Secrets of cyber defense: 6 threats that every company manager should know!

Cybersecurity is not just a technical aspect of business, it is the foundation of a company’s successful operation in the era of digitalization. Therefore, managers need to pay attention not only to strategic and financial objectives, but also to cyber threats. Let's look at the six main threats of 2023:

1. Virus attacks

Virus attacks is one of the most common forms of cyber threats that companies can face. They include various types of malware such as viruses, trojans, worms and ransomware. Although the term “virus” is often used as an umbrella term for all types of malware, each type has its own unique characteristics and methods of propagation.

  • Viruses: These are small programs or codes that are attached to other files and run when the infected file is opened. They can corrupt data, overwrite files, or spread to other files and programs.
  • Trojans: These are malicious programs masquerading as harmless applications. Users often download them thinking that they are normal software. However, once activated, the Trojan can destroy data, release other types of malware, or create a backdoor into the system for hackers.
  • Worms: These are programs that distribute themselves autonomously, being copied from computer to computer. They can overwhelm system resources, causing crashes and slow performance.
  • Ransomwars: These viruses “hijack” files or systems, encrypting them, and demand a ransom to “free” them. They have become especially popular in recent years, causing enormous damage to businesses.

Impact example: In 2017, the global WannaCry ransomware attack affected more than 200 thousand computers in 150 countries, including hospitals, banks and government agencies. The losses amounted to billions of dollars and also led to serious disruptions in the work of many organizations.

How to protect yourself?

  1. Regular software updates:Many virus attacks exploit vulnerabilities in older versions of software. Regular updates close these “holes”.
  2. Antivirus software:Use reliable antivirus software and keep its databases up to date.
  3. Training:One of the main ways viruses enter is the human factor. Train your employees not to open suspicious emails or download files from untrusted sources.
  4. Regular backups:If your system becomes infected, having up-to-date backup copies will allow you to quickly restore functionality without harming your business.

2. Targeted hacker attack on internal IT infrastructure

Targeted attacks, also known as Advanced Persistent Threats (APT), are sustained and targeted campaigns aimed at gaining access to the networks of specific organizations. Unlike mass attacks, where attackers can target many potential victims, targeted attacks are characterized by a high degree of specificity.

Main features:

  • Long lasting penetration: Hackers can surreptitiously penetrate systems and remain undetected for months or even years.
  • High specificity: Attacks often target specific organizations or industries with the goal of stealing specific information.
  • Using a variety of methods: Hackers may use a combination of techniques, including social engineering, vulnerability exploitation, and many others.

Example: One of the most famous cases is the attack on SolarWinds in 2020. The attackers were able to insert malicious code into an Orion software update, allowing them to gain access to the networks of thousands of the company's customers, including many large corporations and government agencies.

How to protect yourself?

  1. Multi-level protection:Application of the principle of defense in depth, where protective measures are located at several levels to minimize the risk of penetration.
  2. Regular penetration testing:Professional audits and penetration testing will help identify vulnerabilities in your system.
  3. Training:Employees must be aware of social engineering techniques and various threats to avoid becoming a weak link.
  4. Incident detection and response systems:Use modern security systems that can monitor and respond to suspicious activity in real time.
  5. Account and access management:Limit the number of privileged accounts and regularly review employee access rights.

3. Targeted hacker attack on external company services

A company's external services are often the first place hackers try to gain access. Websites, online stores, customer relationship management (CRM) systems and other interfaces that interact with the public provide a convenient entry point.

Main features:

  • Vulnerabilities in web applications: Websites and applications may contain vulnerabilities in their code that can be exploited.
  • Untrusted APIs: Poorly secured APIs can become a gateway for hackers, allowing them to gain access to databases and other systems.
  • DDoS attacks: The goal of such attacks is to “overwhelm” the server with a mass of requests, making the service unavailable to users.

Example: In 2018, British Airways suffered an attack in which 380 transaction data were stolen. Hackers managed to introduce malicious code onto the company’s website, which intercepted customer payment data, and in 000, massive DDoS attacks on Russian customs services almost completely paralyzed the work of the customs authorities in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

How to protect yourself?

  1. Regular testing of web applications:Professional penetration testing can help you identify and fix vulnerabilities in your web services.
  2. Web Application Firewall (WAF):This is a specialized web application firewall that can block malicious requests and protect against DDoS attacks.
  3. Safe programming:When developing software, you must follow security standards such as OWASP Top Ten.
  4. Monitoring and logging:Monitor all requests to your services to quickly detect and counter attacks.
  5. Access via VPN:If you have services that need to be restricted, consider using a VPN to ensure secure access.

