Top 5 cyber security threats, and how you can protect yourself against them

With cases of data theft, attacks on the supply chain and costly ransomware rising daily, you can’t afford to ignore the need to protect your business against cyber security threats.

These are ExactTrak’s 5 ‘trending’ threats and how you can protect yourself against them…

Top 5 cyber security threats - ExactTrak

1. Data Privacy

Data exploitation remains a huge threat; according to global cyber security experts BlackFog, 2024 ushered in the highest number of January attacks ever recorded – representing an 130% increase from last year.

Education, healthcare and government topped the target list but the truth is, data to any business is invaluable, no matter the industry, no matter the size:

  • $568,705 – average ransom payout in Q3/23
  • 30% – reduction in brand equity thanks to reputational damage
  • $2.38 million – average cost to company for data loss and compensation

So, what is the solution?

It’s all about your people, processes and, of course, SmartSafe embedded!

Unfortunately, employees are often the weakest link, and that’s simply down to lack of education or finding ways to get around existing security restrictions. The upside? It’s a relatively simple fix – educate your people, so that they understand and can implement the best cyber security practices for your organisation. According to the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), who run a government-backed cyber security education scheme, just 35,000 of the UK’s 5 million businesses have undertaken their Cyber Essentials certification. It’s a great place to start.

Whilst education is critical to building a strong defence system, a multi-layered approach is best. ExactTrak’s SmartSafe embedded system provides another strong layer of protection, which works outside of software and operating systems to defend your data and tech at source. You set the parameters (who, when, where and how) for employees to access data and tech, and SmartSafe enforces them. Which means only the people you’ve pre-approved have access – there’s zero fuss, but full protection.

2. Generative AI-Driven Attacks

Shops, trains, cafes and the Underground… You can get free wifi almost anywhere you go. Which is great for remote-workers – and the cybercriminals trying to exploit them.

AI bots are often utilised in identity theft attacks, where the aim is to recreate an individual in order to access their sensitive data. Remote workers are prime targets for this, as they are notoriously lax about cyber security – add free wifi networks into the mix and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. All it takes is for an employee to log into an unsecure wifi network, where a bot is trawling for a host, and it could easily access your device from there.

That’s where SmartSafe embedded comes in – it imposes limits on where and when your employees can access data and tech, preventing them from connecting to potentially harmful networks. It works completely autonomously at a hardware level, making it almost impregnable to bots.

3. Quantum Computing Threats

According to Forbes “advancements in quantum computing will reshape the cyber security landscape in 2024.”

Many organisations rely on lots of software to protect themselves against cyber security threats. Quantum computing poses masses of capability against such software, since the tech uses quantum theory (which explores the behaviour of small particles) to solve complex problems much faster than conventional computers. This allows Brute force attackers to break through software encryption and passwords in record time.

SmartSafe embedded takes a very different approach to its software counterparts. With SmartSafe all of your digital ‘valuables’ are held in a vault, away from prying eyes. Because it operates at hardware level, the device’s operating system can’t actually ‘see’ this vault… And if it can’t be seen, then it can’t be accessed via software. SmartSafe determines when and where the secure vault can be accessed – if the system is under Quantum attack then the access to the vault will be removed.

So, working alongside ExactTrak, cyber software solutions can protect the most crucial parts of their application in the SmartSafe vault removing the threat from Quantum attack.

4. Ransomware as a service (RaaS)

RaaS is a cybercrime business model in which ransomware developers sell their code and malware to other hackers for use in their own attacks. It’s becoming a massive business, with attackers using it to exploit supply chain vulnerabilities and infiltrate downstream targets. After all, it’s easier to hack the laptop of a small supplier, than the main corporation’s computing system.

Indeed, Checkpoint’s latest report revealed that the “cyber security landscape faces an unprecedented surge in ransomware attacks, with 1 in every 10 organisations globally being targeted in 2023.”

RaaS is well organised and innovative, so your security measures should be too – you need to stack up defensive layers, against massive offensive organisations. SmartSafe embedded should be just one part of a managed cyber security system, and should work in conjunction with software, threat detection, and education.

5. Man in The Middle (MiTM) attacks

MiTM attacks are all about intercepting, in order to “gain unauthorised access, data theft, and compromise of critical information. The risks associated call for zero-trust and advanced security measures,” as Ciso reports.

Once again, remote workers and their generally less stringent approach to cyber security presents an inviting environment for cyber criminals. Experts across the globe are looking to adopt zero-trust principles to mitigate these threats;

Zero Trust principles emphasise the verification of every user and device, regardless of location and are integral to modern cyber security strategies. [There is a growing] need to enhance network security and protect sensitive data, especially in an era of remote work and distributed computing.”

SmartSafe embedded should be an integral part of your company’s zero trust architecture. The same principles – never trust, always verify – are in-built; you set parameters and protocols that define who, what, when, where and how your data and devices can be accessed. So, if the user doesn’t fulfil the requirements, they aren’t getting access. It’s that simple.

How SmartSafe embedded helps protect against cyber attacks:

People working in office - Cyber protection - ExactTrak

Cyber protection

It’s the only embedded solution that provides security at device level and full integration with your existing security tools, to provide a multi-layered approach to cyber security.

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Person working in coffee shop - Location based security - ExactTrak

Location based security

You can set control policies and manage devices remotely, to prevent data exploitation from AI bots and insecure networks, on the move.

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Person on train using multiple devices - Asset security - ExactTrak

Asset security

Allows you to locate, monitor and control devices, anytime, anywhere – even when the power is off – for round the clock protection.

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Multiple devices staged with SmartSafe embedded solutions - ExactTrak

Whether you’re facing down AI bots, data exploitation or the quantum computers of the near future, one thing is clear; multi-faceted, resilient, agile cyber security should be part of every organisation’s business strategy.

Let SmartSafe back you up.