Is your smart lightbulb listening to you?
Nope, not a joke.
In our digital world, automations make life a whole lot easier. But as you enjoy the latest gadgets, programs, and software, are all your online accounts and devices secure?
If not, then you might be in for a virtual world of hurt. As innovation continues to reach new heights, your cybersecurity needs to keep up. Infamous members of the hackersphere are finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities.
These are the top cyber attacks you should expect – and prepare for Q4 2022 (and beyond).
The Top 6 Cyber Attacks To Expect For Your Small Business In Q4 2022
The more devices and automations we add into our lives, the more access points we reveal to hackers. Keep your business, employees, and family safe by staying up to speed on the cyber threats lurking around 2022’s Q4.
Ready to beef up security? Contact Brooks IT Services and learn about our newest and most innovative cyber security services.
1. Phishing Tactics Are More Brazen Than Ever Before
Have you ever received an email from an online financial institution asking you to confirm your identity immediately? Even worse, have they threatened to hold all assets on your account if you don’t act quickly?
First of all, no reputable banking or financial institution will EVER do this. Second, the example above is a phishing scam.
Many Coinbase users recently received a similar email. Many recipients did respond with the requested information to secure their investments – only to be left with an empty account.
To err on the side of caution is to not respond to emails, text messages, phone calls, or any other type of communication that requests your personal data.
Furthermore, many phishing attempts urge recipients to click on malicious links that download dangerous software onto your system.
Ensure your employees use safe practices to identify suspicious messages and links. Moreover, it’s critical to report any suspicious links or communications immediately.
A good MSP will help you train your employees and even test their skills. If someone clicks on a link or doesn’t report it, that’s a cue they need additional phishing training to keep themselves and your business safe.
2. Ransomware Is Doing Its Best To Drain Your Cryptocurrency
We used to hear the word “ransom” on the news and in movies about criminals holding someone or something hostage for a sum of money. These days, ransom more notably refers to malicious software known as ransomware.
The bad actors in our digital age use this automated software to remove your data and (you guessed it) hold it for ransom. However, even ransom payments look different.
Instead of a briefcase of unmarked bills, these hackers are demanding untraceable cryptocurrency transfers. The problem is the hackers behind ransomware could literally be anywhere in the world. There is no in-person handoff of funds in exchange for the return of your data. This means that there is no telling if they’ll ever return your data, even if you pay up.
The advice here is not to pay. There is a good chance you’ll just be giving money away and getting nothing in return. Instead, take proactive steps now by securely storing your data and making sure to always back it up.
With your data backed up, you can just shrug off a ransomware attempt. Of course, you’ll want to alert your MSP, beef up security, patch weak spots, and alert anyone whose data may have been compromised.
3. Cloud Computing Misconfigurations Can Leave Your Data Vulnerable
Yes, the cloud is awesome. But no, it’s not infallible.
This is why it’s so important to have an IT expert, like your friends at BITS, to set up your cloud storage. It’s always easier to do things correctly the first time than clean up mistakes after the fact.
An IT expert, or MSP, will ensure your cloud storage security configurations are secure. Furthermore, they will continue to monitor your network to catch any infiltration attempts and patch weak spots.
With so many businesses utilizing the cloud’s usability and security features, it’s more important than ever to ensure every access point and permission is double checked. Otherwise, all of your business’s data can end up in the wrong hands.
Ready to migrate to the cloud or make sure your existing cloud services are secure? Reach out to Brooks IT Services today to ensure your network and security are fully optimized and secure at all times.
4. Social Engineering Is Taking Advantage Of Human-To-Human Interactions
Perhaps the most invasive of cyber security threats are being done through social engineering. This process involves someone who investigates intended victims, gathers background information, and tricks users with psychological manipulation.
For example, many hackers are physically going into mobile phone stores (think ATT, T-Mobile, and Verizon) and impersonating a victim to gain access to their devices. If they can convince the employee behind the counter that they just forgot their password, they can get their hands on all of your information.
What’s worse, once in your system, they can change passwords, turn on 2FA, and effectively lock you out of all of your accounts. By the time you regain access, there’s a chance your bank accounts will be empty, data sold on the dark web, and malicious links sent to your closest circle of colleagues, family, and friends.
It’s important to not be persuaded into providing any information, and always be wary of new people in your life who seem a little too curious.
5. Third-Party Breaches You Never Saw Coming Could Be Your Biggest Concern
You could do everything right and still be involved in a data breach. This has become more evident through third-party data breaches.
For example, consider the software you use every day. How did you pay for that software? Was it through PayPal or Venmo? Those are third parties whose only involvement is to collect payment. However, if the financial institutions experience a breach, and your financial account is linked to your software, the hackers may be able to access all of your information.
Keep an eye on your finances, use unique passwords, and change your passwords often.
6. Hacks Are Creeping In Through IoT Device Windows
It’s no secret that IoT (Internet of Things) devices in our offices, homes, cars, and even watches are constantly collecting information. Amazon claims this personal data allows the company to power “ambient intelligence” for smart homes (and lifestyles).
Despite potential privacy concerns, many users still enjoy the algorithm that provides niche-targeted ads for products they enjoy.
However, whether you’re on Team Ambient Intelligence or Team Invasive Data Collection, security from hackers remains a concern.
For each smart outlet, smart lightbulb, and smart speaker in your life, a window to the hackersphere opens a crack. If it connects to your WiFi, a hacker may be able to create a backdoor to your entire network.
Moreover, once a bad actor accesses any small bit of information, they can potentially access your most personal data. For instance, once inside your email account, a hacker may be able to access your online banking information.
Yes, this can be scary. But that doesn’t mean you need to trash your smart devices. The best defense is to use strong passwords and change them often. Router passwords are often the most overlooked. So, rather than stick with the default password, make sure to change it to something unique.
Protect Your Small Business From Cyber Attacks In Q4 & Beyond
Brooks IT Services is excited to announce our partnership with Control One. This is the most innovative, secure, and effective software to optimize and secure your network.
Rest easy knowing that your business, employees, and devices are as secure as if you were all sharing a physical office – even if you are worlds apart.
Ready to learn more about what BITS can do for your small business? Contact us today!