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3 IT Security Risks Every Business Faces in 2016

3 IT Security Risks Every Business Faces in 2016

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, January 04 6:00

As technology has grown more sophisticated, the world has grown to rely on it for everything from getting to meetings on time to communicating with overseas clients. This overreliance means that when something goes wrong consumers and businesses can be seriously impacted. In 2016, as with previous years, businesses must be diligent about protecting their infrastructure and websites against attack to avoid interruption. Here are three of the biggest threats facing businesses in 2016.

Cyber Extortion

The Ashley Madison attack brought attention to the practice of cyberextortion, where criminals hold a business s information hostage. In Ashley Madison s case, the hackers demanded that the site be taken down to avoid customer data being released. Businesses have an obligation to keep their customers data safe, with release of their personal information seen as a serious breach of trust. Businesses should invest in the latest security technology to ensure their servers remain safe from such breaches. This includes any third-party cloud software and storage space a business uses. The responsibility for keeping customer data safe ultimately falls on the business collecting that data.

Mobile Malware

Until now, customers have felt reasonably safe using their mobile devices. Since news of major malware attacks have been limited on smartphones and tablets, many businesses treat securing them as an afterthought. However, as 2015 came to an end, news came across of a new strain of malware called SlemBunk that targets Android devices. So far, mobile malware attacks have concentrated specifically on the devices, but security experts caution that an enterprise-level mobile malware attack could be on the way. It s important that businesses keep all of their mobile devices updated at all times, as well as setting up alerts at the server level to keep malicious software from infecting the rest of the network.

Employee Carelessness

The top threat to business security remains the people who interact with its systems and devices. McAfee expects phishing to be a problem in 2016, with wearable devices becoming top targets for criminals. If business users access work systems using wearable devices like smartwatches, businesses should invest in training those employees on responsible use. With mobile devices also becoming targets for cybercriminals, 2016 might be the year to spend time training employees on the importance of setting complex passwords and safeguarding access to systems, as well as avoiding phishing attempts by avoiding links that might be malicious. In addition to training employees on responsible technology use, businesses should also lock down access to systems, making sure each employee has only the access necessary to productively do their jobs.

Cybersecurity remains a top priority in business as professionals work hard to safeguard their applications and customer data. While the same threats exist in 2016 that have always been around, cybercriminals are working hard to get around the protections businesses have in place. This means businesses must pay close attention to areas like wearables and mobile devices to avoid being taken by surprise. A quick inventory of your existing security measures could identify areas of vulnerability.

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