A Comprehensive Guide to IT Security Threats in 2018

Hackers and IT security threats are constantly adapting and looking for new ways to exploit weaknesses in cybersecurity. As companies implement new technology, and look to use data better to expand business, the threat and risk of a data breach will grow.

A recent study estimates the average data breach costs more than $3.5 million in 2017, with 27% of all U.S. companies suffering a data breach each year. With the growth of the global supply chain, no company is ever completely safe from IT security threats.

Today, more and more businesses are using cybersecurity as competitive advantage. Customers want to know their data is secure, and your business can protect them from cyberthreats and data breaches. Many companies that have conducted a gap analysis IT are shocked to discover how vulnerable the company is. Do you know how safe your data is?

How to Assess IT Security Threats

Data is the most valuable asset for a business. Companies that can protect data can use it to grow and expand the business. We’ll review a few of the top IT security threats and look at IT security innovations you can use to protect your business.

1. The Internet of Things (IoT)

Companies are rapidly adopting IoT as a way of leveraging real time data to improve business performance. Smartphones, remote sensors, and connected devices are used to capture data, and automate and optimize tasks.

Many of these devices pose an IT security threat. Machine to machine (M2M) communication isn’t conducted on a secure platform, and the protocol between devices isn’t clear. This creates a cybersecurity threat. In the case of many home-based or medical devices, the IT security threat can result in not only a data breach, but also loss of life.

2. Ransomware

The rise of cryptocurrencies has provided hackers a new opportunity to make money – ransomware. When a business is hit with ransomware, a piece of malware that encrypts data on a network, savvy hackers can demand money for the encryption key to release the data and computer files.

According to the latest data, ransomware attacks increased more than 90% in 2017, and the numbers are increasing in 2018. As more companies turn to unrestricted and unregulated cloud-based software, the threat will increase as hackers look to exploit consumers and users working in the cloud.

3. Data Breaches

Data is valuable, not only in terms of money, but also influence as we saw in the 2016 U.S. election. In the wrong hands, data can cause immeasurable harm. As we collect and collate more and more data, hackers and IT security threats are constantly looking for ways to access and weaponize that data.

Data storage facilities and the companies that hold data are prime targets for IT security threats. Many businesses assume these storage facilities are safe and the data protected. They often aren’t well protected and can be unregulated. This leads to increased risks for the businesses.

4. Mining for Cryptocurrencies

With cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin increasing in value, many IT security threats are based on cryptomining, or using the computing power of hacked machines to mine for cryptocurrency. Hackers will create a botnet of business machines using malware. The machines can then be used to mine currency for the hacker.

Machines that aren’t secure and users that aren’t aware of security protocols are prime targets for malware and botnets. Getting on a business network is a quick way to accumulate compromised machines for money-making data mining. 

Stay Ahead of the Game with IT Security Innovations

The time to develop a cybersecurity strategy and protect yourself from a data breach or IT security threat is before the crisis happens. Smart companies stay ahead of the game by conducting a gap analysis and developing an IT strategy to respond to threats quickly and efficiently.

Start with the gap analysis IT. Look at your current IT security strategy and see if it matches with the security requirements you have as a business. If it doesn’t, identify areas for improvement and create a plan and schedule for meeting the requirements of your organization.

Next, cybersecurity and IT security innovations must be collaborative. Cybersecurity is usually led by IT, but it should involve the entire business. Department managers and senior business leadership should be involved in cybersecurity. They should know the security requirements and recognize that protecting data assets and IT security innovations are a priority. Remember, every employee needs to know they are on the front line of cybersecurity.

Hackers and IT security threats are working hard to steal your data. You need to work just as hard to protect it and your company, while making the best use of your IT investment.

CDS has the most advanced assessment tools and can provide a ‘no-cost’ analysis of your current IT environment. Learn how you can protect your business from IT security threats with a leader in Information Technology – CDS Office Technologies. Contact CDS to learn more.