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What Are the Most Common Cybersecurity Risks?

7 July 2023

As technology advances, so do the threats of cybersecurity. With the rise of digital data storage and communication in organizations, it is becoming increasingly important to understand and protect against the most common cybersecurity risks. This article will discuss some of the most frequent cyber threats that organizations should be aware of and how they can best protect themselves. By reading this article, businesses will gain a better understanding of why they need to prioritize their cybersecurity efforts as well as what steps they can take to ensure their networks are safe from malicious actors. In addition, readers will also learn about various strategies for mitigating these risks and keeping their data secure.

1. Social Engineering Scams  

Social engineering scams involve manipulating individuals into revealing confidential information or granting access to restricted systems using psychological and social tactics. To protect against this type of attack, organizations should train their employees on how to identify and respond to social engineering attempts. One of the most common types of social engineering scams is phishing. 

Phishing Attacks

Phishing relies on social engineering to deceive victims into providing sensitive information such as bank account numbers and passwords. Through emails, malicious websites, or other means, attackers will often pretend to be legitimate organizations or people in order to create a false sense of trust or urgency and encourage victims to take actions that expose their information. To prevent this type of attack, it is important for businesses to educate their employees about the dangers of phishing and how to spot a suspicious email or website. 

2. Unpatched Software Vulnerabilities 

Software vulnerabilities are security weaknesses or flaws in software applications that have not been fixed by the vendor or developer through updates or patches. Software vulnerabilities can be caused by a variety of factors, such as coding errors, design flaws, or incomplete testing. Once identified, software vendors or developers typically release updates or patches to address the vulnerabilities and reduce the risk of exploitation. However, if users or organizations do not install these updates or patches in a timely manner, their software remains vulnerable to attacks. Thus, it is essential for organizations to regularly patch their software and operating systems with the most up-to-date security updates.

3. Malware Infections

Malware infections refer to instances where a computer or device has been compromised by malicious software, commonly known as “malware.” Malware is a type of software that is designed to harm or exploit a computer or network, steal information, or perform other malicious actions. Common types of malware include viruses, worms, ransomware, and spyware. 

Trojan Virus

A trojan virus for example, is a type of malware that is hidden inside a seemingly harmless file or program. Once installed, the virus can give attackers access to confidential data or control over the infected system. To protect against this type of attack, businesses should scan their systems regularly for any suspicious files and ensure their antivirus software is up to date. 


On the other hand, ransomware is a type of malicious software used to lock computers and devices, preventing access to data until a ransom is paid. To protect against this type of attack, organizations should ensure that their systems are up-to-date with the latest security patches and regularly backup important data to an offline storage device.

4. Weak Passwords and Password Reuse

Weak passwords and password reuse are two of the most common cybersecurity risks. Weak passwords are easy to guess or crack, while using the same password across multiple accounts makes it much easier for attackers to gain access to an organization’s sensitive data. To protect against this type of attack, businesses should implement strong password policies such as using long, complex passwords with a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, avoiding common words or phrases, not reusing passwords across different accounts or systems, and changing passwords regularly. It is also recommended to use multi-factor authentication (MFA) where available, which adds an additional layer of security by requiring users to provide a second form of authentication, such as a fingerprint or one-time code, in addition to their password. 

5. Unsecured Wi-Fi Networks

An unsecured Wi-Fi network is one that does not require a password or other form of authentication to connect. This means that anyone within range of the network can connect to it and potentially access data or traffic that is transmitted over the network. To protect against the risks of unsecured Wi-Fi networks, it is important to connect to secure networks whenever possible, such as those that require a password or use encryption. When connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, such as those in coffee shops or airports, it is recommended to use a virtual private network (VPN), which encrypts traffic and helps protect against “man-in-the-middle” (MITM), where an attacker intercepts and modifies communication between two parties to their advantage.

6. Insufficient Data Backup Plans 

Insufficient data backup can leave organizations vulnerable to data loss or corruption, which can result in financial losses, reputational damage, or legal liabilities. In the event of a cyberattack, natural disaster, or other catastrophic event, having backups of critical data can help organizations quickly recover and minimize the impact of the incident. Without backups, organizations may be unable to recover lost data, leaving them unable to operate effectively or comply with legal or regulatory requirements. Thus, organizations should establish and regularly test a data backup plan to ensure that they can recover quickly in the event of an attack or other type of disaster.

7. Lack of Awareness about Cybersecurity Risks

User education on cybersecurity risks is essential for any organization. Employees should have an understanding of the threats they may face and how to protect themselves against them. This can include topics such as phishing, password security, data protection, safe browsing practices, and more.


As technology advances, cybersecurity risks continue to grow and change, making it critical for organizations to stay current on the latest threats. By implementing best practices such as timely software updates and patches, using strong passwords, and performing regular vulnerability assessments on their networks, businesses can significantly reduce their risk of a cyber attack. This is crucial because cyber attacks can result in data breaches, where unauthorized individuals or entities access or steal sensitive or confidential information. The consequences of such breaches can be devastating for businesses.