MERIT Solutions Blog

MERIT Solutions has been serving the Chesapeake area since 1982, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

The Top 5 Online Threats Facing Every Business

The Top 5 Online Threats Facing Every Business

It doesn’t matter which industry your organization falls into. Your business will always be susceptible to threats in some way, shape, or form. Therefore, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your business understands how to protect itself from these threats, before it’s too late. We’ll help you learn more about the various issues that you need to watch out for, and what you can do to stop them.

Viruses
Viruses are pieces of code that infect your system and cause many issues, ranging from being mildly irritating to particularly dangerous. Viruses can cause system slowdown and many other problems with performance, or can open you up to data theft and major downtime issues. A solid security software like an antivirus solution can be sufficient to keep most viruses out of your infrastructure, but more advanced threats will be more crafty in their exploitation of your organization’s weak points.

Malware
Just like viruses, malware, or “malicious software,” infects a system to perform various functions. Variants like spyware can be used to watch your every move and capture keystrokes, while ransomware can be used to lock down your files and extort money from your organization. Either way, malware is problematic, and you’ll want to take steps to prevent infection in the first place.

Spam
Spam messages are both annoying and wasteful, but more than anything else, they are dangerous for your organization. Spam is the preferred method of spreading threats like viruses, malware, ransomware, and phishing scams, primarily because messages can be sent to countless users at the same time. While some email providers will have measures put into place to mitigate the threat of spam, you want your own secondary solutions that further protect your assets from messages containing infected attachments or malicious links.

Phishing Scams
Hackers and identity thieves will often try to steal data from organizations or even individuals through targeted attacks designed to harvest credentials. They will pretend to be reputable individuals from organizations that your business might have dealings with, or they will take the identity of someone you might know from your personal life. Either way, they will try to use who you know against you to steal sensitive information, like financial credentials, personally identifiable information, or login information for online accounts. The best way to avoid getting tricked by these scams is to brush up on the giveaway signs, such as poor spelling in messages, out-of-the-blue outreaches from the sender, unexpected urgent final notices, and more. MERIT Solutions can help you ensure your staff is trained on how to identify these scams.

CEO Fraud
An increasingly popular trend, called “whaling” or CEO fraud, occurs when a hacker takes on the identity of someone with authority within your organization, like the CEO or other members of the C-Suite. These types of schemes often present themselves in the form of an email appearing to come from a legitimate source asking for something like a wire transfer of funds. In these cases, the recipient of the message doesn’t necessarily want to question authority, and will instead comply with the request. If this occurs within your own organization, take a moment to reach out to the sender via their official telephone number that you have on record, or by dropping into their office for a quick chat regarding the message sent. It could save you from accidentally transferring huge sums of cash to a hacker.

How do you protect your business from the many threats found online? MERIT Solutions can help you implement powerful security solutions, like Unified Threat Management, to keep your digital assets safe from the majority of threats. To learn more, reach out to us at (757) 420-5150.

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