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5 Digital Threats to Your Business (and How to Effectively Deal With Them)

Digital Threats to Your Business

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There are many positives about businesses foraying into the digital landscape. However, with these benefits come the security threats of your business becoming more public and accessible than ever. Digital threats are a very real risk for every entity in the market today, so it is paramount that you take the adequate steps to secure your livelihood. We’ve compiled 5 digital threats to your business, and how you can effectively deal with them.

1:- Fraud

Fraud is the number one digital threat facing businesses in the modern day. It’s a risk that affects any and all businesses, and usually consists of online payment fraud. That is, purchases made with stolen or unauthorised account information. To prevent this, an easy option is to use popular e-commerce transaction tools such as PayPal and Google Checkout, or to seek the ultimate security of an IT support company in Melbourne. These methods use the typical address- and card-verification techniques, as well as utilising bonus risk models and fraud prevention systems. However, if you conduct a lot of e-commerce, it might be a good idea to think about adding extra screening tools. For instance, growing in popularity are the MasterCard and Visa card-verification systems.

2:- Hackers

Commonly seeking financial information like credit card and bank account numbers, hackers will use your sensitive information, usually to make purchases or steal cash. Other common forms of hacking are to piggyback onto your internet connection in order to turn your computer into a spam e-mail server, or to use your system to click on text ads on their own websites, boosting their revenue.

Hackers usually infiltrate your system because you let them. Dodgy software you install or unsafe links you click on gives them access to your computer through your internet connection. However, there are other forms of hacking as well. ‘Key-logging’ software is a clever device that records everything you type, including credit card numbers, and sends it back to the hacker. As well as this, spyware can be attached to the software you download.

3:- Malware

The term malware includes viruses, worms, keyloggers, spyware and trojans. These digital infections can lead to your sensitive information being shared, such as account names and passwords. As well as this, malware can corrupt important files and hardware, and in some cases even completely disable your computer or IT system. Most commonly attracted via email attachments or by visiting compromised websites, Malware infections can mostly be blocked by installing trusted anti-virus programs.

4:- Phishing

Another name you may not be familiar with, phishing refers to fraudulent bodies obtaining your login credentials or private information by impersonating legitimate entities. The most common form of phishing attacks involve emails that purport to come from a customer’s bank, but actually direct them to a fake website, which then harvests their account login information. Another form of phishing is ‘spear phishing’, which refers to tailored attacks that target specific businesses or individuals within an entity. Spear phishing is a unique attack that makes the solicitation appear more legitimate, as if it has come from a regular customer or employee. As with malware, phishing is also blocked by installing an effective anti-virus program.

5:- Wireless vulnerabilities

Open wireless local area networks, or networks that use weak encryption, may leave your business vulnerable to four particular threats:

  1. Session Hijacking – this occurs when the ‘cookies’, which authenticate individual users, are intercepted and used to impersonate the user.
  2. Man-in-the-Middle attacks – this occurs when a proxy intercepts traffic between a website and the browser, allowing the proxy to read and alter data, including account passwords.
  3. Network Misuse – insecure wireless networks can be used by outsiders to conduct fraudulent or illegal activity. In worst case scenarios, SMEs may be held liable for activities conducted through their networks.
  4. Data Theft – insecure networks may leave information stored on computers on the same network vulnerable to access and misuse. Customer details, including account information, are particularly attractive targets.

Make sure your wireless network is secure, and use encryption where necessary, to avoid these aforementioned threats.

Although these above risks sound frightening, most digital threats can be fought off with a great IT support system, the installation of a trusted anti-virus software, and a little internet savvy to ensure you aren’t clicking on or installing suspicious links and software. To ensure your company’s security, it is absolutely vital you stay up to date, and take these vital steps to protect your business.

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