“Cybersecurity” – Yes, it can be complicated. With various (and nefarious) things going on all the time, and it can be hard for businesses to keep in mind everything they need to do to be protected. We have identified five trends that are affecting businesses, directly or indirectly, at a formidable level. Businesses have to consider, and prepare for, these trends.
Malicious software – viruses, Trojans, backdoors
Malicious software is the most well known threats to data safety. Everyone has heard of it, but not everyone is aware of the amount of malicious software out there in the wild. Kaspersky Lab detects over 325,000 new malware samples on a daily basis, and it’s the scale that should not be ignored. Also not to be ignored, the fact that there is malware for all platforms, both PC and mobile, and the fact that some environments such as Windows or Android are attacked most frequently, while the others – Mac OS X, Linux, iOS – less so. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make the latter invulnerable.
These attacks are launched against a specific target. Your company, perhaps. But, why? There are two reasons: either to steal something or to meddle with your work, making it next to impossible for you to do your job. There are lots of tools to launch such attacks. Perhaps, you may think it has nothing to do with you? Sorry, but you are wrong. Businesses of all sizes become victims of these attacks, which are typically cheap to launch, but they can be extremely damaging. For that reason, it’s not uncommon for them to be used as a weapon of competition. And it is very difficult to hold anyone accountable for such attacks.
Overall complexity of the technology
Yes, dealing with all of the aspects of tech is a real chore. Things get more complicated every five years. There were just PCs and traditional websites in the late 1990s, and now there are various tech terms – “social networks”, “blogs”, “clouds”, you name it. Your IT guy says using the “cloud” can cut your site’s costs? Great! Your marketing pro says that you need to “establish a presence” on every social network to see what people think of you? Well, okay. But now it also means that aside from caring about the PCs in your office and the mobile devices of your employees, you have to consider what happens if your business’ Facebook page is compromised, or your cloud provider reliability fails to live up to your expectations.
Hardware and software become obsolete faster than desirable
Yet another complex trend: in the name of technological advancements – and marketing too – both hardware and software are becoming obsolete at an increasing rate. Not everyone feels comfortable with this: People tend to cling to the things they’ve gotten used to. That’s the reason for the epic longevity of the now 14-years-old Windows XP – despite the fact that support terminated in April 2014, it is still widely in use. For as long as it is usable, many people will not spend money on newer versions of Windows. And even if there are resources, sometimes it’s not that easy to switch to something newer all at once.
Our recommendation is, of course, to update as much as possible. The “tried and true” approach doesn’t always work with IT: the newer tech and software are more secure as a rule, while the older products are susceptible to flaws and errors, sometimes really formidable ones.
Note: Regarding Windows XP, Kaspersky Lab’s products are still supporting it, and will continue to do so until 2016.
All money via Web
That’s correct: a large portion of payment transactions are made electronically, via bank websites and payment services such as PayPal. But it is a human who inputs the information necessary for the payment on his or her PC or mobile device.
And this creates an issue for keeping the device protected from all attempts of intercepting that data – credentials, one-time passwords banks’ sites send to a mobile device for extra security, etc. And there are many malicious tools for doing this, which need to be countered.
Eventually we’ll see all these trends create their own additional risks of compromising data safety. That means IT security solutions are a necessity – they will allow businesses to address all these issues and minimize the risks.
If you want to know more about IT security for small business, you are welcome to read our earlier posts dedicated to this topic. Also, specifically for small businesses, we have a solution called Kaspersky Small Office Security that is easy to install, configure and run, while providing a business-level protection against cyberthreats.
A trial version is available for download here.