Most business owners seek growth among anything else. After all, it brings an assortment of benefits to companies. It allows businesses to attract new talents, investors, and since it also increases revenue, it becomes easier to fund projects. Unfortunately, that same growth can prove to be quite disastrous in the long run, as it comes with all sorts of cyber security risks.
For one, while the industry news makes it look like hackers only target corporate giants, in reality, they also pay close attention to growing companies, as they tend to have weak cyber security.
That’s precisely why many companies tend to hit the skids right after their seemingly endless growth. Of course, you wouldn’t want that to happen to your growing business. In that regard, here are four cyber security concerns you’ll eventually deal with during your company’s growth.
1. Insider Threats
Companies tend to get sloppy when hiring new employees during their growth phase. It’s understandable since there are hundreds of other things to worry about. However, it carries considerable risks to a company: the introduction of an inside threat.
Insider threats are when an employee intentionally leaks information about the company they’re working for, typically to the black market, which can allow malicious individuals to gain access to a company’s system.
Since inside threats are a common occurrence in the business industry, experts have already developed a way to prevent such incidents. You have to restrict access to certain parts of your system to only those that need it. For instance, rather than providing all your employees access to your employee information web pages, you can limit access to your human resources (HR) department alone.
A hotel chain company—known for its dedication to cybersecurity—recently acquired a web design and hosting company. As soon as the acquisition happened, hundreds of millions of guests accessed their data by unauthorized entities. According to their investigation, this incident was due to the mistake of one of the acquired company’s employees.
Despite having no data breach cases within the company for many years, it has experienced one just because of the introduction of new employees. And because of it, the hotel chain was barraged with lawsuits at the time of its discovery. To know more about this case, you can read this article.
2. Email Spoofing/Phishing
Email spoofing is a tactic used by hackers to alter some parts of an email, particularly the sender address. By doing so, they can trick employees into thinking the email is genuine. The email will then take them to a platform identical to the real one. Once they enter their login credentials, as they usually would in the actual website, hackers can acquire those credentials and use them to access the system and the data within.
To prevent your employees from getting phished or spoofed, make sure you give your employees training regarding online privacy and data protection.
These are among the most common ways hackers can get into your system. In addition, it’s best to advise your employees not to click on any suspicious links they receive through email, even if they seem to come from reliable sources. Implementing education and some effective cybersecurity solutions linked here can help mitigate the risks of phishing and email spoofing. For instance, having a way to detect spoofed emails can help, as well as email encryption to ensure the security of your company’s sensitive information.
Regardless of the industry you’re in or the speed of your company’s growth, you’ll have a high chance of dealing with ransomware. For your reference, ransomware is a type of software that can restrict access to a system until a certain amount of money is paid to the perpetrator. It’s similar to the typical ransom incidents, except it involves IT systems.
Using ransomware is practically one of the best hacking tactics one can deploy. It’s cheap, easy, low-risk, yet the payoff can be massive if successful.
Getting victimized by ransomware has repercussions different from the previous two, but it’s catastrophic nonetheless. On the bright side, finding a countermeasure for ransomware would be a breeze due to its ubiquity. Some examples include ransomware detection software, anti-virus, data decryption tools, and more.
4. Third-Party Risks
It’s common for growing companies to rely on third-party agencies for their IT needs. They hire a managed IT service provider that then gains access to the company’s system. Most of the time, hiring a third-party agency is an excellent business move, but doing so carries some risks.
For one, since there’s another party with access to your database, hackers will have yet another possible entry point to your system, equating to a higher possibility of a data breach.
Furthermore, your fate is in their hands since you have no say in how the third-party deals with cyber security risks. Perhaps the most viable course of action in this scenario is to make sure you hire an agency with solid cyber security.
The repercussions of cyber-attacks are catastrophic and may even lead to the downfall of a fast-growing company. Unfortunately, it’s something all business owners have to deal with somewhere along the line. Since you already have a basic idea of what to expect, it should be easier to prepare for them in advance, at least compared to a moment ago when you have yet to read this article.