What Is Your Biggest Cybersecurity Threat?

What Is Your Biggest Cybersecurity Threat?

Imagine with me. It’s a crisp fall Saturday morning. You just let your dog into the backyard to run out some energy because you’re going to be gone most of the day.  You are looking forward to watching football at a friend’s house with your family. Your spouse (and children, if applicable) are out running some errands and you decide to head to a donut shop to pick up some breakfast as a surprise for their return to start the day off on a good foot.

You grab your keys and head out.  But one small thing. Fido is still outside and you forgot to lock the back door. Even if you have a home security system and deadbolts on all your doors, you’ve left an opening for someone to get inside.  It’s such a small thing – you forgot one small lock – but it leaves you vulnerable nonetheless. Luckily for you, nothing happens while you’re gone!  But the same often isn’t true when it comes to cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity Threats

Business owners, see if you can answer this question: at a minimum, how many threats do you have in your cybersecurity system?

If you’re thinking, there is a risk for each computer in your business, you’re close, but not quite there. The answer is: however many people you have within your business.  You and your employees are your biggest cybersecurity threats.  As computers, firewalls, and malware protection become more advanced, cybercriminals have learned to target what people click on and what/who they respond to. So instead of trying to crack your firewall, they send a link or an attachment in an email, someone in your business opens it, and just like that, the criminal has access to your system.

How It Works

Let me give you a common example of a simple trick that is incredibly effective.  A criminal visits your business website and sees your “Team” page where they can get email addresses and  names of everyone at your workplace.  Then, they send you an email that looks like it’s from a coworker/boss/employee asking for information. If you don’t know what the signs are for detecting phony emails, you’re probably going to give information to a criminal, thinking you’re answering the question of someone you know.

There are many other examples of ways cybercriminals are targeting people.  We’ve learned them by asking everyone in our firm to participate in annual cybersecurity courses through a company called ThreatAdvice.  We’re educated on what cybercriminals are up to and the vast and varied ways they are trying to hack into our information. More importantly, we all now know that WE are the targets.  Although we can’t guarantee total security, the education is helping us remember to keep the back door locked.

ThreatAdvice is something we recommend to our clients because everyone is a target of cybercrime.  The best prevention is, as in most cases, education.  With ThreatAdvice, you’ll learn the tell-tale signs of a back-door break in and how to keep your business information secure. Please contact your hb&k advisor to get connected to a ThreatAdvice representative.

As they completed their educational series offered through Threatdvice, Earl Blackmon, CPA and Kari Wolfe worked together to produce this blog content.  Earl leads our Lean Six Sigma Consulting and Wealth Management services.  Kari provides Kolbe Consulting and services on our internal Technology Committee.

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