Everything Your Team Needs to Know About Cybersecurity
Thu Jun 22, 2023
Cybersecurity awareness and a proper plan of action should be top of mind for all business leaders and team members. The current digital landscape can be tricky to navigate, and there's much room for error. Cyberattacks continue to affect businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to large-scale enterprises. Attacks are becoming more sophisticated and require deeper knowledge on the part of employees to ensure data security.
The first line of defence should always be knowledge. The more you know about what types of attacks there are and how they can damage businesses, the better your team will be at securing your data. Of course, it helps too if you can bring on IT teams as further support.
To help keep your team safe, we’ve compiled this list of useful cybersecurity information, with bonus tips and tricks on how to best fight back. Here’s everything your team should know about cybersecurity.
One Small Mistake Can Have Major Consequences
Every member of your team plays an important role in your day-to-day activities. What you might overlook is how important each person is when it comes to data security! Often, we have a habit of deferring caution to our IT departments or our outsourced IT teams. There is so much to get done in a day, that it can be easy to forget that we all play a role in keeping data safe.
In truth, most cybersecurity incidents are a result of human error. It can be anyone on your team and cause a ripple effect of devastating consequences for everyone. One report says that by 2025 over half of significant cyber incidents will be a result of human failure (Gartner, 2023). This isn’t surprising when you consider the kinds of cyberattacks that are out there.
There are a great number of cyberattacks that rely on the inexperience and lack of knowledge of their victims. Phishing scams, for example, involve seemingly harmless links and documents attached to emails. When the victim clicks the link or downloads the attachment, they are then vulnerable to a serious attack. To keep this from happening, it’s important to start at the root of the problem: a lack of awareness.
While your IT team will be there to support you in case of security vulnerabilities or cyberattacks, it’s still best practice to educate your whole team on the basics.
Every member of your team should be able to:
- Identify what could be a malicious link
- Follow through with standard cybersecurity protocol (for example, don’t click links or download attachments from unknown sources)
Report any potential incidents to the appropriate team (internal or external IT)
Your team members should also have a basic understanding of what potential attacks they could encounter, and the effects these attacks could have on your business.
Common Cyberattacks Your Team Should Know About
Taking a proactive approach to cybersecurity is the best way to avoid an attack. Instead of a reactionary response, your team should be well-versed enough in the basics of digital safety to adequately identify cyberattacks and safely alert the appropriate IT teams. Below, we will explain a little bit about each of the most common cyberattacks that you might encounter.
1: Denial-of-Services (DoS) / Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)
Ever felt like you have too many tasks to complete and just don’t know where to start? That’s kind of what a DoS or DDoS attack is like. Essentially, these attacks seek to overwhelm your system’s resources and force it to be incapable of responding to your requests. Attacks of this nature can happen on a single device or can go on to affect whole networks.
Aptly named, phishing attacks occur when a cybercriminal tries to “fish for access” to your device. They tend to do this by sending emails with malicious links or documents that look relatively harmless. When the target clicks on them, however, a whole onslaught of attacks comes down on your computer. Malware is uploaded to your system and your team members could be tricked into giving up private information.
3: Man-in-the-Middle (MitM)
One of the most unnerving attacks, an MitM attack is when a cybercriminal will place themselves between networks or devices while the users remain unaware. They can then modify and access each message that is being sent between victims. It can be hard to identify if these messages are legitimate or not, as MitM attacks can include “replay attacks”, where the perpetrator will use old messages to mask themselves as one of the victims.
Unlike with the other examples, malware is less a specific attack and more a sort of umbrella term for many different attacks. They each share commonalities, thus making them a part of the same “family.” Malware’s intended purpose is to infect devices, change functionalities, destroy data, and spy on users. It is one of the most aggressive forms of cyberattacks out there to date. Malware can include worms, trojans, ransomware, and spyware.
With so many attacks threatening the security of your business and the privacy of your data, implementing stronger safeguards against such attacks is crucial. It can be extremely costly to recover from a cyberattack, with the potential to ultimately cost you your business.
So what are the best things you can do to keep your business’s reputation and its data safe?
How to Keep Your Data Secure
As we said earlier, the first step should be about educating your team. Once they’re able to recognize potential threats, you should see a major decrease in incidents. Since most errors are due to human mistakes, keeping everyone on the same page about best practices for security and hosting training sessions should help to mitigate some of the problem.
The next step is setting up more two-factor authentication methods. Having the extra layer of protection that comes with two-factor authentication will further keep cyber criminals out. It’s essentially like upgrading the locks on your door and adding in a few more for good measure.
Finally, you can reach out to a managed IT service team to get the best support possible. Managed IT comes with the added bonus of 24/7 protection, a highly trained group of individuals who deal with unique attacks every day, and a more preventative approach to cybersecurity for your business. Hiring an outsourced team of experts can save your team time and money, while giving you improved cybersecurity. They can work alongside your internal IT team or can act as your stand-alone IT support. Managed IT services can be especially helpful for small businesses who don’t have the resources for a complete internal IT department.
With managed IT, your data will be safer and well-looked after. UniTech offers a comprehensive end-to-end solution with our managed IT services. We can provide teams of all sizes with exceptional cybersecurity, all at a predictable monthly cost.
To learn more about our managed IT services and to get the best data protection available, visit our Managed IT page. Or if you’d like to speak with one of our IT specialists you can contact us directly here.