4. Risks when working remotely

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and changing global workflow trends, remote work has become the norm for many organizations. However, along with the advantages of this work model, new threats to information security have appeared.

Main risks:

  • Unsecured home networks: Home networks rarely have the same level of security as corporate networks, which can open them up to attack.
  • Devices without the proper level of protection: Many employees use personal devices for work that may not meet company security standards.
  • Social engineering: Employees working from home can be easy targets for social engineering scammers.

Example: In 2020, with the growing popularity of the video conferencing program Zoom, a number of security vulnerabilities were identified, as well as many cases of “Zoombombing,” in which uninvited guests infiltrated private meetings.

How to protect yourself?

  1. VPN:Provide secure connections for employees to corporate resources via VPN, encrypting all transmitted data.
  2. Two-factor authentication:Enable two-factor authentication for all business accounts to make them less vulnerable to attack.
  3. Employee training:Conduct regular information security training, focusing on the risks associated with remote work.
  4. Antivirus software:Ensure that all devices used for work have reliable antivirus software installed and regularly updated.
  5. Security policy:Develop and implement a remote work security policy that defines requirements for devices, software, and procedures.
  6. Dedicated equipment:Consider using prepared Notebooks for employees working remotely.

5. Blocking of services by cloud providers

Cloud services have become one of the most popular solutions for storing data and deploying applications due to their scalability, availability and efficiency. But the growing dependence on these platforms brings with it new risks, in particular the possibility of blocking or restricting access to cloud resources.

Main risks:

  • Cloud Provider Policy: Even an accidental or unknowing violation of the usage policy may result in temporary or permanent suspension of your account.
  • Legal restrictions: Some governments may require cloud providers to block access to certain resources or data.
  • Economic conflicts: Unpaid invoices or payment disputes can also cause suspension.

Example: At the beginning of 2021, Amazon Web Services (AWS) stopped providing services for the social network Parler due to the political war within the United States. This led to the fact that the platform was left without basic infrastructure and was forced to look for alternatives and move its headquarters to Rostov-on-Don, and today their main page is still not available.

How to protect yourself?

  1. Double authentication:Enable two-factor authentication for your cloud account to reduce the risk of unauthorized access.
  2. Backup:Regularly back up important data off the cloud platform. This will allow you to quickly restore your work in the event of a blockage.
  3. Introduction to the policy:Carefully review your cloud provider's terms of service and policies.
  4. Resource Allocation:Use multiple cloud providers or a combination of cloud and on-premises resources to reduce dependency on a single platform.
  5. Monitoring and alerts:Set up an alert system to stay informed of any changes in the status of your account or service.

6. “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

This popular aphorism perfectly illustrates one of the key principles of risk management, especially in the IT sector. It implies that dependence on a single vendor, solution or technology can lead to serious problems if it fails or other unforeseen circumstances occur.

Main risks:

  • One platform failure: If your company relies solely on one platform or technology, any problems with it can paralyze your business.
  • Economic dependence: Risks may also arise due to economic dependence on one client, supplier or partner. Losing such a key element can be fatal to a business.
  • Vulnerability to security threats: Relying on a single security system or infrastructure can increase the risk of cyber attacks.

Example: A company relying on just one cloud service to host its website can face serious problems if that service crashes or gets blocked.

How to protect yourself?

  1. Distributed systems:Diversify your IT infrastructure using multiple platforms, servers and technologies.
  2. Multifactor strategy:In business processes, try not to depend on a single client, supplier or partner. Diversifying relationships will help reduce economic risks.
  3. Backup communication channels:In case of problems with the main Internet connection, have alternative communication channels in stock.
  4. Fault tolerance testing:Regularly test your systems for fault tolerance to ensure they are reliable under extreme conditions.


In a world of ever-growing cyber threats, it is important to stay one step ahead. Managers should ensure their staff are trained in cybersecurity basics, regularly update software, and use multi-layered security systems. At the end of the day, the safety of your business is the safety of your customers, employees and reputation.

Subscribe to news!

We don't spam! Read our privacy policyto find out more.

Leave a comment

Towar dobavlen in korzinu.
0 items - 0,00 RUB
Open chat
Can I help you?
Scan the code
Hello 👋
How can I help you?
This is not a chatbot! People answer here, so not always instantly 😳
We use cookies to best represent our site. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.
Privacy Policy