With its vibrant business community, Houston is no exception to the ever-evolving threat landscape. Financial losses due to cyber crime in Texas reached $763 million last year,1 making it more critical than ever that business leaders in the area stay vigilant about the latest cyber security threats.
As technology advances, so do the tactics of cyber criminals aiming to breach data, disrupt operations, steal money, and more. In this blog, we’ll explore some of the latest cyber security threats Houston businesses need to know about – so you can keep your network safe:
1. Social Engineering
Social engineering is a tactic used by bad actors to manipulate people into revealing sensitive information. During a social engineering attack, cyber criminals will typically impersonate a trusted individual or organization to trick their victims into sharing confidential data, such as passwords or financial information.
Social engineering bypasses traditional security measures by leveraging human psychology. The majority of data breaches (74%) in 2023 have involved the human element,2 so it’s clear that even the strongest firewall or encryption technology can’t protect a company if an employee is deceived into willingly sharing sensitive information.
Social engineering attacks are also becoming more sophisticated and difficult to detect. Minimize this threat by fostering a culture of security mindfulness, providing your teams with regular training about potential threats, and implementing comprehensive security policies.
2. Poor Cyber Hygiene
Failing to maintain a solid cyber security posture poses a major threat to businesses – especially as remote and hybrid working opportunities increase. Anything from allowing employees to use unsecured WiFi to failing to install essential software patches can constitute poor cyber hygiene, creating openings in your network for cyber criminals to exploit.
Poor cyber hygiene can also lead to noncompliance with data protection laws, resulting in penalty fees and a loss of customer trust. You can minimize these risks by prioritizing cyber hygiene throughout your organization, such as conducting regular system updates, implementing strong password policies, and encrypting sensitive data.
3. Third-Party Attacks
A 2023 study found that 98% of businesses worldwide have IT integrations with at least one third-party provider that has been breached in the past two years.3 Unfortunately, attacks targeting a third-party vendor with access to your corporate data or systems can give hackers a potential entry point to your network.
Not all third parties have effective cyber security measures in place, so it’s crucial to vet your providers thoroughly before providing access to your critical network resources. Conduct a regular review of all third-party access permissions to help identify potential risks and ensure your vendors can only access what’s necessary to complete their tasks.
4. Cloud Vulnerabilities
Spending on public cloud services is expected to increase by nearly 22% this year.4 But while embracing the cloud is critical for any business leader looking to stay competitive, cloud adoption also introduces new vulnerabilities to company networks.
Misconfigurations and inadequate access controls can inadvertently expose sensitive data, making it accessible to anyone with an internet connection. Additionally, a lack of encryption and other security measures can leave your data unprotected and easy to read if intercepted. Reduce these risks by implementing strong security tools and continuously monitoring the security of your cloud environments.
Choose PS Lightwave for Secure Business Connectivity
One easy way to strengthen your cyber security posture is to work with an Internet service provider dedicated to keeping the Greater Houston Area safe.
At PS Lightwave, we designed our all-fiber business Internet services for optimal security with two border routers connected to multiple upstream providers and uplinks to our Metro Ethernet core ring. Plus, our locally-based network operations center team uses the most advanced network management, monitoring, and analysis tools to keep our customers up and running 24/7/365.
Ready to get started with secure, high-speed business connectivity? Reach out to PS Lightwave today.