The evolving nature of cyberattacks pose a constant threat to organisations, and staying up-to-date with the latest technology is no longer sufficient to ensure security. With the emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), cyber criminals now have the capability to manipulate voices and other biometrics, enabling them to launch convincing phishing or voice phishing attacks. This use of AI is just one example of the technologies that attackers may employ today or in the near future, but these developments highlight the alarming reality that businesses face in a world where criminals are adept at utilising cutting-edge technology to automate their criminal activities. To combat this, organisations must prioritise the protection of their data. Only by understanding the risks and taking the necessary precautions can businesses safeguard their data, maintain customer trust, and stay one step ahead of emerging threats in the dynamic cybersecurity landscape.
Cyber threat, real danger
Businesses face a multitude of cybersecurity threats that can jeopardise sensitive data and operations, with ransomware being a significant concern. This malicious software encrypts or locks files, rendering them inaccessible until a ransom, often in the form of cryptocurrencies, is paid. However, there is no guarantee that the files will be decrypted even after payment. Phishing attacks are another prevalent threat with many different faces, such as smishing (SMS phishing), voice phishing, and URL phishing, in which cybercriminals create fake websites resembling genuine ones to steal login credentials. Another form of phishing is Business Email Compromise (BEC) which targets organisations and individuals with the goal of stealing money or critical information.
Reactive technology and proactive education
Equally important for businesses are proactive real-world measures such as internal staff security training, which is an often overlooked but critical component of digital asset protection. By providing thorough cyber-threat training, employees can learn to identify and thwart potential threats, such as phishing websites and other criminal tricks, and develop the ability to promptly recognise suspicious emails. Along with taking care of the preventative technological and training components, one of the most important elements of an effective cybersecurity foundation is the prioritisation of data protection.
Unyielding defence: advanced backup solutions
A robust backup solution with off-site, immutable copies of data provides a strong defence against ransomware and similar attacks. Today’s leading cloud-based data management solutions incorporate early warning technologies that enhance data protection by detecting and securing against potential threats before they occur. It offers defence and protection for organisational data in the event of a breach, ensuring recoverability even after a cyber-attack. One data protection vendor in the market is already ahead of the curve, providing in-depth threat monitoring and cyber deception capabilities for both backup and production environments. For uncompromised business continuity, a clean, untouchable backup is essential. To avoid backing up compromised data, a thorough scan is necessary to exclude any content containing malicious software or malware.
Align system security with data protection
Taking a proactive approach to data backup and recovery is key to maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture and mitigating the potential impact of security incidents. This enables true digital resilience with the ability to minimise disruption following an incident, and resume business rapidly and with minimal impact on productivity, staff and customers. Ultimately, businesses must also take care to ensure that all systems, particularly operating systems and antivirus software, are patched and updated. Endpoint security has become even more important as the majority of malware originates from endpoint devices, particularly Internet of Things (IoT) devices, making it non-negotiable to have reliable antivirus software installed. By combining reactive and proactive measures that cover both the technology fronts and the human element, organisations can significantly enhance their cybersecurity posture and mitigate the risks posed by business email compromise and ransomware attacks.
By Aslam Tajbhai, Solutions Architect at DMP South Africa
Since 2009, WhichVoIP.co.za has helped thousands of South African businesses to make better buying decisions for phone systems, VoIP, and connectivity. During this time, we’ve facilitated the connection of 45 000+ users through our network of 500+ telecom providers in our directory.