New Year, New Cyber Security Threats: How Businesses Can Prepare for Turbulent Times

It’s a tough world out there – and businesses know it better than anyone. While it takes only a few steps to launch a venture, ensuring it lasts is the real challenge. Companies must work hard to maintain their reputation – which is difficult to build but incredibly easy to lose. Many things could ruin your brand quickly, and they can vary from something as simple as showing careless behaviour on social media to something more complex as not taking care of the people on your team. Legal liabilities are often at the top of the list when it comes to business risks that could affect an organisation’s bottom line and lead not just to operational disruptions and financial losses but also to the business being closed down.

According to Personal Injury Claims UK experts, businesses owe a duty of care to employees, and if they get injured at the workplace, they have a right to take legal action. Many companies seem to have understood this issue’s seriousness, adopting a safety culture to prioritise employees’ well-being. However, 2023 has taught entrepreneurs a lesson: cyber risks can have significant consequences, so companies should also use their resources to mitigate them. There have been numerous headlines about data breaches and cybersecurity attacks that happened because of poor data security (or a lack of it). This only led to reputational damage and financial losses for businesses. Looking ahead, 2024 will bring new challenges into the cyber security landscape, requiring ventures to pay attention to the key trends in the industry and strive to achieve cyber resilience.

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AI-Driven Attacks

AI-driven attacks are incredibly sophisticated, with malicious actors relying on artificial intelligence programs to implement their attacks. Due to the capabilities of these programs, they can create phishing scams that look more convincing, spot vulnerabilities in multi-factor authentication, and even create and install malware that can adapt to strong defensive measures, making traditional cybersecurity less effective.

Disinformation Campaigns

Cybercriminals also take advantage of social media platforms to spread false information. This tactic takes the form of disinformation web campaigns, which have the purpose of damaging the reputation of a brand’s reputation and credibility. The impact of this tactic is even stronger given the interconnected nature of the Internet that enables information to spread at the speed of light and reach so many people at once.

Ransomware Tactics

Ransomware remains a massive threat in 2024, with malicious actors locking ventures out of the systems, and requiring them to pay to get access again. This tactic is evolving quickly into massive threats like double extortion schemes which pose a huge challenge to businesses.

IoT Cyber Attacks

The evolution of the IoT seems nothing but exciting; however, it can also be dangerous, given that it increases the attack surface, posing more vulnerabilities. This is because there are more apps and tools that are interconnected, leaving room for weaknesses to be exploited. IoT devices lack robust security features, making it easy for cybercriminals to access your network via a Smart TV or robot vacuum and steal your valuable data.  

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks have always been a significant threat, which won’t change in 2024 either. Attackers are getting increasingly better at creating deceptive emails that trick people into giving away information that should remain secret or get them to download dangerous malware. AI tools make these attacks even more threatening, succeeding in targeting vulnerable individuals and business segments.

What Can Businesses Do to Protect Their Data?

The cybersecurity landscape is evolving constantly, with new threats arising regularly. Given the expected trends for 2024, it only makes sense for businesses to be proactive and take action to safeguard their company’s reputation. Here are some practical steps ventures should take to become cyber resilient.

Conduct Regular Cybersecurity Assessments

Evaluating your business’ cybersecurity posture is essential to prepare for the challenges ahead. You can do this through regular assessments which can help spot vulnerabilities, assess the security measures’ effectiveness, and determine whether your business complies with security standards. Such an assessment allows you to allocate your resources better and find solutions and strategies for existing weaknesses. As a result, you can stay ahead of the latest cybersecurity threats and improve your security posture.

Raise Cybersecurity Awareness Among Employees

Raising employee awareness is one of the best ways to defend your business against cyber threats. You can provide training programs to educate your team about potential risks, and ways to mitigate them. For example, you can teach them how to recognize disinformation campaigns, one of the cybersecurity threats discussed above. Besides the theoretical aspects of adhering to security practices, you can also conduct simulations to assess your team’s ability to identify and prevent specific threats, such as phishing. Remember, employee awareness is the first and most important step in creating a strong cybersecurity culture in your company, enabling team members to contribute to your business’ security strategy proactively.

Collaborate With the Right Cybersecurity Partner

Collaborating with a cybersecurity professional is one of the best ways to enhance your business’ defences. Such an expert can bring their experience and knowledge to your company, conducting detailed assessments on cybersecurity, spotting vulnerabilities, and making suggestions on personalised training programs. However, you want to ensure that the cybersecurity expert you end up collaborating with is reliable – and this isn’t an easy task. So, it’s crucial to adopt a strategic approach and have the following considerations when seeking a cybersecurity partner:

  • Get clear on the cybersecurity goals as well as needs of your company to determine which areas of expertise you need to focus on when collaborating with a professional in the field;
  • Make sure they are trustworthy by looking into their certifications and credentials;
  • Choose a partner who has industry-specific knowledge and can understand what specific threats target your company.

Implement AI-Driven Solutions

While cybercriminals take advantage of AI to develop even more sophisticated threats, businesses can do the same to boost cybersecurity capabilities. Traditional methods fail to detect and respond rapidly to threats, but AI solves this issue, reducing data breach costs considerably. This revolutionary technology offers a dynamic defence against cyber-attacks by recognizing anomalies, analysing significant datasets in real time, and predicting future threats.  

Last words

The effectiveness of cyberattacks is only increasing, so businesses should be mindful of this fact and adopt the strategies above to protect their data.