Cyber-attacks are rising daily and organizations need to take advantage of every tool available. Approximately 60% of SMB’s that suffer a breach go out of business in 6 months. What threats should you be on the lookout for? Here are common and emerging cyber threats to consider as you assess your cyber security program:

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

In a BEC scam, criminals infiltrate an employee’s email box and send email messages that appear to be legitimately from executives or high-level employees. Business email compromise is a large and growing problem that targets organizations of all sizes. The FBI defines five major types of BEC scams:

  • CEO Fraud
  • Account Compromise
  • False Invoice Scheme
  • Attorney Impersonation
  • Data Theft

Add a section that tells them what to watch for and how to avoid getting scammed.  Include employee awareness training and 24/7/365 email monitoring for indicators of compromise.

Phishing and Spear Phishing

Phishing has been around for years, but it stays consistent as one of the top approaches for hackers to reach your data. Phishing uses a combination of social engineering tactics to gain your trust via email, phone calls, fake websites, and social networks to penetrate systems and wreak havoc upon your internal security posture. The most common types of phishing attacks are:

  • Email phishing- attacks through email utilizing fake domains.
  • Whaling- attacks aimed at senior executives consisting of fake links and malicious URLs
  • Spear phishing- a type of attack through email containing personal information the hacker has already discovered.
  • Smishing and Vishing- suspicious SMS messages and voice calls enticing you to perform a task that will compromise your data
  • Angler Fishing- a relatively new attack, this is when hackers reach victims through social media to obtain personal information or access to accounts

Insider Threats

Disgruntled employees who steal confidential data with the intention to cause reputation damage or financial consequence are still an abundant threat in many organizations. Insider threats can be intentional and unintentional, given that many employees fall victim to negligence or malware attacks. Most security operations focus on external threats, but the best course of action for limiting insider threats is to restrict network access for employees to only the information they need to perform their jobs.


Ransomware is a type of malware that involves extortion to access data. When an employee clicks a suspicious link or downloads an attachment containing ransomware, the hacker can take control of the employee’s computer to encrypt their data and threaten to delete the data if a ransom is not paid.


While malware isn’t a new threat, hackers are constantly capitalizing on new approaches to damage networks, websites, and web servers. Malware occurs when hackers send victims a compromized link that installs infected software. In a matter of seconds, the software spreads viscously through the computer and to other machines on the network.

Compromised / Weak Credentials

Did you know that 63% of data breaches are due to employee negligence? Employees who have easy-to-guess usernames or weak and reused passwords compromise your organization’s security, leaving room for hackers to make their way in. Employee training and multi-factor authentication can help strengthen credentials and reduce the cybersecurity risk placed on your organization’s shoulders.

Lack of Awareness Training

Let’s face it, employees who aren’t regularly trained have less understanding of good cybersecurity practices. These employees are more likely to not recognize a phishing attempt or other types of common cyberattacks. Without adequate security and awareness training, you could be walking your business straight into a disaster.

How to Combat These Threats

To combat the threat of emerging cyberattacks, organizations often turn to experts for answers. If you do not have an IT department, your organization has the option to hire in-house IT expertise or rely on an outsourced managed service provider to carry out security functions. For many small to medium sized organizations, they find it more manageable and affordable to outsource this function. Organizations serious about protecting their data often implement an in-depth cyber security program that follows the an accepted framework such as the NIST Cyber Security Framework.

NIST Cyber Security Framework

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a government entity that created the Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) to help businesses better protect themselves from cyber threats. This framework is a set of best practices that organizations can follow to help protect their data and reputation.

These core components guide organizations in managing and reducing their cybersecurity risks in a way that compliments an organization’s current risk management processes. There are 5 core tenets to the framework:

  • Identify
  • Protect
  • Detect
  • Respond
  • Recover

The NIST framework simplifies industry leading cybersecurity policies and procedures to better manage cyber risk in your organization by protecting the components that are most critical to operations and service delivery. In addition to providing industry leading risk reduction, the NIST Cyber Security Framework fosters communications among internal and external stakeholders by giving clients a way to talk about risk with your organization in a business context. The framework is considered guidance as it should be customized by different sectors and individual organizations to suit their risks and needs.

Looking to learn more about the NIST Cybersecurity Framework? Check out our recent webinar.

How Kyber Security Can Help

Organizations are faced with bigger and more complex cybersecurity threats than ever. As hackers are constantly evolving the ways they target victims, it’s our job to help you stay up to date with your organization’s specific security needs. Our services follow the NIST Cybersecurity Framework to help keep you secure and prepared for the next big attack- we will ensure that your people, processes, and technology are proactively defending against cyber threats.