The Top 5 Types of Cybersecurity Threats Mid-Size Businesses Face

Cybercrime,,Hacking,And,Technology,Concept, ,Male,Hacker,In,Dark

The average business-related cyberattack can last hours or even days, but the worst part is what comes after. In the fallout, businesses may face a damaged reputation, struggle to cover expenses related to the attack, and pay an average of $164 per breached record in fines and fees.

In other words, no business can afford to ignore its cybersecurity. Knowing what attacks your mid-size business might face can help you prepare for and prevent these threats while minimizing any damage that does occur. If you haven’t already looked into the best practices around cybersecurity for businesses, let’s take a look at some of the most common threats your brand may face.

1. Ransomware

Ransomware is on the rise, and for good reason: it can be an effective way for savvy hackers to hold a company’s data hostage in exchange for a significant windfall. When companies pay up, the attackers may even demand a second ransom to ensure that they don’t sell the sensitive data on the dark web.

One of the highest-profile ransomware attacks was against CNA Financial in 2021. Hackers extorted a staggering $40 million from the company to return its systems. Unfortunately, attacks like these are becoming more and more common.

Though larger businesses may be more likely to make headlines after these cybersecurity threats, research suggests that small- to mid-size businesses may bear the brunt of them. To that end, it’s essential to manage your risk. Establishing firewalls and endpoint protection while following the best practices for avoiding malware can help.

2. Cloud Computing Issues

More and more, businesses of all sizes rely on the cloud for data storage. Many businesses even store sensitive and confidential data in the cloud, often without any encryption at all.

This data is a virtual treasure trove for hackers, who have increased their focus on cloud systems in recent years. Even major brands like Microsoft have reported significant cloud breaches involving the theft of sensitive data.
In 2023 and beyond, businesses that rely on cloud storage should reconsider their security practices. Many organizations have multiple cloud providers that they fail to manage, while others lack control over their encryption keys. Multi-factor authentication should be a must, but not all organizations strengthen their access controls in this way.

It’s also important to consider how the Internet of Things (IoT) comes into play. With more devices than ever storing confidential data online, it becomes easy for businesses to neglect or lose control over the storage of that data.

3. Patch Management Issues

Business leaders are often focused on their company’s big-picture needs. Beyond these core activities, smaller details like outdated software are easy to forget.

As applications age, old errors and bugs may begin to collect. Patches from OS vendors, software vendors, and network equipment vendors might get neglected as workers focus on practices that move the needle for the brand.
This may seem minor, but poor patch management is among the most common cybersecurity risks for mid-size businesses. Patches may include nonessential upgrades like feature improvements, but they often also fix critical system vulnerabilities.

Patching your applications, operating systems, and embedded systems is crucial for your security. In addition, patch management can ensure system uptime and even help businesses maintain compliance.

4. Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)

DDoS attacks are nothing new. These threats have been around for almost two decades, and it’s not uncommon to see them in the headlines. However, we’ve seen a significant uptick in DDoS attacks year over year, and all mid-size businesses should be prepared to face one.

These attacks are coordinated efforts to flood a system with multiple requests. The fake traffic overwhelms the server, the system, and its devices. This, in turn, blocks access for legitimate users, both employees and site visitors.
A DDoS attack may come from one or more bad actors. In many cases, hackers will use the botnet, or a series of hijacked devices, to distribute this attack across multiple entry points in a business’s website. This can leave the business’s servers vulnerable, and it makes it easier for cyber attackers to find weaknesses to exploit.

DDoS attacks can last hours, days, or even weeks. Mid-size businesses may not be able to afford the downtime, which can put a serious damper on productivity and revenue.

The only way to defend yourself against these attacks is vigilance. Using servers in different data centers, scaling up your bandwidth, and knowing your traffic and the signs of an attack can help. Creating a response plan is also a sound best practice, and hiring a DDoS mitigation service provider can help with this.

5. Social Engineering

All of the best cybersecurity services in the world won’t save a business that falls prey to social engineering. With this tactic, cyberattackers don’t breach the network at all. Instead, they compromise the people within that network.
Social engineering involves tricking someone, often an employee, to release the company’s private information. Passwords and other credentials are common targets.

The most common type of social engineering is phishing. Emails and other messages from hackers may be doctored to look like they come from a legitimate source, such as a bank, vendor, government agency, or someone else within the organization. If the victim clicks a link or downloads a file within the message, they leave the entire company vulnerable to an attack.

Often, social engineering is the first step toward other types of cybersecurity threats. Ransomware, for example, often gets its start through social engineering.

To fend off an attack, employees need training on the most common cybersecurity risks associated with social engineering. This education can help them avoid falling for a cyberattacker’s deceptions.

Get Better Cybersecurity for Businesses

Cybersecurity for businesses shouldn’t feel like a journey through the Wild West. Though defending yourself from the common threats above can feel stressful and chaotic, the right partner can bring the zen into your security practices.
At Cloudzen Partners, we help businesses focus on what matters: your brand’s core services. Let our experienced team assess your cybersecurity and protect you from the threats above and much more. Contact us today for a complimentary discovery call!

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.