Top 5 Cybersecurity Risks to Your Firm

Top Cybersecurity Risks

The news running about the rising cybersecurity risks makes us all wonder what would happen if we became the target. Suppose you run an organization – an accounting firm, SMB, etc. In that case, the chances are you have at least heard of the familiar cyber threats, including malware attacks, supply chain attacks, and social engineering attacks, to name a few. Many businesses consider controlling the related risk with a few on-premise security measures. They might not know that new threats emerge almost every day, making it more challenging to identify and mitigate them. 

Cyberattacks can occur in several different ways. The first step toward building a solid defense mechanism is to develop a good understanding of different types of cybersecurity risks to your business. Let’s cover that side of organizational security in detail.

  • Exposure to Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

As the name suggests, a zero-day vulnerability refers to the weaknesses in the security system or applications that developers haven’t yet fixed. In other words, zero-day vulnerabilities increase the risk of cyberattacks before the developer fixes them.

While attacks on zero-day vulnerabilities are not new, they are constantly rising. In big organizations, identifying and fixing such vulnerabilities to prevent external attacks is a part of daily work life for developers and security analysts. However, significant zero-day vulnerabilities may not exist for smaller firms, while the other can be handled with the help of managed security services.

  • Unauthorized access to credentials

When one application or a data set becomes exposed to a cyberattack, the risk expands in reach and spreads to more data and applications used in an organization. If multiple firms are connected via applications, this could have an even more significant impact. For example, an attacker successfully steals various login credentials and passwords of employees at work. He can use such details to break into sensitive data and networks to cause significant damage. 

An attack like this works because people often use the same password for multiple accounts linked to a tax program, accounting applications, or accounting management systems. This is where multi-factor authentication becomes crucial and is now an IRS requirement for those processing tax returns.

  • Smishing

Smishing is one of the most common cybersecurity risks prevalent in the world these days. It falls under the category of phishing and involves fraudsters sending messages or SMSs to individuals or businesses and trying them to click on the given link. When the link is clicked for any reason, it triggers malware that can potentially steal data from mobile phones/devices.

Statistics show that every individual receives more than 40 spam messages every month. The worst part is that less than 35% of the users know what smishing is. The lack of awareness makes it a big problem. 

  • Ransomware

Ransomware is yet another cybersecurity risk that’s getting worse than ever. This has even led to double extortion – the attackers steal data and then threaten the data owner to leak the data within hours of not receiving the ransom. Besides this, they sell it anyway – whether they have received the ransom. This is different from the risk related to ransomware in the past when the attackers used to encrypt the data and then provide the key to unlock the same post recovering the ransom.

You might not also believe that ransomware has created opportunities for vendors in cybercrime. These days, Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) vendors are available for attackers to provide apps to steal data and then share the money received as ransom.

  • Conversation hijacking

This is one of the next-level cybersecurity risks you might haven’t heard of earlier. As a part of the threat, emails are sent by hijacking an individual’s email accounts to the ones they stay in touch with constantly. It works quite well for attackers as they monitor email activity and jump into conversations involving payment transactions. Then, they ask for money to be transferred to a different account.

Since the email appears to be received from a trusted peer or fellow employee, the victim often avoids questioning the interaction until the risk is disclosed. 

Protect Your Organization from Cybersecurity Risks with Verito

Whether you have hosted most or all of the business applications on the cloud, you can benefit from the expertise of a managed security service provider. Switch to Verito’s managed security services to ensure peace of mind when new threats emerge. Get started here.


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