The top cyber security threats facing businesses today

Cyber security is a rapidly evolving concern within the IT sector, constantly presenting new risks for businesses. As the threats are constantly changing, it’s absolutely essential that both the latest possible future threats are understood. Failing to ensure adequate IT security practices could result in substantial damages, including data breaches and even financial loss.

It’s essential that businesses begin to put the appropriate measures in place to minimise cyber security risk, and understand how various threats can come about.

In many cases, one of the best ongoing preventative measures is an extensive IT training program designed to educate staff on the best practices for IT security.

An outline of cyber security

Cyber security is a broad term, encompassing many different threats. Over recent years, as businesses have grown their technology use, risks have only increased. Now, a significant portion of highly sensitive business information is stored on digital systems.

This can be anything from customer information, including payment data and addresses, to financial records of the company that have been stored for easy access.

While the advantages of digital systems cannot be ignored, security needs to become a top priority.

Here are the top four IT security risks that businesses and IT leaders need to be aware of. It’s also important that even lower level staff understand where risks can come from, and the best preventative actions.

​1. Hacktivists

Hacktivism presents a real danger to businesses, as there’s often no reward sought – financial or otherwise. In most cases of hacking, the attacker is after sensitive data either for government purposes or to sell on to a buyer. Protest is a large factor of hacktivism, and attackers often seek to take down websites or other services that conflict with the group’s ideals.

Government websites are often a common target, following unfavourable legislation or policy changes.

To ensure protection, businesses need to be aware of how their actions can provoke an outside response. IT security systems are often the best measure of protection.

​2. Malware

Although it is a threat that dates back decades, malware remains a constant issue for both businesses and private users. Essentially an attack designed to disrupt or damage a network or system, businesses affected by malware can often be required to take systems or services offline, in order to ensure greater protective measures are in place.

3. Internal threats

Staff can present as big of an issue as outside attackers, whether or not intentions are malicious. An accidental security breach can occur when malware is unwittingly installed, or outside access is given to a crucial business system.

On the other hand, staff may willingly seek to steal information or disrupt systems for personal gain.

Preventative actions here include education at all levels of what actions can cause a breach, and only giving access to key systems to required staff.


The final security for businesses is bring-your-own-device (BYOD), a trend which has seen considerable growth in recent years due to the cost and productivity benefits.

With this process, staff use their own mobile devices such as phones and tablets as well as laptops within the office. Obviously, the security risks here centre around unknown and potentially malicious software making its way from staff devices to business networks.

Effective IT policies are required that outline where and when BYOD can be used, and for what purpose.

Growing a culture of IT security

IT security education can be one of the best ways to grow an IT security culture, as it gives both business leaders and staff an insight into what exactly causes IT risks, and where they’re likely to come from.

Given the growing prevalence of IT security risks, it’s going to be essential to ensure that a culture of IT security is fostered over the next few years, as it involves nearly every level of staff. Failure to ensure IT security can often have disastrous consequences, and should never become an issue.