Cybersecurity: The Latest Trends and Why They Matter

Having a strong cybersecurity plan is a major component of protecting your business today. It seems like we can’t go a week without hearing of another data breach from some major company (at least before COVID-19 started dominating the news cycle). And yet despite the increased attention on data breaches and the need for effective cybersecurity, the breaches keep coming. 

Cybersecurity is more important than it’s ever been, too, because innovation in business operations makes us ever more reliant on internet-connected technology.

For these reasons, today we bring you a post on the latest trends in cybersecurity. They matter because your business likely can’t thrive without reliance on technology innovation, and yet that very technology can be a threat to your business if not kept secure. 

Here are the top cybersecurity issues likely to affect you and your company.

Cloud Reliance Increases Exposure, But It’s Usually Safe

Businesses are conducting more and more of their operations in the cloud. These online tools come with major benefits, yes, but they can also increase your company’s exposure. Now it’s not just your own systems you have to worry about; you could get exposed through a breach at one of your cloud vendors.

This is a legitimate risk, but it’s not as serious of a risk as it might sound. Let’s imagine that your cloud partners are Microsoft and Amazon. Are those massive companies big targets for hackers? Of course they are. But Microsoft and Amazon are also really, really difficult targets for hackers. These companies are staking their reputation on being able to stay secure and devoting whole divisions to the cause.

Don’t be afraid of relying on the cloud. At the same time, stick to companies where you have a high degree of trust and that have a demonstrated track record of security.

Local Systems at Small Businesses Are Prime Targets

In the last decade or so, digital attackers have adjusted their strategies away from massive, hard-to-penetrate companies. We’re seeing more and more attacks on smaller entities, like small and medium businesses, and the rate continues to increase. Hackers are going for these easier, softer targets. The “payout” may be smaller, but the risk is lower, too.

If your small or medium business is hanging onto older, insecure equipment or clinging to privacy-insensitive business practices, you could be putting yourself at a greater risk of a cyberattack or data breach.

Social Engineering and Phishing Remain a Massive Threat

A comprehensive cybersecurity plan entails much more than just keeping your servers and systems locked down and password protected. It’s true that a number of the more popular data breaches involved a database that was left exposed (that is, not password-protected). But the most likely threats your company could face are usually pretty low-tech.

They take the form of an official-looking email from “Microsoft” or an urgent phone call from “support”. They tell you or your employees that there is a big problem and they need to sign in right away or divulge credentials over the phone.

The problem, of course, is that the email isn’t from Microsoft and the phone call isn’t from IT. These are social engineering attacks, often called phishing schemes. 

It doesn’t matter how strong your IT security plan is. If your employees give away their credentials, you’re sunk. That’s why any strong IT plan needs to include employee awareness training.

If you’re not sure where to start on an awareness training initiative, OpenDNS offers a free Phishing Quiz. Use this as a training opportunity and conversation starter for your employees to tighten up this weakness in your security plan.

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