Cyber threats are a growing problem in the United Kingdom, with businesses of all sizes facing an increasing risk of attack. The CyberEdge 2022 Cyberthreat Defense Report uncovered that over 80% of UK-based companies had been targeted by a cyber attack in the previous 12 months.
While these cyber threats can be difficult to identify and mitigate, it is essential for UK businesses to understand the most common cyber threats and take the necessary steps to protect themselves.
Common cyber threats
Cyber threats, also known as cybersecurity threats, are malicious activities or attacks that target computer systems, networks, and data. Cyber attackers use a variety of methods to gain access to sensitive information, disrupt business operations, or cause financial loss. While cyber threats can originate from a variety of sources, they are typically perpetrated by cybercriminals or malicious actors who use sophisticated techniques to exploit computer systems and networks.
Malware is malicious software that is designed to damage, disrupt, or gain unauthorised access to a computer system. Common types of malware include viruses, worms, Trojans, and ransomware. Malware can be spread through malicious email attachments, downloads, and links.
To protect against malware, it is important to keep software and operating systems up to date and use antivirus software. It is also important to be cautious when downloading files, opening email attachments or clicking on links.
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which attackers attempt to gain access to sensitive information by posing as a trustworthy individual or organisation. Attackers typically use emails, text messages, or social media messages to lure victims into revealing confidential information, such as passwords or credit card numbers.
To protect against phishing attacks, it is important to be cautious when opening emails or clicking on links. It is also important to use two-factor authentication where possible and to be aware of any suspicious emails or messages.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that is designed to encrypt or lock data until a ransom is paid. Attackers typically target businesses, encrypting data stored on computers or servers and demanding payment for the encryption key.
To protect against ransomware attacks, it is important to ensure that data is regularly backed up and stored securely. It is also important to be aware of any suspicious emails or messages and to keep software and operating systems up to date.
4. Insider threats
Insider threats are a form of cyber attack in which a current or former employee uses their access to sensitive data or systems to cause harm to the organisation. This can include stealing confidential information, sabotaging systems, or introducing malware into the network.
To protect against insider threats, it is important to review and update access controls regularly. It is also important to be aware of any suspicious behaviour or activities and to ensure that employees receive regular security training.
5. Weak passwords
Despite the progress many companies have made to protect their networks, passwords continue to be a major issue. Most accounts only have a username and password for security, and if someone malicious gets access to that information, it can be disastrous. There are two main methods of having passwords breached. The first is through phishing attempts, which have been elaborated on earlier, and the second is through brute-force attacks, where cyber criminals attempt to guess the password by guessing it multiple times.
Cybersecurity professionals have historically suggested that users create passwords that contain a mixture of letters, numbers, and symbols. It is thought to be more secure to use a sequence of three random words with a minimum of six letters than it is to use one word with numbers and symbols.
Cybersecurity solutions for UK businesses
Cyber threats are a growing problem, with businesses of all sizes facing an increasing risk of attack. It is essential for businesses to understand the most common cyber threats and take the necessary steps to protect themselves. Take the necessary steps to protect your business from cyber threats today. Get in touch with the cybersecurity experts at INTELLIWORX to learn more about the common cyber threats facing UK businesses and how to mitigate them.