It is true that technology has changed the face of the world today. Having said that, you can also not deny that it runs the risk of getting hacked, attacked, or compromised. Today, you can be sitting in a room 100 miles away and still be able to hack into anyone’s computer. In recent years, we have seen a surge in the number of cybercrimes and cyber-attacks.
300% increase in cyberattacks in 2020
India has observed a 300% increase in the number of cyberattacks in 2020, according to the computer emergency response team of India (CERT-In). The Union Home Ministry shared the information in Parliament on Tuesday.
The ministry did not divulge anything on the profile of attackers. However, the spike in numbers is being linked to an increase in online activity since last year.
What is a Cyber Attack?
Cyber attack is a malicious and deliberate attempt by cybercriminals to access the information of an organization or a person. Such intrusion to data security is often done with the intention of ransomware or unlawful information usage.
Cyberattacks are often directed to information systems, IT infrastructures, networks and more. There are different methods to launch cyber attacks like phishing, malware, ransomware are top among them.
Types of Cyber Attacks
Malware is a broader term, which includes ransomware, virus and more. It often targets the vulnerability in a computer network.
- Man in the Middle Attack: Man in the middle attack is popularly known as an eavesdropping attack. It usually occurs when you access the internet with the help of WiFi.
- Denial of Service Attack: This type of attack manipulates traffic in a way that exhausts legitimate requests.
- Password Attack: In this type of attack, poorly created passwords are forged for data usage.
- Phishing Attack: Phishing links are shared via emails by malicious agents and aim at stealing data like credit card details.
- Zero-Day Exploit: This refers to the attack which happens after a vulnerability has been detected but the security patch has not been implemented.
- Birthday Attack: Birthday attacks utilize hash algorithms to replace the original message with a duplicate message to initiate desired reactions.
How Cyberattacks Impact Businesses?
According to a McAfee report, the global economy lost $600 billion owing to cybercrimes. Besides financial loss, cybercrimes go far beyond and can impact your business operations, company’s reputation, valuation, staff, etc.
Some cyber-attacks can temporarily disrupt your business or can harm it significantly. For instance, DoS attacks (denial of service attacks) when targeting a network flood it with spam accounts and make it very hard for you to process legitimate customers and requests. Similarly, Ransomware is another form of cyber-attack that encrypts your data.
Additionally, a cyber-attack can also damage a customer’s data and personal information, which can damage an organization’s reputation. More often, when a data breach is served, customers take their business elsewhere, which can slow down new business by scaring off potential customers.
How to Prevent Cyber Attacks?
Cyber attacks can be prevented by following few protocols at workplace:
- Train Your Staff About Database Security Practices
- Use Multi-Factor Authentication
- Keep Your Software Updated
- Ensure Endpoint Protection for Devices
- Create Frequent Database Backup
- Beware of Third-Party Applications
- Restrict Access To Your Systems
- Ensure WiFi / Wireless Network Security
- Define Data Access Control
- Install a Firewall
- Create Employee Personal Accounts
Suggested Read: Best Antivirus Software for Windows and Laptops
12 Strategies to Prevent Cyber Attacks in 2021
Now that you know, a cyber-attack deliberately exploits your system. It is essential that you have an infrastructure in place to prevent the increasing cyber-attack. Here are the 12 strategies that can help in preventing the increased cyber-attack on an organization.
Train Your Staff About Database Security Practices
More often than not, it has been seen that cybercriminals find access to company’s data through their employees. Hackers or cybercriminals send fraudulent emails to company employees impersonating your colleague or asking you to share your personal details or access specific files.
In order to prevent this, you should train your staff by asking them:
- To always check a link before clicking,
- Crosscheck the email they have received,
- Amened strict laws to not share any sensitive information
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Having a multi-factor authentication process for login is essential to ensure that endpoint devices are protected from trojan and other malware attacks.
If employee passwords are compromised through a hack or phishing scam, cybercriminals may be able to access your system easily.
Keep Your Software Updated
Another way to keep your network protected is by upgrading systems against any possible cyberattacks. While some business owners get frustrated at the need for constant updates, they help protect from unwarranted threats.
Ensure Endpoint Protection for Devices
It is important that businesses protect its endpoint devices from viruses, malware, trojans, and such malicious attacks.
Such devices include mobiles, laptops, and tablets, which connect all your official mail, chat, and data software.
Create Frequent Database Backup
Your organization must create a timely backup of its essential data. When you have a backup, it is still safe to shield your company from data theft or any cyberattack.
Unless you do that, it will always be risky for you to lose data. Hence a lot of businesses today are storing their data on the cloud.
Beware of Third-Party Applications
To prevent cyberattacks, you must manage cybersecurity risks associated with third-party applications and software. If your organization is involved with any vendor or third-party application, it is important to be aware of the risks involved in it.
Also, you should create a full-proof security net that helps you control and identify potential security risks.
Restrict Access To Your Systems
Another way to prevent an attack is by practicing control over who can access your network. This can happen simply by someone walking into your office and plugging in their virus/malware containing USB. To prevent this, you must control who can access your computer.
Ensure WiFi / Wireless Network Security
In a world where almost everyone is connected to Wifi, the device can also impact your security and put everyone at risk who shares that Wi-Fi connection with you.
By securing your Wifi or hiding it from the public view, you can protect your network and system.
Define Data Access Control
As a business owner, you run the risk of accessing specific data on your network. Hence it is vital that you clearly define who can access what and blocking your staff from installing or even accessing specific data on your network.
Install a Firewall
A data breach happens on different levels. Therefore, covering your network with a firewall is an effective way to shield yourself from any cyber-attacks.
Business organizations can have firewall security management software that protects their data and network against any possible network threat.
Create Employee Personal Accounts
To ensure safety from cyberattacks, it is important that each employee have their own login IDs. Many individuals use the same user ID and password in a system that runs a significant risk of being compromised.
Therefore, people having separate logins can help you reduce the number of attack fronts. For further protection, you can ensure that any individual won’t be able to log in more than once in a day and also that they log in only with their own set of credentials.
1234…. A Big NO as Password
For an employee to have the same password for each process can be dangerous. The reason being, once a hacker discovers your password, they can access every network, system, and application your company has. To safeguard that, all your passwords must be different from each other.
How Does Cyber Security Software Help Prevent Cyberattacks?
Cybersecurity tools help adopt a proactive approach to prevent cyber threats. Popular cybersecurity solutions can detect thousands of threats in a day and blocks them from entering the corporate network.
Any type of unauthorized access to data or identity theft can be nullified with the help of cybersecurity solutions. Some of the popular functions of cybersecurity software are network security, app security, disaster management and more.
For any business to protect it from a cyberattack can be an overwhelming task. One can do so many things, and still, there will be hope to do more.