In light of everything the world has gone through over the years, we’ve embraced an era of rapid digital transformation. Effectively incorporating technology has allowed companies to streamline their systems and make the overall business more efficient. However, while the level of technological dependence grew, so did the digital threats that businesses face online.
The increasing reliance of entrepreneurs on digital assets and processes marked a large target on their business’s backs. And unless you reinforce your defenses and keep your digital blindspots in check, your company may be at risk too.
It’s nearly impossible to pull the plug on cybercriminal activities. That’s an unfortunate fact. What you can do is protect yourself from the biggest digital threats before they even get you. Digital threat monitoring is necessary every now and then to make sure your data remains safe.
But what digital threats must you be aware of?
You’ll discover them here.
What Does Digital Threat Mean?
Digital threats refer to any activity that aims to attack businesses by damaging, stealing, accessing or disrupting sensitive information. These cybersecurity threats are some of the risks of being on the digital grid. Business information and personal data alike are both at risk of a cyber-attack.
Unfortunately, digital threats may be caused by external threats to a business or occur from within an organization. The most common external personalities behind digital threats include:
- Hostile nations
- Terrorist organizations
- Criminal syndicates
- Individual hackers
Employees or contractors with malicious intent or those that commit errors could cause your security breach.
Cyber problems come in many shapes and sizes, but they all have one thing in common. That is to potentially cause serious harm to businesses. From phishing scams to malware attacks, businesses are at risk of falling victim to digital threats.
Cyber Threat vs Digital Threat
Cyber threats and digital threats are commonly used interchangeably when referring to online security risks. They normally mean the same thing, and there are no hidden nuances between the two terms. As long as they pose security threats to businesses via digital channels, they’re classified as digital or cyber threats.
The worst thing you could think about as a business owner is presuming that your business is free from harm. Frankly enough, no one is. Cybercriminals will seek to attack you from all angles, regardless of your business size and stature. That’s why it pays to have digital threat monitoring to keep cyber attacks at bay.
If you’re looking to work with other businesses or contractors, make sure they’re reliable. Otherwise, you open your doors to online risks to your digital security. Business Marketing Engine happens to be one of the good ones. So for your business’s content needs, reach out to us.
Top 7 Digital Threats that Could Endanger Your Business Online
1. Phishing Threat
You may have heard of this before and chose to ignore it the first time. But this is the most prominent and widespread threat to businesses, both big and small.
Phishing is a type of online fraud where criminals send emails that appear to be from legitimate companies. This scam is used in an attempt to gather personal information like login credentials or credit card details.
What makes this threat so dangerous is that it’s constantly evolving. Attackers are always coming up with new ways to bypass security measures and trick unsuspecting victims. And since phishing attacks can be automated, they can scale quickly and cause widespread damage.
To protect your business from phishing, you need to educate your employees about this threat and how to spot it. You should also have a robust security system in place that can detect and block these digital threats.
2. Internal Threat
An internal threat is a security risk that comes from within your organization. It can be caused by careless or disgruntled employees or anyone with access to your network.
Internal threats are often more difficult to spot than external threats. The reason being they come from people who are already inside your defenses. But if you’re not careful, they can do just as much damage, if not more.
Here are two angles from where internal threats could come:
- Careless or Uninformed Employees
Your employees are your first line of defense against external threats. However, they can also be the weak link that lets threats into your network.
If an employee clicks on a phishing email or visits infected websites, they could unknowingly introduce malware to your network. Once inside, the malware could spread to other computers and devices.
Even when an employee doesn’t accidentally introduce malware, they could still pose a threat to your network security. Not using strong passwords or practicing good password hygiene could make hackers guess their way into your systems.
- Rogue Employees
While the majority of your employees are probably loyal, there’s always the potential for a rogue employee. They may have something against the company or could be planning to commit fraud.
In either case, a rogue employee could intentionally do serious damage if they’re able to access sensitive data or systems. More commonly, this could come from IT departments with access to your data centers and computer networks.
3. Software Applications
You might not have considered this source of threat, but even the applications you use could compromise your data. It’s not necessarily because the software vendor intends the digital threats.
When you skimp on official licenses and get software from open-source libraries, you open your doors to digital threats. Attackers may input the malware somewhere within the code of an app disguised as a genuine program.
It’s important to always choose official software releases and buy official licenses. The cost will always outweigh the risks.
Malware or malicious software are intrusive software developed by cyber criminals to damage computers or steal your data. They can come in various classes, the most popular being ransomware, especially for businesses.
Here are the most common malware digital threats:
A dormant malware that activates when the app is used and can disrupt a computer’s ability to operate.
These are more powerful than viruses since they don’t require app activation to infect computers. Downloading an infected app is enough to replicate it.
- Trojan virus
Trojans disguise themselves as helpful software, but once you download the app,
it gains access to sensitive data. They could modify, block, delete or steal the information.
Spyware does exactly as it sounds, to simply spy on your movements. This is often used to steal financial and personal information.
Ransomware and phishing scams come hand in hand. Hackers may encrypt sensitive information so you cannot access it. And then they demand a payout before they release your data back.
This malicious software collects your activity to give you relevant ads. They can redirect your browser to unsafe websites that may contain other forms of malware.
5. Outdated Softwares
Apps are never free from bugs that require developer-supported fixes to resolve. Attackers may target these unpatched vulnerabilities to access your system or data.
On the other hand, sometimes the update may arrive eventually. However, the attackers may implant the malware somewhere within the update supply chain.
It’s critical to always update software to its latest version and uninstall those no longer developer-supported. Moreover, system and network monitoring are always advised to make sure everything is in place.
6. Unmanaged Internet of Things (IoT) and Mobile Device
Countless businesses now operate within an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem because of the many benefits it provides. It makes processes more efficient and in-team transactions faster. However, IoT also comes with its own set of risks.
Any IoT device that connects to your network can be a potential entry point for attackers. Unmanaged mobile devices are also a common weak spot in business security. Making sure all devices are properly managed, updated and secure is crucial to protecting your business from hackers.
7. Third-Party Threat
In today’s business world, most companies outsource some parts of their operations. This could be anything from using a third-party cloud service to hiring a digital marketing agency.
While there are many advantages to outsourcing, it can also create additional security risks. After all, you’re essentially entrusting another organization with some of your sensitive data.
To mitigate the risks associated with third-party vendors, it’s important to do your due diligence before entering into any agreements. This includes thoroughly vetting the vendor and ensuring they have strong security protocols in place.
You should also have a contract in place that safeguards both parties in the event of a data breach.
Protect Your Business Online
There are a variety of digital threats that businesses need to be aware of. By taking the appropriate steps to protect your business’s data, you can help reduce the risks associated with these threats.
When your employees, software, and IoT ecosystem are all fine, cybersecurity breaches will most likely come from third-party sources. Make sure to work with trustworthy and reliable contractors. Business Marketing Engine is one of them. For any support on all marketing fronts, give us a call.