Surprising cybersecurity vulnerabilities that business owners should watch out for

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Cybersecurity has taken on new meaning in the face of dual cyberattacks. The post-pandemic digital environment is full of threats. In fact, these attacks culminated in December 2021 with a series of Log4j exploits. But the popular Java-based logging utility is a surprising cybersecurity vulnerability that business owners should watch out for.

Additionally, flaws in human cybersecurity measures and protective technologies create vulnerabilities for organizations. By exploring these weaknesses, you can create action plans to strengthen your digital integrity.

Digital threats expose weaknesses in our IT frameworks and data systems, from increasingly sophisticated phishing schemes to breakthroughs in offensive artificial intelligence. Identifying these vulnerabilities is critical because 85% of IT professionals trust passwordless technology. Below are the cybersecurity vulnerabilities you need to address as a business owner.

Phishing, smishing and human error

Phishing is one of the worst and most powerful forms of cyber attacks that often use fraud and social engineering to infiltrate a system. Although BEC (Business Email Compromise) attacks represent only a small part of cybercrime, the damage can be the most costly. With estimated losses of over $345 million from these attacks, zero-reliability email security systems are a must.

Today, phishing has become more subtle, and attackers can infiltrate in ways that most employees don’t expect. One example is smishing or phishing with text messages. Cybercriminals send secret text messages with links. When employees open them, they are directed to duplicate websites that can be used to obtain personal information or install rootkits. From there, business accounts are vulnerable to hacking, malware, and theft.

IBM has found that human error contributes, at least in part, to 95% of all data breaches. With more compelling phishing schemes targeting businesses, these instances of human error will only increase. The key to mitigating this vulnerability for business owners is adopting Zero Trust authorization measures, along with comprehensive security training and practices.

old software

After human error, outdated software can be one of your biggest cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Failure to update a system puts you at increased risk of attack because the older an unpatched software version is, the longer it takes attackers to identify vectors and vulnerabilities in that version. Legacy software ships with outdated security credentials. When it comes to consumer, financial, or backend data, the software you use to manage it is vulnerable without consistent updates.

Take for example the popular customer service management software (CMS) Drupal 7 and 8. Both modules are losing (or have already lost) support. Yet many businesses still rely on them to manage their customer data. You need up-to-date data management and support to mitigate security vulnerabilities. This means moving to Drupal 9 or other headless CMS platforms.

However, this is just one example. All the software tools and data-driven platforms you use in your business should be kept up to date to avoid issues. Even cryptocurrency wallets and payment systems can pose a greater threat if they become obsolete.

cryptocurrency leak

Cryptocurrencies, wallets and payment systems are often recommended for increased levels of security. However, like any connected technology, crypto technology is exposed to a decentralized or decentralized cyber threat. For example, cybercriminals can compromise trading platforms and steal private information.

This means businesses using cryptocurrency in any form should be aware of its vulnerabilities and security best practices. Wherever third parties exchange information, there is the possibility of a hacker breaking into the system. This is why measures such as Decentralized Digital Identity (DDID) solutions are evolving to facilitate data ownership. The user generates their unique ID provided with private keys which are matched using the authorization process.

Scan for vulnerabilities in any cryptocurrency implementation you implement, then harden your approach with comprehensive authorization tools. AI is one way to do this, but AI can be a double-edged sword.

offensive artificial intelligence

The power of AI to transform cyber defenses has yet to reach its limits – if it has. But cybercriminals also use the power of artificial intelligence to attack. Leveraging an AI’s ability to learn and improve through data modeling, hackers are finding new success in hacking into systems to find vulnerabilities. Emotet is an example of an aggressive AI prototype, brutally cracking passwords, causing security breaches at worst and loss of productivity from lockouts and resets at best.

These clever attacks can impersonate the user, hide in the background, and tailor the attacks to specific systems. Conflicting endpoints, partial patch management, and different legacy systems increase the chances of offensive AI slippage. However, systems such as the Ivanti Neurons platform also use artificial intelligence to eliminate these vulnerabilities.

Using artificial intelligence and deep learning, Ivanti and other security vendors create IT service management (ITSM) systems that protect data through automatic configuration, remediation, and to zero-trust verification. While only 8% of organizations have adopted this type of defensive AI to date, trends in AI-powered cybersecurity are dramatically increasing how organizations are protected. But the AI ​​alone is just one layer of the versatile defense strategies you should use.

Exposing cybersecurity vulnerabilities

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities are not easy to find. Phishing schemes require in-depth knowledge of software states, leak points, and offensive tools. These vulnerabilities threaten the integrity of data systems and can harm organizations. As a business owner, be aware of these threats as you develop a more modern and comprehensive approach to digital security.

Charlie Fletcher is a freelance technology and business writer.

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