Cybercriminals are getting more advanced in their tactics, just like the stringent cybersecurity measures that are continually being set in place. With so many cyber threats such as malware and cyber-attacks, many companies falling victim to these have been suffering from financial losses.
For this reason, it’s crucial to protect your computer system against cybercriminals by installing security software from security companies such as For All Secure. Read on below and learn how cybercriminals can affect your business so you could safeguard your assets and information from any of their schemes.
1: Cybercriminals Can Ask You To Pay A Ransom
A statistical report shows that companies lost USD 1.8 billion due to cybercrime in 2019. Big companies with huge online presence are often the target of cybercriminals. Companies in the financial services, energy, technology, manufacturing, and pharmaceutical sectors suffered the heaviest losses among others.
Cybercriminals can affect your business by asking you to pay a ransom. Here’s how it works, along with some tips to safeguard your business from ransomware:
2: Ransomware Feeding
Cybercriminals use ransomware, a type of malware encrypting the victim’s files. In this form of cyber-attack, the cybercriminal demands a ransom in exchange for restoring access to the data stolen after getting paid. A common ransomware delivery system includes phishing spam or attachment sent via an email.
When you download and access this type of file, the ransomware takes over your computer, tricking you to allow administrative access. More aggressive ransomware exploits security holes, infecting your computer without needing to trick you.
3: Provides detailed instructions
Victims are shown detailed instructions on how to pay a fee to obtain the decryption key. Ransom money may range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, payable to cybercriminals in digital currency, bitcoin.
- Keep your operating system (OS) up-to-date and patched to ensure less to zero exploit vulnerabilities.
- Never provide administrative privileges if you’re unsure of the source.
- Install antivirus software to detect malicious programs such as ransomware and whitelisting software and prevent unauthorized automatic execution of applications.
- Back up your files automatically and frequently.
4: Small Business Vulnerabilities Increase Cyber-Attacks
Now more than ever, personal information, intellectual property, and sensitive data of small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) are targeted by cybercriminals, compromising their privacy and security. While individual small businesses appear as an overly attractive target, cybercriminals target collective small businesses, making them lucrative targets because of their economic impact.
Small business attacks proliferate because cybercriminals can easily access customer bank accounts, credit card records, employee personal and financial data, and supplier networks. Also, smaller businesses have weaker online security, doing more business transactions online through cloud services that don’t have strong encryption technology.
As a business owner, you need to realize the benefits of cybersecurity by taking strict measures to protect your system, such as installing antimalware and seeking a professional IT expert to assess and update your IT system.
5: Website Attack Affecting Online Presence And Consumer Trust
Browser hijacking involves running malicious software in a user’s browser, resulting in session hijacking, driving downloads, and performing other illicit cyber acts without the user’s consent. A browser hijacker can gain control of your device, manipulating your internet settings, clogging up your computer system with useless junk.
Browser hijackers can also record your internet activity and access your sensitive data. Such cyber-attacks can compromise your online privacy, web presence, and consumer trust.
Here are the key browser-hijacking symptoms to watch out for:
- Users are automatically redirected to other websites, overriding your browser’s homepage.
- A user’s preferred search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo) has been replaced, which is a common tactic, diverting web traffic to fraudulent websites through search results manipulation.
- A user receives numerous pop-up alerts.
- You might notice unwanted toolbars on top of the browser window.
- Sluggish load times and reduced performance because the hijacker malware runs intensive background processes.
6: Financial Losses
When your corporate system or website gets attacked by cybercriminals, you might suffer grave financial losses. Forbes posted statistics on data loss and cyber-attacks, stating that the average data breach cost is USD 3.86 million in 2020. Malware cases also increased by 358% and ransomware by 435% higher than 2019.
By 2025, cybercrime is projected to cost US$10.5 trillion when the world will store 200 zettabytes of data. It includes data stored on public and private IT infrastructures, cloud data centres, IoT (Internet of Things) devices, and personal computing devices such as laptops, PCs, smartphones, and tablets.
Given the statistical data above, it’s crucial to prevent financial losses by strengthening your company’s cybersecurity and keeping your website updated. Cybercrimes can result in thousands or millions of dollars worth of claims from consumer victims whose financial information was leaked because of an unsecured online store. If you receive any suspicious request, contact the concerned company directly to avoid giving out your information, which may result in grave cybersecurity attacks and financial losses.
7: Weakened Cybersecurity
Cybercriminals do all they can to weaken your cybersecurity, causing data breaches. Check the following ways cybercriminals can weaken your cybersecurity:
- Cybercrime stops users from utilizing a network or machine, making a business susceptible to a Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack.
- Cybercriminals use computers in committing other crimes, which involve the use of networks or computers to spread malware, illegal images, or illegal information.
- The cybercriminals conduct different cybercrimes at once, targeting computers with viruses first and using them to spread malware throughout a network or to other machines.
- Cybercriminals perform malicious computer-related crimes such as illegally stealing or intercepting data, infringing copyright, selling illegal items online, interfering with systems with a compromised network, and possessing or soliciting child pornography.
There are many ways cybercriminals can affect your business. Cybercriminals may cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars when they ask you to pay them to resolve ransomware attacks. Anybody can fall victim to cybercrimes but small businesses are highly vulnerable due to weak cybersecurity. Cyber-attacks can compromise your business, putting your online presence, consumer trust, and finances at risk for loss.
Despite all this, you can still protect your business from cybercriminals by keeping your OS and software up-to-date. Use strong passwords and anti-virus software to keep them from penetrating your system. Never open spam emails or any suspicious link or attachment. Lastly, don’t provide your information to anyone recklessly; make sure you’re cautious about handling and distributing your data.
Hardeep has always been a Windows lover ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP PC. She has always been enthusiastic about technological stuff, especially Artificial Intelligence (AI) computing. Before joining PC Error Fix, she worked as a freelancer and worked on numerous technical projects.