mobile app, make sure you read the end-user agreement and the app permissions instead of just clicking “I Agree.”
Cybercriminals may bank on you not reading their terms of service and unknowingly allow malicious software into your devices.
These are just four of the many cybersecurity threats that your business can face. By understanding these threats and knowing how they can impact your business, you can plan the security measures you should have in place as a protection against them. If you found this information useful, please take a few seconds to click on the share button.