Top 10 Ways Businesses Organizations Get Hacked or Breached 

 Top 10 Ways Businesses and Organizations Get Hacked and Breached

According to Cybercrime Magazine, the cost of cybercrime is expected to grow to over $10 trillion by 2025.

If you're a business owner, you need to understand how at-risk you are of a cyber attack. There are hackers lurking around every corner, and if you don't prepare yourself, you'll become part of the statistics.

Improving your cybersecurity measures requires you to gain a true understanding of what types of business cybersecurity threats are out there. In this post, we're going to look at all the different types of data breaches and how they can occur.

Protecting your business from hackers is a full-time job. They're always trying to get a step ahead, but if you can predict what they're going to do, you can stop them in their tracks. Keep reading and learn everything you need to know about the causes of threats and business cybersecurity tips to prevent them.

1. Exploiting Zero-Day Vulnerabilities

A zero-day vulnerability is an undiscovered software issue that doesn't have a patch because the software creator doesn't know about it yet. Because the attacker is able to spot the vulnerability before anyone else, it's easy for them to exploit it and attack your business.

Although trickier for hackers, these attacks are often successful due to the lack of defense in place. Web browsers are popular entry points for hackers, as are email attachments that open vulnerable applications. They target government organizations, large corporations, and individuals who have access to business data.

By nature, zero-day vulnerabilities are tough to defend against. Quality cybersecurity protection will install tactics such as patch management, input validation, and vulnerability scanning to detect zero-day vulnerabilities.

2. Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks encompass a variety of tactics that take advantage of and manipulate human interaction. The end goal is always to trick someone into making a critical mistake that gives the hacker an opening to attack a business.

It almost always starts with a communication (email, SMS message) displaying some sense of urgency that's meant to debase the employee. Once they're flustered, they're more likely to divulge sensitive information, which is all the hacker needs to make their move.

Preventing these types of attacks can be tricky because the main focus of the hacker is forcing a human error. IBM studies show that 90% of business data breaches are due to mistakes made by employees.

So, your best prevention is better training. If your employees have a better understanding of how to recognize socially engineered attacks, you'll be able to prevent them more successfully.

3. Weak or Breached Passwords

Having weak passwords is the equivalent of leaving your door ajar for burglars to waltz into your home. When passwords are short, follow common keystrokes, contain personal information, contain repeated characters, or are reused, they're considered weak.

Strong passwords are a long string of characters that make it difficult for hackers or hacking tools to guess. Random combinations work best but aren't easy for the password creator to remember. Instead, use a variety of characters to make personal phrases or mnemonics that help you remember the password.

When you work with a cybersecurity specialist, they may recommend multi-factor authentication. MFA makes it easier to confirm identities and adds another layer of security to prevent cyber attacks.

4. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are among the most common causes of business hacks. The goal for hackers is to trick users into clicking links or attachments that either reveal information or install malware.

As a form of social engineering, phishing attacks come through emails, SMS messages, phone calls, and web applications. Spear phishing targets specific individuals that may have special access to sensitive data, making them more attractive to hackers.

Bulk phishing emails often appear legitimate. It may seem to come from an online retailer, a national bank, or a government organization. The creator will use logos and mask the sender's domain name in order to create a sense of legitimacy.

Usually, there will be some call to action in the email that gives the hacker access to company data. If the victim is careless, they'll click on the link or attachment, and the data breach is set in motion.

There are specific things to look out for with phishing attacks. Emails requesting bank or sensitive info, specific threats, or unexpected file attachments often indicate phishing. You should always keep an eye on spelling or grammar issues, which are common in these emails as well.

5. Malware and Ransomware Infections

We mentioned malware earlier, but it's important to understand what it is. Malware is a piece of software designed to gain access to a network or computer. It's often used to extract data or get financial information in order to steal money.

Ransomware is a type of malware, but it differs in how it's used. Instead of going straight after financial information, ransomware aims to lock users out of their system until a ransom is paid. It works for hackers because it's often easier and cheaper for companies to pay and get their access back.

These attacks can be averted with firewall protection.

6. Unpatched Software and Misconfigurations

Hackers can also take advantage of unpatched software and security misconfiguration. The tactics might include an SQL injection, command execution, directory traversal, file upload, or XSS attack. When software is vulnerable, these attacks are always more successful.

Security misconfiguration occurs when settings are either not implemented or poorly implemented. When these gaps in security are present, any of the above tactics can be used to attack databases, servers, web applications, or networks.

When implementing a new system or piece of software, it's so important to change the default configurations. Hackers pounce at these opportunities, which can result in massive financial loss for your business.

7. Insider Threats

Insider threats can include both malicious internal attacks and mistakes made by employees or contractors. Because someone has permission to access company information and data doesn't mean you shouldn't put checks and balances in place to prevent insider threats.

Dtex states that two-thirds of insider threats are the result of negligence. Malicious insider threats can be difficult to detect because perpetrators are usually playing a long game.

The way to prevent these attacks is to better your cybersecurity infrastructure. Onboarding and offboarding should be thorough.

Always disable outgoing employees' accounts so they don't have access to your systems. Implementing multi-factor authentication can also be helpful in creating barriers to these insider threats.

8. Third-Party Risks and Supply Chain Attacks

Bringing a third party into the equation can complicate your cyber defenses. If they've got security vulnerabilities, you have them too. The problem is, most businesses need to work with other parties, especially when dealing with the supply chain.

Your vendors, suppliers, and service providers may have access to your internal data. You can do everything right with cybersecurity, but if your partners aren't on the same level, it can be very risky.

Third-party risk management is all about holding your partners to a high standard of security. Being able to identify risks and take control of them is the only way to prevent these types of security breaches.

9. Physical Security Breaches

Cyber threats aren't always remote issues. It's possible to have physical security breaches that also compromise cybersecurity. If a malignant presence gains access to sensitive areas or gets hold of a company laptop, it could spell disaster for your business.

It's crucial to keep computers locked with strong passwords and encryption. If someone gains access to a computer or system, these measures can still mitigate damage.

The other important thing to do is to bolster your business security. Using security cameras, access control systems, and even physical surveillance can prevent access and even deter criminals from attempting to break in.

10. WiFi Hacking

Wireless hacking is something cybercriminals do to gain access to your private WiFi network. Once there, they can obtain important data or disrupt your network.

Password cracking is a popular WiFi hacking method where criminals guess or crack your network password. If you're already dealing with a data breach, you're also vulnerable to password cracking.

Criminals may also set up a rogue access point. This is a fake access point set up on a real WiFi network. Once it's set up, they can obtain data sent and received over the network, like credentials and financial info.

There are a variety of other WiFi hacking methods. The best way to stop them is to change your WiFi password on a regular basis and use encryption algorithms.

Stop All Types of Data Breaches

Now that you know how businesses get hacked, you can attempt to stop all types of data breaches in their tracks. With a strong cybersecurity team helping you, there's no reason your business can't protect itself.

At SecPoint, our cybersecurity products can prevent all of the security threats we've discussed here. They make it easy to get a handle on cybersecurity and are customizable to suit your business security needs.

To learn more about our products and how they can help your business, don't hesitate to contact us today with any questions.