IT professionals face cybersecurity risks, and understanding these dangers is crucial. If IT pros can identify cyber risks, they can address cyberattacks before they cause costly, time-intensive data breaches. IT pros can also help their companies safely manage data, avoid compliance violations, and optimize network and system uptime.
Common cyber risks that impact IT pros include:
Malware refers to software that cybercriminals use to exploit devices, networks, or services. Hackers can launch malware attacks to illegally access sensitive data, including customer records and employee emails and passwords. Once hackers obtain this information, they can use it to disrupt a company’s everyday operations. Or, cybercriminals can use malware to hold a company’s data hostage for a ransom.
Cybercriminals use ransomware, spyware, and other malware attacks to illegally access business data. To combat these attacks, IT pros should keep all software up to date and perform regular patching. IT pros should only access secure websites and leverage antimalware software on their business devices as well.
Phishing is a type of cybercrime in which a hacker uses a text message or email to infiltrate a business. During a phishing attack, a hacker disguises a malicious message as a legitimate notification. If a recipient opens the message, he or she may be asked to share personally identifiable information (PII) and do so, due to the fact that this individual believes the request is legitimate. But, after the PII is provided, the hacker can use the information to their advantage.
IT pros should watch for suspicious text messages and emails, as these may contain phishing links. They should also use multifactor authentication (MFA) with all accounts; with MFA, IT pros will need two or more credentials to verify their identity to access their accounts.
3. Shadow IT
Shadow IT involves the use of IT applications, devices, and systems without a company’s approval. For instance, if employees use their personal smartphones and tablets to perform business tasks, they may be unknowingly contributing to shadow IT across their company.
Although IT pros may want to use their own apps, devices, and systems, they should only use authorized technologies for business tasks. Otherwise, IT pros may expose their personal and business data to cybercriminals.
When it comes to cybersecurity, it is generally a good idea to err on the side of caution. If IT pros learn as much as possible about cyber risks, they can take the necessary precautions to minimize the impact of these dangers.
Additionally, IT pros should enroll in cybersecurity training programs whenever possible. They can encourage business leaders to establish these training programs and conduct them regularly. Once a cybersecurity training program is in place, IT pros and other employees can use them to stay up to date on cyber risks.
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